Mount Greylock Summit via Bellows Pipe Trail and Thunderbolt Trail

HARD 136 reviews

Mount Greylock Summit via Bellows Pipe Trail and Thunderbolt Trail is a 5.5 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Adams, Massachusetts that features a waterfall and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
5.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,237 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

views

waterfall

rocky

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.

hiking
6 days ago

Overall moderate hike. Few steep sections on the Bellows Pipe Trail nearing the summit. Nice opening at 'The Bend' for views & rest. If you're looking for more of a steep challenge, take Thunderbolt Ski Trail up.

The summit is well-developed. You can drive it, so expect many groups & tourists. The great Memorial Monument at the summit is open daily & is a must-climb for great 360 views long distance. Very nice day trip.

There is a brewery in North Adams when you finish. Enjoy!

hiking
11 days ago

I did this trail this past Sunday with a friend of mine. This trail did not have a lot of traffic on it. We saw about 4 groups on the trail the whole way to the summit and back. Probably because it is not an easy trail to maneuver, definitely more for an experienced hiker. That being said it was a great adventure and well worth the hike to the summit. My only feed back is the trail is poorly marked so if you plan to follow the trail up and back like we did, bring some ribbon or something to help you mark the trail you follow.

14 days ago

Love this trail. Hiked it on April 9th and there was still snow at the top of the trail making it even more challenging. Lots of icing in late afternoon, when snow melt starts to refreeze, so be careful. Great time... burned over 1200 calories.

18 days ago

29 days ago

wow. be prepared for a tough one. starts off from bellows pipe with a nice steady climb, then thunder bolt is straight up. good views over your shoulder on the way up to the AT and finally the summit. Did Gould trail on the way down as a nice gentle walk in the woods.

hiking
1 month ago

Holy crap, Thunderbolt Trail kicked my butt. The lower sections are sort of steep but the upper 1/3 is intensely steep. I suggest bringing hiking poles, coming down is really bad on your knees with no poles (I had no poles and my knees are very sore). Today was a 10/10 hiking day 70-75F with a nice breeze. It was in the high 60’s on the top.

hiking
1 month ago

nice workout! Very steep but more direct.

hiking
2 months ago

Great hike. Still snow half way up (bring spikes and sunblock, if it's nice weather, snowglare) We were the only ones at summit. very wet, muddy but obviously doable. My first time here...best view I've seen!

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked solo until I made a few friends on the descend from the summit. What I REALLY love the most about this trail and hiking in general is that most of the people you meet on the trail are friendly and encouraging. I would say this is a pretty challenging trail, but that's only because there was about a foot and half of snow on the ground near the summit. Overall, the view from the summit is breath taking and well worth all the effort getting there!

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked solo. Perfect day, still ice on trail for last mile needed crampons

snowshoeing
4 months ago

I took Bellows Pipe from Gould Rd. tried to hike up Thunderbolt but found it to be to difficult to get footings due to ice. I continued to take Bellows Pipe up to the summit, still very slippery but doable.. Great trip!

5 months ago

A lot of overlap with the snowmobile route so watch out. Even after a few inches of new snow, still dangerously icy underneath.

5 months ago

This hike was stunning, I hiked it a few weeks ago when there was at least 1/2 foot on the trail and gradually got thicker while climbing. Icy and cold, but I embraced it, because a "silent tundra " is waiting at the top for you, that is overwhelmingly beautiful. I Want to hike it again before spring!!

5 months ago

Great hike. Took the Thunderbolt Ski trail up and the bellows down. There are a couple of trees on the trail - nothing you can't scramble over. And don't leave your snowshoes in the car like I did, once you approach the summit, they will come handy. There was fresh powder, so it was a lotta fun. Beautiful weather too.

5 months ago

Great day hike to the highest peak in Massachusetts. Wonderful views at the top.

hiking
8 months ago

Great view atop the mountain. I️ would consider this a challenging hike, becoming more challenging towards the top. Perfect November day.

8 months ago

Beautiful fall day in esrly Nov. Trails were well maintained, however trails maps at the mountain I found to be confusing. An excellent hike overall.

hiking
8 months ago

Very steep in spots. Definitely a trail for younger legs.

hiking
8 months ago

What a hike! I accidentally got off trail (not entirely atypical for me) and ended up doing a straight vertical incline UP a ski racing trail. Plus side? I bumped into a ski group clearing the trail for their race in February and they shared a delish craft beer with me. Downside? I was practically climbing up a mountain with a full beer in me ;). Slow and steady wins the race, I say. Weather was perfect (warm for the fall), amazing views, and overall excellent hike. P.S. - went down the right trail on the way down...what a difference!

hiking
9 months ago

Went during peak foliage in October 2016. Gorgeous!

Enjoyed walking on this trail. The color changing of the foliage was so beautiful. @mayratchanida

hiking
9 months ago

This is a great hike. I’ve done it twice now and the second time was not nearly as difficult. Probably because it wasn’t 96 and humid like the first time we did it.

hiking
9 months ago

Easier hike up to the highest point in Massachusetts. Compared to the High Peaks of the Adirondacks, this hike is a cakewalk with no boulders or root complexes to trip you up. A bit disappointing to share the summit with those who burned gas to get drive up to the parking lot just below the mountaintop. Trail is marked fairly well and if you follow the Bellows Pipe to the Thunderbolt Trail you'll get to the Appalachian Trail. From the AT, the hike is a ridge run to the summit. Great views from either the flanks of the summit or the top of the Monument.

10 months ago

This is listed as moderate but it should be HARD! I'm so glad I was able to complete this beast!!! It was so gratifying for me even though I'm still paying for it 2 days later in my legs.

11 months ago

I like this little hike - highest point in Massachusetts. Agreed on the trail marking being inconsistent - last time through I found myself down bank of the trail in thick ferns and forest. Great view at the summit.

hiking
11 months ago

A nice little day hike. Surprisingly steep in some spots. Some confusion as to the actual trail you're on, especially at first. There is a lot of signs, but still not exactly clear where you are at times? I will just say if it's real steep you're on the Thunderbolt trail. If not, something else.

hiking
Saturday, July 22, 2017

This was a fantastic hike, although I'm 99% certain this trail is mislabeled. The map for this hike is not Thunderbolt, it is the Bellows Pipe trail. Thunderbolt starts on Thiel Rd, the hike on this map starts at the lot on Gould Rd, which is where Bellows picks up. The map here takes Bellows the whole way up and intersects with Thunderbolt about 40 mins into it. Once we were up at the summit, we followed the signs for Thunderbolt on the way down, and it was completely different and much much steeper than our ascent.

That said, this is a great hike. Bellows Pipe is steep and sustained, so it's a crazy workout.

hiking
Friday, July 21, 2017

Thunderbolt is the steepest, most direct of the summit trails. The lower portion of the Thunderbolt trail called "The Bumps" is accessed using the Bucket trail off the Bellows Pipe South trail. The upper sections of Thunderbolt are calf-busters, but you'll be on the summit in 1:15. An easier-on-the-knees descent is an offshoot of the Bellows Pipe trail that runs behind the Big Bend emergency shed and gradually makes its way down the Thunderbolt slope. It adds only a few minutes. This is actually the trail that's listed in the description on this site, but the true Thunderbolt Ski Trail is more direct, and clearly marked.

Monday, July 03, 2017

rocky and quite muddy this time of year, wear boots ke bring extra socks!

hiking
Sunday, June 04, 2017

BEAUTIFUL!!!!

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