Home to around seven million people, Massachusetts is one of the oldest states in the United States. It sits above Rhode Island and Connecticut, but below Vermont and New Hampshire. Boston, the state capital, is the largest city in New England. Massachusetts offers a wide array of historical, cultural, and natural sites. Some of the state’s most incredible natural wonders include the coastal plain of the Atlantic Ocean (including the famous Cape Cod), and the northern tip of the Appalachian Mountains, known locally as the Berkshires. But, just how high is the highest point in Massachusetts?
Here, we’ll discover the answer to that question. Along the way, we’ll learn more about the topographic profile of Massachusetts, and how it compares to other New England states. Then, we’ll explore nearby landmarks and potential recreational activities near the highest point in Massachusetts. Finally, we’ll go over the top five highest places in the entire state.
So read on, and enjoy! By the end, you’ll know a little more about Massachusetts and its highest point.
Highest Point in Massachusetts
The highest point in Massachusetts is Mount Greylock, at 3,491 feet elevation. Located in the northwestern corner of the state, Mount Greylock is a popular destination for tourists and nature lovers. On clear days, you can see all the way to Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, and New York. Mount Greylock is a part of the Mount Greylock State Reservation, which keeps this area of natural beauty preserved for future generations.
Aside from the mountain’s incredible views, Mount Greylock also offers a fascinating piece of architecture in the form of the War Memorial Tower. This tower, built in 1932, is actually a 100-foot tall lighthouse that makes for amazing pictures, though you can’t actually enter the tower.
What About the Rest of Massachusetts?
Massachusetts covers just under 11,000 square miles, making it one of the smallest states in the United States. Within all those miles, the average elevation comes out to just 500 feet. This means that the highest point in Massachusetts rises thousands of feet above the state’s average elevation. Of course, in western Massachusetts, where Mount Greylock is located, elevations are higher than they are in the eastern side of the state.
Eastern Massachusetts is largely characterized by the Atlantic Coastal Plain, which stretches along the coast and inland about one-third of the state’s width. Beyond that, elevations increase steadily as you move west, with the exception of the Connecticut Valley Lowland and Berkshire Valley areas.
Can You Drive to Mount Greylock?
Mount Greylock is accessible either via a strenuous hike or by driving to the top. That’s right: you can drive straight to the top of the highest point in Massachusetts. If you choose to hike to the top, you’ll actually be hiking a segment of the Appalachian Trail, albeit a rugged, steeply inclined section. Along the way, you might encounter white-tailed deer, bobcat, lynx, or even black bears.
Mount Greylock is located between the towns of Williamstown, North Adams, and Adams. The peak can be accessed in the summer months via either Rockwell Road or North Adams Road. Both routes offer a variety of scenic views and stop-offs for various trailheads and campgrounds.
Things to Do Near Mount Greylock
So, what can you do near Mount Greylock? The better question might be: what can’t you do? For starters, you can stay at the Bascom Lodge, located at the very pinnacle of the peak, and soak up the beautiful mountain views. If you’re a fan of camping, there are several campgrounds in the Mount Greylock State Reservation. Or, you can choose neither option and opt instead for staying in one of the picturesque villages nearby.
Mount Greylock is perfect for anyone who loves hiking, nature photography, and even backpacking. The surrounding area offers miles and miles of trails—many of which go to the top of the mountain. But, let’s say you’re more of an arts and culture person than a hiking person. The surrounding towns won’t disappoint! Be sure to check out the local history and culture on your visit to Mount Greylock.
The Five Highest Points in Massachusetts
At 3,491 feet elevation, Mount Greylock has the distinction of being the highest point in Massachusetts. But, are there other peaks in the state worth noting? There certainly are! First, there’s the second-highest point in Massachusetts, Saddle Ball Mountain. This peak rises to 3,238 feet, making it nearly as tall as Mount Greylock. The third highest is Mount Fitch, at 3,110 feet, which is just a hair less than Saddle Ball Mountain.
Next, the fourth highest peak in Massachusetts is Mount Williams, at 2,951 feet. Following that, at fifth highest, is Berlin Mountain, which sits at 2,818 feet elevation. Interestingly, all of Massachusetts’ top five highest points lie in the western half of the state, not too far from each other.