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Backpacker Magazine – August 1997

Massachusetts' Mt. Greylock

A mysterious ravine, old-growth forest, and big climbs -- only at Mt. Greylock Reservation.

by: Larry Olmsted

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QUICK TAKE: Mt. Greylock State Reservation, Massachusetts

DRIVE TIME: Mt. Greylock State Reservation is in the northwest corner of Massachusetts, 130 miles (21/4 hours) west of Boston, and about 150 miles (3 hours) north of New York City.

THE WAY: The Hopper trailhead is on Potter Road, off of US 7 about 6 miles north of the visitor center.

TRAILS: The reservation contains 21 trails totaling about 50 miles. The Hopper Trail climbs through old-growth spruce, and the Cataract Trail leads to an impressive waterfall.

ELEVATION: The reservation dips to 900 feet at its southwest fringe, and tops out at 3,491 feet on Mt. Greylock.

CAN'T MISS: The lookout on Stony Ledge offers an over-view of The Hopper and a wonderful view of Mt. Greylock.

CROWD CONTROL: In June, AT thru-hikers come by, filling the campsites. Midweek or off-season is your best bet for peace, quiet, and a campsite.

MAPS: The Appalachian Mountain Club's Massachusetts and Rhode Island Trail Guide contains descriptions of all Greylock trails and a very good pull-out topo map of the reservation ($16.95, from AMC, 800-262-4455). The map is sold separately for $8.95 on waterproof paper, or $5.95 on plain paper. Include $2 for shipping and handling. The visitor center sells this map and distributes a free but less detailed trail map.

PIT STOP: Try Burke's in Williamstown, a friendly Irish pub about 1 mile north of the visitor center on US 7.

WALK SOFTLY: No fires are allowed in The Hopper and there's a one-night camping limit. There are chemical toilets at the campground, and these are meant to be used.

MORE INFORMATION: Mt. Greylock Visitor Center, P.O. Box 138, Lanesborough, MA 01237; (413) 443-0011.

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Dec 28, 2008

The Bascom Lodge is currently closed. Check Mass. Parks web site to see when it opens.


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