The Summit: An Island Above the Clouds
Mount Greylock State Reservation
Welcome to the peak of Mount Greylock, the highest point in Massachusetts and the focal point of the state's first wilderness park.
Greylock summit is an unusual and fascinating natural environment shaped by humankind into what is both a recreational park and a place of remembrance. Rising above the summit is the stat'e official monument to her fallen soldiers, the 1932 War Memorial Tower. Surrounded by Massachusetts'only subalpine forest and dramatic outcrops of schist stone, the tower stands at the center of a landscape designed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.
Stepping onto Greylock Summit is like landing on a unique island where traces of ancient mountain-building, Ice Age forests, and historic cultural resources survive. Discover clues to our past while enjoying the splwendor of Greylock.
From the Top of the Tower
On a clear day, visitors can see as far as 90 miles, as shown in this view to the north from the top of the tower. At the bottom of the photo is the CCC-built Thunderbolt Ski Shelter, which has long warmed skiers brave enough to venture down the famed Thunderbolt Ski Trail.
Bascom Lodge offers food and accommodations in a rustic, post-and-beam building, mostly built by the Civilian Conservation Corps from stone quarried on-site. The lodge and other structures on the summit are part of the Mount Greylock Summit National Register Historic District.
". . . a Canadian Island rising from an Alleghanian Sea ." - William Brewster, noted ornithologist, 1884
A Forest Sculpted by Climate
High winds, deep snow and bitter cold have stunted and carved the trees on the summit, creating an environment found nowhere else in the state. This "boreal" forest is subject to such extreme conditions that ecologists have often described it as a chunk of northern Canada dropped into the Berkshires. In the past, logging and farming menaced this small, fragile ecosystem. In the future, scientists believe, climate change may make winters shorter, drier and warmer, which could put at risk many of the cold-weather species that now thrive here.