A Hiker's update on Road and Infrastructure Improvements
— A park ranger told me on Saturday, Oct. 4, that the Mount Greylock State Reservation will be closed to road traffic
until June, 2009.
I was talking to him outside the Visitors Center at the south entrance of the park. He tolld
me that the project was 90 percent complete. A lot of the work is infrastructure improvement, such as new culverts, which
cannot be seen.
The park has been closed to vehicle traffic, and the tower and Bascom Lodge on
the summit have been closed, since the fall of 2006. (The park is usually closed during the late fall and winter months, and
reopens in the spring.)
The Woodason Spring Trail
One new feature, which I discovered while hiking in
the southern end of the park in 2007, is the Woodason Spring Trail. It runs from the Bradley Farm Trail up to Rounds Rock,
on the east side of Rockwell Road. This trail is a fine addition to the park, as it offers an alternate route to Rounds Rock
Now, as the ranger told me Oct. 4, there is a new extension of the Woodason Spring Trail from the Rounds
Rock crossing to Jones Nose.
In conjunction with the Northrup Trail, which begins at the Bradley
Farm Trail and runs to Rounds Rock mostly on the west side of Rockwell Road, one can now hike from the Visitors Center to
either Rounds Rock or Jones Nose on the Northrup Trail and return on the Woodason Trai and vice versa.
All of these
trails are easy to hike, with no extended steep climbs.
On Oct. 4 I hiked from the Bradley
Farm Trail to the Northrup Trail to Rounds Rock and then returned on the Woodason Spring Trail to the Brook and Berry Trail
to the Visitors Center parking lot. This hike took 4:50.
On Oct. 9, I hiked from the Visitors Center up
the Bradley Farm Trail to the Northrup Trail to Jones Nose and then down the Woodason Spring Trail to the Visitors Center.
The total hike took 5:50, exactly one hour longer than the hike to Rounds Rock.
Here is how the Oct. 9 hike broke
down in terms of time: Total hiking north: 2:24. Time at Jones Nose: 52 minutes. Total hiking south: 2:34.
I have noticed more people hiking in the south end of the park than before, these great trails are still underutilized compared
to those around Greylock and, of course, the AT.
Some of the natural features of this hike
can be seen at The Greylock Project VIII: Two Great Hikes.
Part of the reason I took these
hikes, during a week off work, was to document the progress of improvements in the park. In addition to a great new trail,
the repaved roads are obviously a great improvement, where trails cross roads are now clearly marked with both crosswalks
and signs, the trail crossings now also have nice stone landings, and in one place I was able to see how new concreate culverts
have replaced the decades-old and corroding metal culverts under Rockwell Road. The front park entry gate at Rockwell Road
is also new.
On my Oct. 9 hike I also saw how both sides of Rockwell Road near the Jones Nose Parking lot is now
sort of a materials and equipment depot. The photos I took related to the ongoing work are on this page.
Here is a large paving machine parked just outside the Jones Nose parking lot.
There's a lot of stuff in the Jones Nose parking lot now. To hike to the Nose, you have to negotiate outside the
mesh fence to the entrance to the Jones Nose Trail. To find the Woodason Trail extension, just follow the flattened-grass
path southeast from the southwestern side of the parking lot. It took me a while on Oct. 9 to figure all this out.
Greylock Reservation Project Home
The Greylock Reservation Project
VIII. Two Great Hikes
John Bascom and Mount Greylock