Somehow I managed to live my entire life without climbing Mount Greylock until this year. I don’t know how this happened seeing as I love hiking and this peak is the tallest in my state. However, that all changed when my girlfriend wanted to go for a hike that was local, scenic and fun. Only Greylock could meet all this criteria.
At only 3,491 feet, Greylock has a pretty big reputation. Some say its shape inspired Herman Melville to write Moby Dick. It also provided plenty of inspiration to Nathaniel Hawthorn and Henry David Thoreau. Additionally, the mountain’s commanding height allows for views of the Green Mountains, the Catskill and even the White Mountains. It has even been said that Greylock has some of the best views in the eastern United States.
All of this history, plus the fact that my girlfriend expressed an interest in hiking, had me pretty excited as we headed up to Lanesborough MA to start the journey. Upon arriving at the visitor center it became apparent that there are many routes up this mighty peak. I knew that I needed to choose wisely here. I had to find a route that would be awesomely scenic yet easy enough to convince my girlfriend to go hiking again; this is no easy task.
The hike started off right with sunny skies and temperatures somewhere in the 60s. We decided to start on the Campground Trail and then take the Hopper Trail to the summit. I knew that I had made a brilliant trail choice as it took a mainly level route through some classic Berkshire (Grelyock is technically not part of the Berkshires) forest. We did some climbing after meeting up with the Hopper Trail but nothing that I would call extreme. We quickly reached the summit and I was amazed at how gentle the hike was and how much my girlfriend seemed to enjoy it.
The summit experience on Greylock is not unlike that of Mount Washington where you emerge from pristine wilderness to find crowds of motorists, motorcyclists, chili dog eaters and cigarette smokers; these people have just as much of a right to enjoy the mountain as me but it certainly presented a change of scenery. Greylock’s summit is expansive with many view points. This provides plenty of opportunities to peacefully sit and take in the best views that MA has to offer.
After enjoying the summit, we took the Overlook Trail back down to the Hopper and Campground Trails. I don’t want to spoil the surprise but the actual overlook on the Overlook Trail is sort of a letdown after coming from the summit. The trail back was as gentle as the trial up.
Mount Greylock can be as intense or as gentle as you want it to be. Therefore this is a great choice for hikers of all levels and abilities. I am proud to say that I now conquered my state’s highest summit and I am hopeful that my girlfriend will want to join me on future hikes.