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Cjreylock Otate reservation
Francis Williams Rockwell, Jr.
FRANCIS WILLIAMS ROCKWELL, JR.
Edition of 1917
Â©Cl. A 4 54 23 8
DEC 18 1916
The four sturdiest hills of Massachu-
setts, the last remnants of the virgin forest
that once guarded Berkshire solitudes, the
mighty examples of the work of the relent-
less glaciers that reduced Mt. Greylock from
a peak towering 7,000 feet above the sea, to
its present altitude, 3,505 feet â€” all these are
found within the 8,000 acres of the Greylock
State Reservation. Situated in the middle
latitudes of New England, easily accessible
from the cities of the northern seaboard, the
summits of the Greylock group have a climate
resembling that of portions of Canada. Rich
is this field for the naturalist; manifold are
To make plain the ways of the reserva-
tion to the stranger is the purpose of this
guide. In order to facilitate the use of this
booklet, it should be borne in mind that the
carriage roads leading to the summit of
Mt. Greylock have been treated first; then
the trails to the summit have been described;
and finally the less frequented, but perhaps
more enchanting paths about the reservation
have been considered.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Location and General Character 5
Accommodations at Summit 7
Camping Permits, etc 8
Use of Maps 10
Carriage Roads to Summit 11 to 15
Trails to Summit 16 to 24
Short Trails on Reservation:
Table of Distances 35
Things to See and Where to Find Them 36
Table of Heights and Map Distances 37
LOCATION AND GENERAL CHARACTER
OF THE RESERVATION
The Greylock State Reservation is situated in the
northern portion of Berkshire, the western county of
Massachusetts. It lies within the limits of Williams-
town, North Adams, Adams, Cheshire and New Ash-
ford. Pittsfield, on the Boston & Albany R. R. and
New York, New Haven & Hartford R. R., is sixteen
miles to the southward. Cheshire, Adams and North
Adams may be reached from the south by rail from
Pittsfield, or by the more frequent service of the
Berkshire Street Railway. From the east and west,
North Adams and Williamstown mlay be reached by
trains on the Fitchburg Division, Boston & Maine
The reservation extends over the summits of
several hills, and reaches down toward the upland
farms which skirt its boundaries. For the most part
it is wooded, with trees of many varieties, which in
autumn as well as in spring show magnificent color
combinations. Winter, too, though severe, has its
especial beauties of drooping evergreens clad with
snow, and frost bedecked branches with their pearly
translucent sheen. Springs, cool, and of purest waters
abound ; so that the tramper is never thirsty. And
there are countless other delights which will be dis-
covered, but which should not be foretold.
GENERAL NATURE OF THE
ROADS AND TRAILS
The roads upon the reservation are for the most
part rough carriage roads. This has been necessitated
by the fact that the funds available for construction
and maintenance have been limited in amount. The
result has been that the construction is of a type
designed to meet the bare necessities of a rough way
connecting the various outlying corners with the
summit where the superintendent resides. Many
motorists, however, make the trip to the summit of
Greylock each year by way of the southern approach
to the mountain (Rockwell Road), up the long sloping
ridge from the Lanesboro side. This road is in better
condition for motor travel than any of the others.
The road from North Adams to the summit is marked
as unsafe for automobiles. But both the North Adams
road and that to Adams have been negotiated by
machines ; although one travels at his own peril.
It must be remembered by all motorists who visit
the reservation that the roadways are narrow, with
but few turnouts ; and that in some places they are
so steeply embanked that a few inches variation from
the roadway might mean disaster. But if one drives
with care, and gives proper warning with the horn,
the trip may be accomplished in comparative safety,
and with great enjoyment.
At certain times of the year the roads to the
summit are closed by order of the county commission-
ers to prevent the damage that tire chains might cause
in the soft soil of the woods, moistened by the heavy
rains of spring and fall. The trails, however, are
open, summer and winter. The more frequently used
paths are well beaten under foot, and may be followed
by one not accustomed to the woods ; the trails used
more seldom are perhaps the more beautiful. These
are for the most part blazed upon the trees. Both
trails and roads are quite faithfully shown upon the
appended "Map of Trails."
