Patricia's Massachusetts Various Day Hikes

To the main hiking page


Massachusetts Pictures (1 pictures)

  Mt. Greylock - Thunder Bolt Trail
    Located in northeast Massachusetts, take the Mass Pike to Exit 2 (Lee)
    and take Route 7 north and go past Pittsfield.  To get to the Visitor 
    Center, bear right on North Main Street in north Lanesborough (there
    is a sign saying Mt. Greylock this way) and turn right onto Rockwell 
    Road (where you turn onto Rockwell, there is a building with a flag 
    pole on the left - this is not the Visitor Center) and the Visitor 
    Center is up the hill (not visible from North Main) and on the right.
    To get to Thunder Bolt Trail from the Visitor Center, get a trail map 
    from the Visitor Center and take the various side roads.  To go 
    directly to Thunder Bolt Trail, take Route 9 east in Pittsfield to 
    Route 8 (Coltsville).  Just south of Adams, take a left onto Fred 
    Mason Road (I think there was a light at the intersection).  This 
    turns into West Road.  After a mile or two of nothing, houses appear 
    and you need to keep an eye out for West Mountain Road on the left.  
    The next street is Gould Road/Theil Road (Gould is on the street 
    sign).  Take a left onto the road.  After a short distance, Gould 
    turns to the left and Theil continues straight.  Go straight.  The 
    road turns to dirt and eventually (somewhat ends).  I parked next to 
    a turnoff road and walked to the "start" of the trail, but you could 
    probably park along side the little road loop around a couple of 
    trees.  This is where the trail starts.  Mt. Greylock is the highest 
    point in Massachusetts.  
    There are a lot of trails in the Mt. Greylock area and you can drive
    to the top of the mountain.  In the Visitor Center, there is a _very_
    nice model of the mountain with the trails drawn on it in and trail
    descriptions along the base.  Due to time constraints (dinner plans
    with friends) and my desire to climb the mountain, I selected the
    Thunder Bolt Trail.  The trail is about 2 miles one-way and quite a
    climb, about 2,200 feet elevation change.  The start of the trail
    was hard to find - in fact, I probably wouldn't had found it if I
    hadn't asked someone if I was on the Thunder Bolt Trail and he
    kindly showed me where the trail started.  The trail starts as an
    overgrown dirt road.  From the road loop, the trail is located
    between a clear trail to the right and Theil Road to the left.  Mt.
    Greylock will be slightly to your right.  The trail is not well
    marked, though there is an occasional blue marker on the trees.
    Once you get past the overgrown road part of the trail, it turns into
    an obvious one to two person width trail and you start climbing.  It
    is a rocky, dirt trail.  It is very pretty and includes a climb
    through two long meadows.  There are a couple of spots along the trail
    where you wonder which branch you should take to remain on the Thunder 
    Bolt Trail - I managed to guess correctly.  The trail ends at the
    Appalachian Trail.  Take a left onto the Appalachian Trail for a short
    hike up to the top of Mt. Greylock.  There is a lodge at the top where
    you can rest.
    I went in late July on a Thursday and it was very green and pretty.
    There were lots of trees and, of course, mountains.  Unfortunately,
    the mosquitos where out like crazy and drove me nuts for the first 20
    minutes.  Then it started to drizzle and the bugs went away.  Then it
    rained for the rest of the hike - I guess it was better than the bugs.
    I hardly saw any wildlife - only a couple of orange lizards.  There
    were a handful of people in the area at the start of the trail and on 
    the Appalachian Trail and at the lodge, but I had the Thunder Bolt 
    Trail to myself.
  When I did the hike:
    July 1998
    It was a very strenuous hike and I enjoyed it.  My legs did loudly
    complain for a few days after the hike (but surprisingly they weren't
    bothered much by the 7 hour hike I did 4 days later - I think it was
    due to the Thunder Bolt Trail being a lot of elevation in a short
    distance).  If the bugs aren't too bad, It is definitely an area to
    hike.  (Note: I had conditioned myself for this trip by doing the
    stairmaster.  I've since conditioned using the treadmill at a 15% 
    grade and haven't had a problem with my legs being sore since.)

Patricia Bender Not affiliated with or representing anyone besides myself