Mt. Greylock (3,491 ft.) is the highest peak in Massachusetts. Located in the Berkshires near New York State, the Mount Greylock land form is composed of a north-south oriented central ridge: Saddle Ball Mountain (3,247 ft ); Mount Greylock, the high point (3,491 ft); Mount Fitch (3,110 ft); and Mount Williams (2951 ft).
Atop the Greylock summit, the 92-foot, granite Veteran’s War Memorial Tower honors the state’s dead from World War I and subsequent conflicts. Built in 1933, the tower was originally intended to be erected as a lighthouse in Boston, before plans were changed to build it on Mt Greylock. It used to be the strongest visible beacon in Massachusetts, with a range of up to 70 miles.
A rich system of hiking trails, including the Appalachian Trail, crisscrosses the area and includes shelters for overnight camping. An automobile road can be also used to drive to the summit, but it has been closed for the past 2 years and is scheduled to re-open in the spring of 2009.
The origin of the present name of Greylock and its association with the mountain is unclear but may be in reference to its appearance, as it often in gray cloud, or in tribute to a legendary Native American chief, Gray Lock. Gray Lock (c.1670-1750) was a Western Abenaki Missisquoi chief, born in nearby Westfield (MA).
Previously, Mt. Greylock has also been known as Thunderbolt Hill from it’s use as an early downhill skiing destination by hardy backcountry skiers who would hike up it in winter for 2 hours in exchange for a thrilling ride down the Thunderbolt Hill ski trail. To this day, the trail is still maintained for hikers.
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