ACCOMMODATIONS AT THE SUMMIT
Food, drink and accommodations for the night
may be secured at the house on Greylock Summit.
The summit house, small and inadequate as it is, will
furnish sleeping quarters for about ten persons. It is
better to make arangements in advance for those
wishing to stay for the night, or longer. This may be
done by telephoning to the Greylock Summit House,
Adams, Mass. The rates are reasonable. For any
persons wishing to spend a considerable time at the
summit, special terms may be secured by writing the
Superintendent, Greylock State Reservation, North
The present building some day will be replaced
by a better. A building fund, donated in small
amounts by citizens of Dalton and Pittsfield, and
collected by Commissioner Francis W. Rockwell, has
been placed in the hands of the County Treasurer of
Berkshire, and is accumulating at interest. Persons
who wish to contribute to this fund for a new summit
house may send their checks to Henry A. Brewster,
Esq., County Treasurer, Pittsfield, Mass.
Owing to the fact that the roads at the elevation
of the reservation remain unsettled until late in May,
during the early part of the season motors are barred ;
but even then it is possible to secure accommodations
at the summit. The Summit House remains open
until October is well advanced. The season for driving
or riding extends from June to November. During
the first week of October the autumnal coloring is
likely to be at its height. For those who wish to climb
the mountain in winter on snowshoes or with ski,
shelter may be obtained at the Bunk House, south-
westerly of the Summit house. Its door is left
unlocked; a sm/all wood-stove is there and with a
hatchet to cut wood, one is glad of the shelter.
Persons who wish to camp upon the reservation
should obtain permits from the Superintendent. For
these no charge is made. During the season the present
Superintendent may be addressed as follows: (Jared
S. Adams), Superintendent Greylock State Reserva-
tion, North Adams, Mass. (In the winter he should
be addressed at Pittsfield, Mass.)
Persons who wish to spend the night on the
summit will have places assigned by the Superin-
tendent where they may bivouac. Fires will be allowed
under such circumstances in the locations approved.
MANAGEMENT OF THE RESERVATION
The Greylock State Reservation Commission was
established by legislative act in 1898. The act pro-
vided that the reservation should be purchased by the
Commonwealth and maintained by the County of
Three unpaid commissioners appointed by the
governor of the state have the management of the
reservation in their hands. They employ at the expense
of the county a superintendent who has the oversight
of the work done upon the reservation, and the
management of the house at the summit.
Members of the Greylock State Reservation Commission
Francis W. Rockwell, of Pittsfield.
Wm. H. Sperry, of North Adams.
Arthur B. Daniels, of Adams.
PHOTOGRAPHS OF RESERVATION SCENES
Mr. Charles T. Barker began many years ago to
collect photographs of the mountain and reservation.
Beginning as an enthusiastic amateur, he has met
with such success in his work that he now sells small
prints. These views may be obtained at the Summit
or from Mr. Barker direct. The prices of the five-by-
seven prints are very reasonable, 25 cents.
Mr. Barker's Pittsfield address is as follows :
Charles T. Barker, 20 Oxford St., Pittsfield, Mass.
USE OF APPENDED MAPS
The two maps sold with this booklet are the best
that can be obtained at this time. The U. S. Geolo-
gical Survey map is on the scale of approximately one
inch to the mile. North is at the top of the map.
Elevations are shown for every twenty feet. The
map was made before the road to Mt. Greylock up the
ridge from the south had been laid out, so that the
southern approach to the mlountain by way of Rounds
Rock is not shown ; nor is the road from Adams.
The other map (Road and Trail Map) in black
and white, does not show the contours of the hills.
The scale of the map is about 3,000 feet to the inch.
It was made by Mr. William N. Tuller for the Grey-
lock Commission, and shows the roads and trails of
the reservation in relation to the summits of the hills.
As the corners of the reservation boundaries are
marked by granite posts showing the direction of the
reservation lines, this road and trail map is of much
value for work in the woods. The brooks on the trail
map, however, are indicated only in a general way;
for greater accuracy in this respect the government
map should be used.
