When the plan was hatched a few weeks ago, nobody knew what to expect from the weather on Mount Greylock.
Su had organized groups to go to Mount Greylock State Reservation during the two previous Decembers, and each time they’d encountered varying depths of snow. Having lived in Massachusetts for barely four months, this was my first year joining the group. We were prepared for whatever the elements had in store for us, but as the weekend approached it became clear that snow would not be an issue.
The forecast was dry with temperatures in the 50s, making for a difficult decision between short sleeves and long sleeves.
Su mapped out a roughly 11-mile round-trip route for us, taking us along various interconnected trails on our way up to the summit of Mount Greylock, and then a brief stint on the Appalachian Trail on our way back down.
There were no time goals, other than to be back to the cars before dusk. We wanted to have fun, keep the group of nine together, and make it to the summit and back in one piece.
It took us a few hours to reach the top, thanks to multiple breaks to regroup, and a wrong turn that took us about a half-mile in the wrong direction. We crossed numerous wooden bridges, passed multiple waterfalls, and took in a few panoramic views before reaching the summit, which is the highest point in Massachusetts at 3,491 feet. A sign at the Visitor’s Center said views of 60-90 miles can be seen from the top, and it sure seemed like it on Saturday. We might have been able to see even farther if the Veterans War Memorial tower hadn’t been closed for renovations.
The trip back down included a 3/4-mile stretch on the Appalachian Trail, as well as some time on a rocky jeep road that wound back down to the parking lot.
In all, we covered about 11.2 miles and gained approximately 2,800 feet.
It was a fantastic day with friends, and a much-appreciated introduction to a reservation that has so many more trails in need of exploring.