Scenic Day Trip #5 - Mount Greylock
The following driving tour up Mount Greylock, the state's highest peak at 3,491 feet, will afford you spectacular views of the magnificent fall foliage for which this area is so famous. Allow a half day for this tour that covers approximately 26 miles.
Begin one mile north of Lanesborough on Route 7. Rockwell Road leads to the right (east) 10 miles to the summit. Two miles up on Rockwell Road is the Mount Greylock Visitor Center, which is open daily and offers environmental displays, trail maps and information.
Part way up the mountain on the right is a steep meadow, the southern slope of Saddleball Mountain. The Maine to Georgia Appalachian hiking trail follows the ridge of Saddleball to the summit. There are numerous foot trails besides the Appalachian which cross the summit and go on to cross other peaks. One of the most popular foot trails, the Cheshire Harbor Trail, starts off Route 8 on West Mountain Road in Adams. The Appalachian Mountain Club has numerous hikes, walks and events on Mount Greylock, especially weekends during the summer.
At New Ashford Road is New Ash Fort, which stood as a defense against Native Americans in 1762. Further on, Sperry Road leads down and in for a mile to a magnificent lookout, Stoney Ledge. It overlooks the Hopper, a heavily wooded, brook-coursed canyon. In the background is Mount Prospect almost blocking the northern entrance to the Hopper.
Back on Rockwell Road, the pitch becomes steeper and after rounding a hairpin turn, the Memorial tower on top of the mountain looms into view. Rockwell Road joins Notch Road at about this point. Notch Road is a second paved access to the summit from Route 2 in North Adams.
At the summit is the War Memorial Tower, a 90-foot granite memorial to Massachusetts casualties of all wars. On a clear day the view extends to Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire, the Green Mountains in Vermont, the Adirondacks and Catskills in New York and Mt. Everett in the southern Berkshires. The same route may be retraced in the descent, or one may decide to take Notch Road to Route 2 in North Adams, proceeding west on Route 2 through Williamstown to Route 7 and then southerly to the starting point in Lanesborough.
Editor's Note: For more information on this and eight other day trips, pick up a copy of "Touring the Berkshires and the Mohawk Trail," available at the Berkshires Visitors Bureau, Berkshire Common, Plaza Level, Pittsfield, (413) 443-9186. Or write to The Mohawk Trail Association, P.O. Box 2031, Charlemont, MA 01339 or call (413) 664-6256.