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Hiking trail

Hiking in the Berkshires: Mount Greylock to Williamstown

Hiking trail · Massachusetts
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    Photo: Chase Marston, Macs Adventure
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Follow the gently descending trail through quintessential Berkshire woodlands to Mt. Williams. Follow the last section of your AT trip back to Williamstown.

10 km
3:45 h
127 m
976 m

This day’s walk will be mostly downhill, beginning with a steeper section along the Thunderbolt trail - an old ski run leading to North Adams - leading to a gentle traverse to Mt. Williams. Continue on the Appalachian trail past the northern access road and have a brief climb up to Prospect Point with rewarding views over Williamstown. On a clear day, you can see both Vermont and New York. End with a pleasant, winding section into a neighborhood where you will meet your transfer driver, taking you back to your night’s accommodation.


Your scheduled transfer at the end of the hike to your accommodation is set at 2pm. You will be dropped at your accommodation to drop your bag and to see if the room is ready. As it will likely be too early to check in, we recommend going to get lunch at a nearby option. See your accommodation sheet for an arrival lunch recommendation. 

Author’s recommendation

Lunch: Purchase a bagged lunch from Bascom Lodge prior to the day's hike, as there will be no food until Williamstown. 


Note, the end of the trail goes near an active rifle range - do not be alarmed if you hear gun shots! User
Chase Marston
Updated: May 07, 2019

Highest point
1066 m
Lowest point
205 m

Safety information

 Though the trail is well marked with the iconic Appalachian Trail white blazes, it can be easy to temporarily lose the trail or begin following a false trail.  Any false trail will quickly end, so simply retrace your steps to the trail and look for the white blaze.


After or during rain, the trail can become muddy, slippery, and harder to locate. Be extra cautious on wet leaves, rocks and mud to maintain balance, and pay extra attention to the white blazes to stay on the trail. Furthermore, rain will cause the streams to flow higher, making the crossings slightly more challenging. Remember, a wet boot is better than falling in the steam and potentially hurting yourself. If there is not a clear safe dry route across, find a safe wet route. 


After or during rain, the trail can become muddy, slippery, and harder to locate. Be extra cautious on wet leaves, rocks and mud to maintain balance, and pay extra attention to the white blazes to stay on the trail. Furthermore, the steams will tend to run higher, so some of the crossings may present a slightly higher challenge.


Various hunting seasons will overlap with the hiking season, so always wear a bright color in the spring and fall. Familiarize yourself with which hunting season might occur during your trip on the following website: (or)


As always, be sure to check the weather before departing for the hike – New England weather is notoriously fickle, so always be prepared with proper layers and rain gear.


Bring hiking boots that are both comfortable and worn.

Always bring rain gear as the New England weather can quickly change. Bring also an extra layer or two, plus a warm mid-layer.

Bring dry, extra socks as they can be helpful to prevent blisters.

Though poles are not necessary, they are recommended for balance in uneven terrain and over steams as well as assistance with climbing and descending the steep hills.

Basic medical supplied, including blister protection.


Tips, hints and links

Points of Interest


Thunderbolt Trail 

An old ski trail that decends from the top of Greylock into the town of North Adams. Though it will just feel like a wide trail in the summer, it is easy to picture skiers making tight turns all the way down to town. 


Prospect View Point

Near the end of the hike, enjoy a great vantage point to see Williamstown and parts of New York and Vermont. The rolling hills and the classic steeples from town give a great lasting impression of the trip as a whole. It is also a popular walk for those visiting Williamstown, so you might share the view with college students, locals, or even famous faces in town for the Williamstown Film Festival. 



You will want to head into town for lunch as there will be no options along the trail. 


Food and Water

There will be not opportunities to refill water or acquire food along this day’s route. Be sure to bring enough of both for the entire walk. This includes 1-2 liters or water, a full lunch, and enough snacks keep you fueled. We recommend bringing a water purification method in the event of an emergency. Call our office or contact your local outdoor store for options.


Bascom Lodge, Mount Greylock (1052 m)
42.636708, -73.166865
18T 650295 4722102


Phelps Ave & Catherine Street.

Turn-by-turn directions

0.0 miles – Depart Bascom Lodge and walk to the Veterans War Memorial Tower, rejoining the ATN on the far side.


0.1 miles – On the far side of the Memorial, walk downhill on the ATN to another parking area. Continue STRAIGHT ON the wide trail going downhill. This wide trail is the upper section of the Thunderbolt Ski Trail.


0.2 miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON over the access road to stay on the trail.


0.5 miles – BEAR LEFT to stay on the ATN. The Thunderbolt trail descends to the right and is the wider of the trails, so don’t be fooled! Just after this turn, BEAR LEFT again at Thoreau’s Footsteps trail joins from the right. The trail flattens out shortly after this turn.


2.1 miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON across the intersection with Wilbur’s Clearing & Thoreau’s Footsteps.


2.45 miles – Reach the summit of Mount Williams. Begin descending after this point.


3.0 miles – BEAR RIGHT to stay on the ATN.


3.1 miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON over the access road to stay on the ATN.


3.4 miles – TURN RIGHT toward Prospect Viewpoint. The trail will climb for a short section.


3.6 miles – Reach Prospect Viewpoint and take a minute to look over Williamstown and the surrounding Berkshires. TURN RIGHT and begin the final descent to town via a gentle switchback laden trail.


5.1 miles – As the switchbacks begin to end, the trail comes within hearing range of a Rifle Range. You may hear gunshots, but do not be alarmed – it is a safe, controlled range.


5.6 miles – Continue STRAIGHT ON across the road onto the path.


6.2 miles – The ATN comes out to Phelps Avenue, a paved road in a residential neighborhood. TURN RIGHT and go down the short hill to the intersection of Catherine St and Phelps Ave. Your transfer will meet you here.


all notes on protected areas

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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10 km
127 m
976 m


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