Mount Greylock State Reservation
Welcome to Mount Greylock State Reservation, one of the oldest and largest state parks in Massachusetts. Maintained by the Department of Environmental Management’s (DEM) Division of Forests and Parks on behalf of the citizens of the Commonwealth, Mount Greylock is a delight for naturalists, hikers, campers and people who want to enjoy spectacular views.
The 3,491-foot peak, accessible by car, is the highest peak in Massachusetts, and offers visitors views of up to 100 miles. The 92-foot high War Veteran’s Memorial Tower, built in 1932 and restored in 1975, is open daily during the summer and fall. The scenic overlook and Bascom Lodge at the summit are wheelchair-accessible. The Appalachian Mountain Club runs Bascom Lodge, which was built by Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930’s. The lodge provides accommodations for 32 people from mid-May through mid-October. [Call (413) 743-1591 for information and reservations.]
The Division of Forests and Parks maintains a rustic camping area; 35 family and five group campsites are available. There are fireplaces and running water, but no showers or flush toilets.
Hikers and cross-country skiers can explore the natural beauty of Mount Greylock State Reservation on 45 miles of trails, including the famous Appalachian Trail. Other activities include picnicking, bicycling, snowmobiling, interpretive programs and hunting (in season).
The Visitors Center on the Lanesborough side of the mountain, off Route 7 and Rockwell Road, provides exhibits and information on the park and surrounding area, and is wheelchair accessible.
In the early 19th century, local people referred to Mount Greylock as Saddleback Mountain for the way its outline appeared when viewed from the south. The origin of the name Greylock is uncertain. It may have been named for the gray, frosty clouds that surround the peak during the winter. Another tradition has it that the mountain was named after Gray-lock, believed to be the leader of the Waranoak Indians, who inhabited the Connecticut Valley region. Another mountain in the reservation has since been given the name Saddle Ball.
By the 1800’s loggers had stripped timber from the entire east face of the mountain, resulting in serious erosion. In 1885, local residents formed the private Greylock Park Association to purchase 400 acres around the summit for public recreation. The venture failed to turn a profit and in 1898, the property was given to the Commonwealth. The gift carried the stipulation that the state acquire additional land to [protect Mount Greylock and adjacent parks.
Today the park covers more than 11,000 acres. DEM foresters use forest management techniques such as cutting, thinning and pruning to provide a continuing supply of wood products, and to enhance and protect plant and wildlife habitats.
Mount Greylock State Reservation includes Mount Prospect, Mount Fitch, Mount Williams and Saddle Ball Mountain as well as Mount Greylock. Hardwoods such as red oak, beech, birch, hemlock and maple, and conifers including red spruce and balsam fir grow here.
A variety of birds are found near and around the reservation, including thrushes, grouse, owls, turkeys and ravens. Hawks can be seen riding the air currents. Large mammals such as deer, bear and bobcats inhabit the area, as do smaller animals such as porcupines, raccoons, snowshoe hare, woodchucks, and red and gray squirrels.
The Hopper natural area is a unique geological formation shaped by Mount Greylock, Mount Williams, Mount Prospect and Stoney Ledge, and contains an old-growth forest where trees are more than 150 years old. The society of American Foresters has recognized The Hopper as a natural area since 1978. It is protected under DEM’s Massachusetts Wildlands Program, and the National Park Service has designated it as a National Natural Landmark.
Rules and Hours
We hope you enjoy your visit to Mount Greylock State Reservation and that you will return frequently to this beautiful and unique landscape. DEM’s rules exist for the protection of the environment, and to ensure the safety of visitors. Please observe these rules closely for your own enjoyment and the enjoyment of others.
Rules are posted at the Visitors Center, Bascom Lodge and the campground.
* The park is open from sunrise until one half hour after sunset.
* The Visitors Center is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from mid-May to mid-October and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and holidays from mid-October to mid-May.
* The War Veterans Memorial Tower is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from mid-May to mid-October.
Mount Greylock State Reservation
Rockwell Road, Lanesborough, MA 01237
(413) 499-4262 or 499-4263