Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Mt. Greylock & Mohawk Trail: Berkshires, MA

Directions to Mt. Greylock: Click here for Google mapDirections to Mohawk Trail State Forest: Click here for Google map

Mount Greylock is a state reservation featuring the highest peak in Massachusetts, at 3,491 feet. Overlooking the beautiful Berkshire landscape, the Mt. Greylock reservation offers 12,500 acres of mountain, forests, valleys, and streams for you and your dog to explore and enjoy!

Mt. Greylock is loaded with exciting history and features many historic icons, including the Veterans War Memorial Tower (which you can climb to the top), an old ski lodge (back when people would actually hike the mountain in order to ski down), and evidence of many historic visitors such as Herman Melville, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau! An abundance of information about Mt. Greylock can be found by clicking here.

Located "across the street" (generally speaking) is the Mohawk Trail State Forest. A short hike brings you to the shoulder of Hawk Mountain (1,880 feet), offering beautiful views of the Deerfield River Valley. More information about the Mohawk Trail can be found by clicking here.

Mt. Greylock and the Mohawk Trail are both popular hang gliding and para gliding sites, so if the weather is right, you just might see a bunch of gliders up in the sky!

Information source: Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation 

Here are the positive features:

  • A brand new paved road will lead you to the summit of Mt. Greylock
  • There are lots of hiking trails from easy to challenging (including the Appalachian Trail!)
  • You can camp out overnight at both locations
  • Trails are available year round (you can x-country ski or snow shoe in winter)
  • Mt. Greylock has restrooms, a lodge, small restaurant and backpack shelters available
  • The surrounding area features lots of shopping, dining and lodging in the beautiful Berkshires
  • Parking is only $2 at the peak of Mt. Greylock
  • There are quotes carved into rocks along the summit trails, which make for a fun little treasure hunt
Negative features:
  • Hunting is permitted in season, so either don't hike during those times or wear bright orange (on you and your dog). However, no hunting is allowed within .75 miles of the summit of Mt. Greylock.
  • The auto road to the summit of Mt. Greylock is only open from late-May to November 1st.
  • The lodge & restaurant are only open in-season (summer), but there are always bathrooms available (port-a-potties)
  • My GPS got confused at Mt. Greylock and directed me down the back of the mountain when I left, so be careful which turns you take when you are leaving!
Overall, I would highly recommend this doggie road trip! Plus, you can find lots more places to explore in the beautiful Berkshires.

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