Quinn reports: Janice (Ellen’s great friend since 2nd Grade), Ellen and I were on our way to Williamstown the other day to celebrate Ellen’s birthday and to take Janice to the Clark Art Institute‘s Pissarro’s People exhibit. It was a beautiful Indian Summer day, so we left Birchwood Inn and took the scenic route via Mount Greylock.
Greylock, at 3491 feet, is the highest point in MA. But it is also so much more! 12,500 acres. Mountains. Forests. Valleys. Streams. 70 miles of trails for hiking, mountain biking, back country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. At the summit you can find Bascom Lodge and the Veterans War Memorial.
But that doesn’t begin to describe the Greylock experience. In fall, the air is crisp, the foliage vibrant, the light streaming through the trees inspiring, the tranquility soothing, the only sounds are of trickling streams and inhaling the fresh tree-scented air. In the spring experience nature bursting and awakening from the long winter. In summer savor the leafy shade. And the views are awesome year-round. From the summit you can see up to 135 miles in the distance and 5 different states — MA, CT, NY, VT, and NH.
Of course we weren’t the first nor the last to savor the experience. Native Americans hunted and traveled through the Greylock area. The Machicans’ travels created a traditional footpath through Greylock, now known as the Mohawk Trail.
Another historic footpath runs through the Greylock area, the 2100-mile Appalachian Trail, which follows the Appalachian chain of mountains and hills from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katuhdin in Maine. 11.5 miles of the trail wend their way through the tranquil wilderness.
Greylock has been a Siren, luring hundreds of those seeking to savor the experience, including Hawthorne, Oliver Wendell Holmes, William Cullen Bryant, Thoreau and Melville.
Melville could see Greylock from his writing desk at Arrowhead in neighboring Pittsfield, and it is said that the fall snow on Greylock inspired his description of the white whale breaching the waves in Moby Dick.
Even driving the newly restored roads, up to the summit from just north of Pittsfied, and down to North Adams, is a heady ooh-aah experience. We meandered around one corner and “oohed” at the view and then turned another corner and aahed.
Please note that the grass on Greylock is quite tasty!
We never did get to The Clark, but what a magic day Greylock shared with us before we headed back to our Lenox MA Bed and Breakfast.