For convenience in locating the starting points of
trails upon the government miap the names and loca-
tions of the Scholz, Walden, Bacon and Collins and
Cummings houses have been stamped upon the
Throughout this booklet, the terms north, south
and other such words have been used in a general
sense. No attempt at absolute accuracy in giving
compass directions has been made.
CARRIAGE ROADS LEADING
TO THE SUMMIT
From Lanesboro :
From Lanesboro there are two ways of reaching
the Greylock State Reservation. The first is by the
road over Pratt Hill. This way is shown on the
government map. It was the first road leading to
Greylock Summit from the south, and was built by
funds raised in part by subscription. From Pratt
Hill there is obtained a beautiful panorama of the
central Berkshire valley. But the grades on this road
are steeper than those on the more recently constructed
Rockwell road, the southern approach to the mountain.
To reach the Pratt Hill road, go straight to the
north on the highway through the center of Lanes-
boro. Just northerly of the stone school-house the
road divides in three. This point of division is about
half way on a line drawn fromi the Noppet to Savage
Hill. The center road of the three leads to Greylock
Summit via Pratt Hill.
The road generally used by those who motor is
the southern approach to the mountain by way of
Rounds Rock. This road is not shown on the gov-
ernment map. To go this way one must turn to the
eastward at the three corners just mentioned, and take
the road that climbs the hill. After continuing thus
for about a half mile a road will be noticed, at present
grass-grown, turning to the left and continuing north-
erly up the ridge. This road finally leads to the
southern end of the reservation at Rounds Rock, and
ultimately after junction with the road from Cheshire
and with that from Pratt Hill leads to the summit.
Although the road up the ridge is at first grass-grown,
it will be found to improve as the journey is continued.
There are two ways to reach the reservation by
road from Cheshire. Both start from the same
corner. On the highway in the center of Cheshire
just north of the Cheshire Inn turn to the west and
go up the hill past the cemetery. After crossing the
brook on the stone arch bridge, turn to the left to go up
the mountain by way of the southern approach to the
mountain from Lanesboro, and travel toward Lanes-
boro about three miles. Then, having arrived at the
point where the grass-grown road starts up the ridge,
turn to the right and travel as directed for those from
The shorter but steeper way to the reservation
from Cheshire is that which keeps straight ahead from
the stone arch bridge in Cheshire, and turning to the
right, follows the approximate course of Kitchen
Brook to a point near the Cumlmings house, shown on
the Road and Trail map. The Cummings house is the
last house passed as one approaches Jones Nose. This
road is indicated in part on the government map. But
here the Road and Trail map is more up-to-date.
After passing the last house, bear to the left until the
road up the mountain from the south is reached.
From Adams :
The carriage road to the summit of Mt. Greylock
from Adams is circuitous. Starting from the
McKinley monument, take the street west, up the hill
past the cemetery and the old Quaker Meeting House
in its midst. Then turn to the left, taking the second
right to the lower end of the Cheshire Harbor Trail
at the Scholz house. The road starts up the hill back
of the Scholz house in a westerly direction and after
reaching about the twenty-four hundred foot contour,
turns southerly and swings down around the south-
eastern shoulder of Saddle Ball, joining the Kitchen
Brook road from) Cheshire just northerly of the
A second way from Adams is to turn to the right
west of the old Meeting House where before the left
was taken. Then, taking the road over the northern
end of Ragged mountain, the Walden house, near the
Notch Reservoir, will be reached ; and from that
point the North Adams road to the summit will be
used. Motorists from Adams would do better to take
the road from Lanesboro up the ridge to Rounds
From North Adams :
There is but one road up Greylock mountain from
North Adanls and that is from the Notch Reservoir.
It may be reached either by way of Furnace Street or
preferably by going toward Braytonville, and turning
to the south, thus joining the road from Williamstown
about a mile northwesterly of the Notch Reservoir
and the Walden house, and proceeding thither.
From Williamstown or South Williamstown :
There is no direct road up Mt. Greylock from
Williamstown. The roads most often travelled are
those from New Ashford, North Adams, or, for
motors, from Lanesboro. From, the North Adams
side the road by the Notch Reservoir of course would
If, however, the New Ashford road should be
chosen, one should drive down the Green River road
toward New Ashford, turning east over the shoulder
of Sugar Loaf, before reaching the village. This way
to Greylock joins that from Pratt Hill after about a
mile and a half, and then proceeds up the mountain,
entering the road froml the southward. The late Dr.
