Thunderbolt Ski Trail is a 5 mile out and back trail located near Adams, Massachusetts. The trail is rated as moderate and primarily used for hiking and downhill skiing.
Used the AllTrails site to get directions to the AT -> Greylock trail-head and it dropped us off at the Thunderbolt start instead which was disappointing. We went ahead and hiked up, not entirely sure where we were since we had bad cell reception. All-in-all we were a little disappointed how short the hike was, but it was an experience all the same. There was snow coverage on the majority of the trail, with a few pockets of weeds poking through here and there. Skiers and snowboarders had left some trails which had turned to hard ice making it a bit challenging to find good footing. We ventured in these conditions without crampons which was a mistake. The wind at the top was pretty biting with the temp around 35'ish so we didn't spend much time enjoying the nice views. It took us nearly 4 hours up and down, without crampons in very icy conditions.
Absolutely loved this trail.
Thiel Rd was closed due to snow, so we parked on Gould Rd and had about a 20 min hike to the beginning of the Tbolt trail. From that point it took us about an hour to the top.
The trail was very steep, hardest I've hiked in my short "hiking career." It had snowed overnight about an inch so as we ascended, the footing got worse and worse. Thankfully it was a "trail day" so there was about 10 or so folks out on the trail clearing brush for future skiing. They had already made some nice paths to show some of the better foot spots. Even so, we both fell a few times, small falls to knee or hand down, etc.
The summit is pretty cool. The lounge thing was closed at the top due to season (think it closed last week) and it was too windy and chilly to really sit and soak it all in. There was a nice display that pointed out highlights to look for on the horizon as well as a sculpture of the mountain with the trails identified (we used this to map the way down an alternative trail).
Because of the conditions and the difficulty of the trail, we decided it would not be a good idea to take it back down. So we went to the left side of the mountain and went down the Gould trail which eventually dumped us at a different parking area from our car. It was a short hike through a X-country ski trail back to our parking area.
Overall, great hike. Can't wait to do it again during warmer conditions. Maybe 3 weeks earlier in fall would be ideal.
thunderbolt is steep, yes but its not a very difficult hike. the elevation gain is over a very short distance and the views up the trail can make it seem overwhelming but you're up it in no time. pace yourself if you haven't done anything this steep before or you will burn yourself out pretty quickly. turning the corner on big bend is the final push and a good leg burner for sure. it's a short hike but well worth it!!
Great trail for endurance! A mix of sun and shade. There are great views of the valley you can only see by hiking this trail. When you get to the creek go left, do not follow the Lightning sign down into the creek! We did this hike in about 2 hours.
This is one of the hardest trails I have ever been on. It's very steep and you have to walk leaning forward to keep from falling backwards.
As shorter day hikes go, this was pretty fun. If you're okay with some pretty serious vertical gains in a short time, this is your way up Greylock! On your way up, you can see remnants of the trails winter use (a ski trail). The best way to get to this trail is via Thiel Road, though it should be noted that almost all of Thiel Road was closed, so factor that into your time and mileage.