Hike To One Of The Highest Points On The Northern East Coast At This Stunning State Park

Massachusetts is home to some of the most underrated hiking spots and state parks on the East Coast. For your next adventure in nature, make the trek to Mount Greylock, which is the highest peak in the state and offers stunning views of northern East Coast wilderness.

Located in the northwestern part of the state, the Mount Greylock State Reservation includes over 12,500 acres of land and, most notably, is home to Mount Greylock. At 3,491 feet tall, the summit of Mount Greylock is truly spectacular, offering 360-degree views of the state park. On clear days, you can see for as far as 90 miles.

Hikers hoping to climb Mount Greylock can access the park's 70 miles of trails year-round. In autumn, the landscape becomes immersed in colorful fall foliage. During the spring and summer months, the mountainside teems with wildflowers and unique species of plants. Even during winter, the park's trails are sought-out spots for snowshoeing toward the top of the mountain. From casual strolls to daylong trips, the Mount Greylock State Reservation has dozens of different trails that lead to the peak of Mount Greylock.

Hiking at Mount Greylock State Reservation

If you are an expert trekker hoping for a bit of a challenge, the popular Bellows Pipe Trail is a scenic route that will make you break a sweat. The out-and-back trail is around 6 miles long, with an elevation gain of over 2,200 feet as you climb from the base of Mount Greylock. The majority of the Bellows Pipe Trail is unpaved and rocky at times as it braids up through dense, sub-alpine forests for 3 miles, and you'll even pass a picturesque waterfall. Though the trail's incline is steep at roughly the same gradient throughout, you'll have to conquer some steeper switchbacks right before you reach the summit.

Like the Bellows Pipe Trail, the Cheshire Harbor Trail begins at the base of Mount Greylock, but it's considered less strenuous. Its out-and-back hike is also around 6 miles long, though its elevation gain is a little over 1,900 feet. As you ascend, you'll progress through untouched landscapes, including forests, fields of wildflowers, and even a small mountain pond.

For families and beginners, the Rounds Rock Trail is a great option. Though this simple loop is only a mile long, it has two observation points that you can enjoy before reaching the summit. Additionally, the Glen Meadow Loop is another beginner-friendly trail made of crushed gravel. Its 1.7-mile trail weaves through meadows and mountainous forests. During this hike, you'll cross wooden bridges that sit over short, narrow streams and pass over a few ponds.

Shorter trails that lead to Mount Greylock's summit

When you reach the peak of Mount Greylock, you won't be disappointed. Find a spot to rest, eat, and take in the panoramic vistas of the Taconic Mountains — and beyond. At Mount Greylock's summit, you'll also find the famous Veterans War Memorial Tower. The original monument was built during the 1930s and had to be renovated several times due to the harsh northeastern weather. Now that the tower is once again open to the public, you can climb the circular staircase of this 93-foot tall memorial tower for more expansive views of the Massachusetts wilderness.

If you want to visit Mount Greylock without hitting the trails, cruise along the Mount Greylock Scenic Byway. The 16-mile road cuts through the state park, and is accessible from late May through mid-October. To extend your Mount Greylock adventure, check out other popular park activities such as camping or snowmobiling. You can even book reservations to stay at the historic Bascom Lodge, which also sits atop Mount Greylock. Whether you're a novice or experienced hiker, Mount Greylock State Reservation is a must-visit destination.