Bascom of Williams College, for many years the
Chairman of the Reservation Commission, very often
used this way when coming f romi Williamstown to the
From New Ashford:
The road most accessible to residents of New
Ashford is that last described for Williamstown; it
runs easterly over Sugar Loaf to the Pratt Hill road.
Motorists should go to the fork in the road near the
stone school house, north of Lanesboro and proceed
up the ridge as directed for those from Lanesboro.
TRAILS TO THE SUMMIT
The Cheshire Harbor Trail:
(From the Southeast).
From the valley there are three main trails to the
summit of Mt. Greylock â€” the Cheshire Harbor Trail,
the Bellows Pipe, and the Hopper Trails. The shortest
and most accessible of these is the Cheshire Harbor
Trail. And as a result it is the mlost travelled of the
three, and the least rugged. To reach the "Harbor"
trail one leaves the highway between Cheshire and
Adams at the stone arch bridge on the line of the
Berkshire Street Railway Co. (Fare from Pittsfield,
20 cents; from Adams, 5 cents), taking the road
which starts up Bassett Brook. When a small reser-
voir has been passed the road to be taken swings
around a hill to the right and then immediately turns
from the top of the hill to the north. This road should
be followed until the second house, Scholz's, has been
reached. The Scholz house is about one-half mile
northwest of Cole Mountain, and marks the beginning
of the Cheshire Harbor Trail proper. (See Trail
map). The Harbor trail approaches Mt. Greylock in
the general vicinity of Peck Brook, and follows the
trails marked 18 and 19 on the trail map. (Trail No. 19
is a short cut to the summit starting from the divide
south of the cut in the rocks on the southern car-
Care should be taken not to turn to the south
from the Harbor trail by mistake. The carriage road
from, Adams to the summit turns south from the trail,
but the trail itself turns northerly.
The trail is plainly marked; one might think it a
carriage road. The time required for the ascent to
the summit is dependent upon the pedestrian. Perhaps
two hours for the climib would be an average.
Excellent views of Adams and the eastern range
of hills are afforded during the climb. A good place
to lunch is at Peck Brook, the water of which is
excellently cool and pure.
Cheshire Harbor and Bellows Pipe Trails :
(From Adams. Prom the Southeast. From the Northeast).
There are two trails to the summit of Greylock
available for trampers from Adams. The best known
of these is the Cheshire Harbor Trail which can be
reached by street car as described previously. Or the
trail can be reached by the road to the Scholz house,
found by turning to the south near Adams at the
cemetery. (See below).
The longer trail from Adamis is the Bellows Pipe.
The start may be mlade from the McKinley monument
in Adams, taking the street westerly up the hill, past
the cemetery, with its old Quaker meeting-house, once
attended by Susan B. Anthony. Then one should
continue straight on, taking the grass-grown road to
the west, toward the mountain. The highest peak, of
course, is Greylock.
The road follows Hoxie Creek for some distance,
going through a gate, and across the brook on a bridge.
Follow the road until it crosses the second bridge;
then turn sharply to the left on the north bank of the
brook. Cross a fence, finally, on the right, and follow
it westerly, crossing a small brook coming down from
the right. The fence soon turns and in the angle of
the wall will be found a granite marker which is one
of the corners of the reservation line. This marker
may be located on the Road and Trail map quite
easily. Continue across the lot in the original direction
of the fence, and finally there will be found a wood
road on the north bank of the brook. Follow the road
up for a short distance and then take the turn to the
right, which will lead ultimately to the Bellows Pipe.
Thus the southern end of Raven's Crag will be skirted.
The Bellows Pipe is the great open pasture
between Greylock and Ragged Mountain, or Raven's
Crag. At the top of the divide a stonewall will be found
running east and west. Follow it westerly to the first
trees, and then turn to the left at an angle of forty-
five degrees. Soon the trail (No. 17) up Mt. Greylock
well be entered as it ascends in a northwesterly
direction. Follow it, referring to the trail map for its
various windings. It leads to the carriage road near
the summit ; thence the road should be taken to the
top of the mountain.
