Circumnavigation of Mt. Greylock

I did a shakedown tour on my Salsa Vaya to prepare it for a longer multi-day tour I had planned for the fall. Anyway, what better way to see the region where I live than by bike?

I took off on a clockwise ride around Mt. Greylock, at 3,491 feet above sea level the highest peak in Massachusetts. The ride is short enough to do in one day, but that wouldn't be as much fun; plus, I wanted to go loaded and try out the front rack I received as a Christmas present.

I thought I'd bike up to Clarksburg State Park on Mauserts Lake and camp. By the time i got there, however, all of the walk-in sites were booked, and so was Savoy, my backup camp.

After a few calls from the park, I learned that Historic Valley Campground in North Adams had spots open. It's a city-owned campground and, I guess, not a lot of people know about them, unlike the state campgrounds. I had the entire wilderness area to myself, and paid less than the city of campers in the developed sections of the campground were paying. Bonus!

I took a ride downtown to check it out, and then stopped at a pizza place to get some food before going back up the steep hill to my campsite, where I would lounge and retire for the night.

The campground is on the banks of this pretty pond.

On the way back, I was thinking of checking out Natural Bridge State Park, but I couldn't find the entrance. It turned out I was on the wrong side of the park; the entrance appears to be off Route 8 and not off Eagle Road.

I got an early start on Sunday, trying to beat the predicted afternoon storms. Taking off at around 7 a.m., it was a nice morning ride down to North Adams, where I picked up the "Ash" Trail, which I knew would take me all the way to the Berkshire Mall.

I encountered a few cyclists and walkers out on the rail-trail, but it was still pretty quiet at eight in the morning.

I stopped by the one ice cream place in Cheshire that I knew of, but it was closed!

Going through Pittsfield was interesting. I snaked through the grounds of a tractor supply company to get to Tyler, where I made a left onto Plastics Avenue. Then I made my way west to the Berkshire Medical Center and across North Street to a road that would take me back to West Street.

Oh no, I just ran into a brick building. HELP!!!!

It was a fun, leisurely 65-ish mile loop in two days.

Get more information about bike overnights.

Tip for this adventure: The best views are pretty much anywhere Mt. Greylock is visible. You get views from many different perspectives by riding around the mountain.

Favorite local bike shop: I do most of my own wrenching, but a good place to gear up is the Arcadian Shop in Lenox, Mass.

3 responses so far ↓

Seab - Mar 15, 2014 at 7:14 AM

Good to see someone else is working towards a trip later in the year. I just purchased a Fuji Tour and am in the process of fitting it out.

I am interested in your camping equipment list. Especially tent and gear to bed down for the night. If you have time - appreciate your list.

Enjoy the summer. I am sure we will read more about you.


Jay H - Mar 16, 2014 at 1:55 PM

Hi Seab, this was a summer trip so I basically had summer gear. it was also in my "backyard" so I know the berkshires well enough to know where I can get food, gear, etc. But I had my single wall Black Diamond Hilite and a Western Mountaineering Iriquois +38degF down bag. Both are super compressible and lightweight. I knew I was going to go out to eat so I didn't bother to carry a stove but otherwise, I either have a Jetboil or a mini Trangia alcohol stove... depending on the trip and my desire... I have a Big Agnes insulated air core which is light but not crazy light but has synthetic insulation and about 2.5" loft so its very comfy... I use a BD ground cloth which doubles as a tarp for the Hilite...

I've got a few more trips I can write about and plan on some more short trips this year too..


Sue - May 23, 2015 at 6:12 PM

Could you say more about your route? Thinking of doing this trip but I don't know the Berkshires well.

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