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Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Guided tours
No
Backcountry camping
No
Lodging
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

After spending the night in a makeshift shelter on the peak of Mount Greylock, Henry David Thoreau, famous writer and naturalist, woke to see “an ocean of mist” surrounding the mountain. For him, it was a transcendental experience. His poetic words describing the moment are etched into a boulder near the mountain’s summit.

Mount Greylock is located in the western part of Massachusetts, far from the ocean. Yet, in the eyes of author Herman Melville, the 3,491-foot Mount Greylock was shaped like a white whale and surprisingly became the inspiration for his classic novel, "Moby Dick."

According to geologists, millions of years ago the area was actually a sea bed until continents collided and pushed up folds of rock into a mountain range. Today, the 12,500-acre Mount Greylock State Reservation, Massachusetts’ first state park, is a National Natural Landmark; it’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and it’s traversed by an 11.5 mile section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Enjoy the spectacular view at the summit while you explore this National Historic District, featuring an impressive 92-foot Veterans War Memorial.

The park has over 70 miles of trails that lead hikers through a unique and varied environment. Mount Greylock’s forest includes one of the southernmost occurrences of a sub-alpine forest in North America. The Reservation includes hardwood forest, old-growth stands of red spruce, and a small boreal spruce bog and blueberry barrens that are unusual for southern New England. The park is home to 40 rare plants, four rare animal species, and is the only known nesting site in the state for the Blackpoll Warbler.

In the 1930s, the Civilian Conservation Corps worked on many projects in the park. They created the Thunderbolt Ski Trail and the rustic arts and crafts building known as Bascom Lodge. It’s open for meals and accommodations, weekends in May, and daily from June through mid-October. Prefer sleeping outdoors? Hike to one of the 18 tent sites, nine group sites, or a lean-to shelter. Reservations are required at campsites from Memorial Day weekend through Columbus Day weekend. Backpackers should notify park staff by calling the visitor center 413.499.4262. Shelters are first-come, first-served, no fee required. Spend the night on Mount Greylock, and maybe you will also be inspired to write a poem or the next great American novel.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Other

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Numerous trails. Interesting history. Scenic mountaintop view.

Cons

Difficult to turn large vehicle in a full parking lot. Scenic byway through the park is accessible only mid-May to mid-October.

Features

ADA accessible
Historically significant
Wildlife
Family friendly
Flushing toilets
Big vistas
Shelters
Wildflowers
Bird watching
Potable water
Picnic tables
Waterfalls
Old-growth forest
Bicycling

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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