The Bellows Pipe Trail :
The trail most accessible from North Adams is
the Bellows Pipe. The trail proper starts at the
Walden house near the northwest corner of the Notch
Reservoir, and is marked Trail 17 on the Road and
Trail map. It may be followed quite readily as it
extends on the west side of the Notch toward the
Bellows Pipe. At that point if it is desired to see the
view to the south one rriay walk to the crest of the hill,
near the stone wall, and the trail may be regained by
following the directions given from that point under
the Bellows Pipe Trail, from Adams.
The upper portion of the journey is rather rough.
One should not wear a tight pair of boots. Water for
drinking is plentiful along this trail both when
approaching from Adams and from North Adams.
â– The Cascade :
For one who comes from North Adams a pleasing
variation of the trip to the Walden house may be
made by taking a street car (Williamstown or Sand
Springs) to Marion Avenue. Then the route extends
southerly down that street, straight to the woods.
There a clearly marked trail follows up the brook to
the Cascade, one of the most beautiful ravines in the
county. From the Cascade one may go to the Walden
house, should he desire to climb Mt. Greylock, Mt.
Fitch, or Mt. Williams, or he may cross the Bellows
Pipe to Adams.
TWO MORE RECENT TRAILS UP GREYLOCK
FROM THE WEST
The Mt. Simonds Trail :
(Note : Mt. Simonds is called Mt. Prospect on the government map) .
This way, long since abandoned, was apparently
that used by Williams men of sixty years ago to' ascend
Greylock on Mountain day. The lower portion is
clearly marked, but the upper portion has been blazed
From Williamstown take the Green River road.
After a mile and a half turn through the fields to an
old limestone quarry, at the northwestern base of Mt.
Prospect. This point might be reached by two other
roads, as the map will show. When the old quarry
has been found, walk due east up the hill to a fence
(ioo yards or more), and then follow the fence to the
right, southerly up the hill. A large oak with a crystal
clear spring at its foot will be found. Then turn to
the right on an old wood road running southerly and
enter the reservation. Follow the road to the south
until it joins another road comling up directly from a
house in the valley, almost due west (Abner Towne's).
Then continue in the same general direction as before
until the road ends near a large stone, just above a
switchback. The upper part of the road will be found
to be overgrown with bushes and small trees. From
the end of the road turn sharply to the right and follow
the blazes on the trees, straight up to the summit of the
ridge, where an open field with an extensive view will
be found. Greylock, two miles to the southeast, will
Follow the open ridge of Prospect southerly until
the trees are reached. Just on the northern edge of
the woods Trail No. 13 will be found, and it can be
followed easterly to the North Adams road. The rest
of the way up the mountain by road will be easy.
This trail has gentle grades - except for the last
quarter mile up to the summit of the Prospect ridge.
There is good water on the way up. The views are
excellent because the woods do not shut in to the
extent that they do on the Hopper Trail.
The Hopper Trail:
< From the West).
The Hopper Trail approaches Greylock Mountain
from the west. It begins in the foothills of the Grey-
lock group and may be reached at the lower end from
either Williamstown, South Williamstown, or from
New Ash ford. To reach the Hopper trail from
Williamstown one would take the Green River road to
Sweets Corners, there turning toward the east and
crossing the stream. The road from that point follows
up the Hopper Brook (see U. S. Geological Survey
map). The last house on the 1,100-foot contour is
Bacon's (see Trail map). The course of the trail
as it swings around to the south, parallel to the south
branch of the Hopper Brook, climbing toward the
shoulder between Stony Ledge and Greylock, may be
traced easily upon the government map. The Hopper
Trail is shown in three sections upon the Trail map :
Nos. 8, 9 and 10. The point where trail No. 9 enters
the woods must be watched for with care. The trees
are blazed, but the footpath is very narrow. Coming
down the Hopper Trail it is well to watch for the
point on trail No. 9 (on the abandoned road) near a
large tree on the right where the trail turns sharply to
the west toward the Stony Ledge road. A sign, small
and weather-worn, is high up in the tree; and its
directions might easily escape one were he not on the