Mount Greylock via Bellows Pipe and Thunderbolt Trail

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Mount Greylock State Reservation

Mount Greylock via Bellows Pipe and Thunderbolt Trail is a 5.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Adams, Massachusetts that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and nature trips and is best used from April until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Distance: 5.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,244 feet Route Type: Loop

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

forest

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

The trail starts from parking area up to AT via Old Summit Road. A little confusing with the skiing signs, but head east up to AT. Hike along AT to a point where Thunderbolt ties in, and make a push up to the summit of Greylock. Take the thunderbolt trail north until you reach the Appalachian trail (marked while), where you will turn left until you reach the Mount Greylock summit. The Thunderbolt Trail was originally a CCC built ski trail, and in 1936 hosted the United States Eastern Alpine Ski Championships. Its current course has been somewhat altered from the original, but is no less challenging. The Thunderbolt Foot Trail climbs gently west winding through the forest south of Hoxie Brook, and eventually the foot trail will intersect the old ski trail on your right. At about the half mile mark, the trail becomes considerably steeper and heads northwesterly towards the summit ridge. This stretch is quite broad and is recognizable as a steep, tree-lined ski run. At about the 1.5 mile mark the trail reaches the summit ridge, where you have a beautiful view upon the town of Adams from Hadley Lookout.

Lots of nats, but great hike

hiking
bugs
5 days ago

Hiked this today with our 6 and 9 year old sons and what a challenging adventure! Although it was hard, if you have experienced little hikers, I wouldn't rule this one out. The trail was in great condition and was clear. We spent about half an hour at the top and with little legs and more snack breaks, the whole trip took us almost 4 hours. The best part was we encountered a large, friendly black bear in the meadow right as we started. The kids thought it was epic. Hard to ever beat a hike that includes hang gliders and bears!

hiking
5 days ago

Gorgeous!!! Hang gliders and parasailers at the top of Greylock made today EXTRA special Trail was very easy to follow getting to top of Greylock, but coming down and around the other side, the trail was confusing to find at times Dry trails with minimal spots of mud The falls are spectacular Great hike!!! Loved it

Did thunderbolt up and blows and an unnamed little trail Down. Up is a consistent steep pitch but no bouldering and just a few locations where you stair climb rocks. At the summit paragliders we’re launching. Awesome.

Fun challenging hike. No bugs this time of year. Wouldn’t recommend hiking after rainfall and walking stick or trekking poles would be helpful. Once you reach the Big Bend, it’s like hiking up a double block diamond ski trail, so if that’s not for you then take the easier trail on the right.

Going up thunderbolt is steep and tiring...But it is very rewarding, and today it was a less crowded path than the bellows alternative. I wouldn’t have done it any other way!

Hiked up Thunderbolt which is very steep but much better to go up and come down Gould on the other side. Slightly cool weather with light snow but no ice. 9.4 miles total. Bathrooms at the top are closed. Use the small path by the lake before the trailhead if you need to go. 5 1/2 hours to complete and well worth the views!

hiking
bugs
muddy
19 days ago

Super fun hike! A little muddy and a little buggy here or there, but overall a good combination of various inclines. We didn't really need to climb or anything, but the steep parts were frequent enough to have fun and get exercise.

Got out for a nice hike that was a little challenging with the surprise snow we got. Intermediate main trail that splits into two trails to get into the top. One of which is most likely used for skiing as well (the more difficult one) and the other is more hiker-friendly. Great view on the top! Definitely will come back on a warmer day.

hiking
24 days ago

Great hike today! Great weather, perfect temperature for a hike! Cool, breezy and a lot of sunshine. Muddy in places but it’s suppose to be...spring in New England...how awesome is that?!! Wild flowers are coming out and Ribbon falls looked beautiful Went up Thunderbolt and down Bellows. Very steep but glad I was going up Thunderbolt instead of down. Other hikers were great and most had masks that they put up when passing and social distancing was great! Not a jerk all day! Thank you nice people and thank you nice mountain!

hiking
muddy
26 days ago

I ran/hiked this loop today (5/3), adding enough on to my route at the beginning and end on the Glen Meadow loop to finish over 8 miles on the day. Some parts in the beginning mile were muddy but it wasn’t bad. The last of the snow pack at the top is melting on the north face. It was about 75 degree at the bottom and probably closer to 60 with a wind chill at the top. Most of the hike was quite warm save for the summit. I took the Skin Trail up and came down Thunderbolt. I would recommend doing the opposite, Thunderbolt down can be rough, but it’s lightning fast.

hiking
bugs
muddy
27 days ago

Hiked on 5/3 with the pup. Started around 9am on a Sunday with not that many cars in the lot, but by the time we finished around 12:30pm it was packed! Overall, great hike with creek, waterfall, and a nice overlook at the top. Trail was pretty muddy at some parts, but it did rain a lot a few days ago. At the very top, there was still some ice but we got through it fine without microspikes. The thunderbolt trail portion is pretty darn steep, would recommend going up this loop instead of down if you don’t like going down steep hills like me.

hiking
muddy
rocky
27 days ago

Beautiful hike in North Western Massachusetts. incredible 360 degree view from the top. Sections of the hike are very slippery and muddy so must carry good shoes. secondly bug spray is a must for the first 2/3rd of the hike(mosquitos). The trail starts from the end of the parking lot.

Gnarly steep spots. Thigh burner!!

hiking
1 month ago

Directions were challenging, but a great hike once we found it!

hiking
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
icy
muddy
rocky
snow
1 month ago

Snowy towards the top and melting snow coupled with steep slopes can be super slippery starting just before the AT. Used crampons.

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