Massachusetts' tallest mountain, Mt. Greylock, is the focal point of its first State Park, Mount Greylock State Reservation. Though this 3,491-foot western Massachusetts peak can't rival Mt. Washington for height, it offers its own array of enticements. For starters, the road over the mountain is open to the public absolutely free from late May through November 1. There is a fee for parking at the summit: $2 for Massachusetts residents, $3 for non-residents.
When you drive the eight-mile road to the summit, you'll immediately notice the beacon-like structure at the top. This 92-foot Veterans War Memorial Tower, pictured above, was originally intended to serve as a lighthouse on the Charles River in Boston. Climb the tower for views of five states.
Another surprise awaits atop Mt. Greylock. Bascom Lodge, a stone and wood retreat built in 1937 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, actually accommodates overnight guests. The lodge reopened in July of 2009 following extensive restoration work. You'll find a full-service restaurant and restrooms inside, and if you don't mind rustic accommodations with shared facilities, call 413-743-1591 to book a bed in one of the co-ed bunkrooms for the night. A few private and family rooms are also available at affordable rates.
Directions: From Route 7 North in Lanesborough, Massachusetts, turn right on North Main Street. Turn right on Rockwell Road and follow to the summit of Mount Greylock. Drive down the mountain on Notch Road, heading north toward North Adams. At the base, turn sharp right near the Mt. Williams Reservoir to stay on Notch Road, then turn right onto Route 2 East, the Mohawk Trail. The road over the mountain may also be driven in reverse.
For Information: Call 413-499-4262. The Mount Greylock State Reservation Visitors Center is located at 30 Rockwell Road in Lanesborough, MA.