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GREYLOCK ROADWAY PROJECT: THE VIEW FROM THE GROUND



A Hiker's update on Road and Infrastructure Improvements
 
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — 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 for hikers.

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.

Great hikes

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.

Though 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.

Ongoing work

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.

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Here is a large paving machine parked just outside the Jones Nose parking lot.

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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.

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Greylock Reservation Project Home

The Greylock Reservation Project

VIII. Two Great Hikes

John Bascom and Mount Greylock



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The new entrance to the Mount Greylock State Reservation from Rockwell Road. (Oct. 4, 2008)
 
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New sign and painted crosswalk where the Northrup Trail crosses repaved Rockwell Road. Looking north.

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Here's a stone landing put in where trails cross the road. This one on the east side of Rockwell Road where it intersects the Northrup Trail was put in sometime between my Oct. 4 hike and my Oct. 9 hike.

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Here is a new concrete culvert under Rockwell Road near Rounds Rock.

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Here's the sign marking the one-mile extension that connects the Woodason Spring Trail with Jones Nose. I hiked this section on Oct. 9 and it was clearly new, with little evidence of previous hikers. It took me 33 minutes to hike this section of trail.

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Here are two large construction vehicles parked on the west side of Rockwell Road near the Jones Nose parking lot. There also seemed to be piles of gravel and other materials at this site.

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