The Berkshires: Pleasant Valley Sanctuary and Mount Greylock

Mount Greylock was Massachusetts’ first wilderness state park. It also lays claim to being the highest point in the state at about 3,500 feet in elevation. You can hike to the summit from the visitor center or drive up the summit road, which is open from late May through November 1st. There are several lookout points along the summit road.

Mount Greylock

When you reach the top, you will find the Veteran’s War Memorial Tower. Normally, you can climb to the top and get an even more aerial view of the State, but unfortunately, it is closed indefinitely for repairs.

Mount Greylock

I recommend plopping yourself down near the edge like these folks for some silent contemplation.

Mount Greylock

Bring your binoculars!

Mount Greylock

Pleasant Valley Sanctuary near Lenox has an extensive network of trails going through dense woods, streams, and ravines. It is well-known for its beavers. Amazingly, these beavers are all descendants of three beavers gifted by the State of New York in 1932. Beavers are nocturnal creatures, so if you’re dead-set on seeing some, going close to dusk is probably your best bet. Here’s a beavers’ nest, probably with beavers sleeping inside.

Pleasant Valley Sanctuary

The easy, flat trail around Pike’s Pond is very nice and has a viewing platform with benches.
Pleasant Valley Sanctuary

I suggest taking the Yokun trail to the Old Wood Road trail to see some more beaver habitats. Although we didn’t see much in the way of beavers or birds at 11am, we did see droppings from a large-ish animal (bears and bobcats roam around here). We had to make do with sightings of turtles, catfish, and large colorful mushrooms.

Pleasant Valley Sanctuary

Pleasant Valley Sanctuary

If you’re up for a challenge hiking up a very steep trail to the top of Lenox Mountain, you can do so from the sanctuary – it’s 3 miles roundtrip and is north of Pike’s Pond. We opted not to do this hike.

Mount Greylock is located in Lanesborough. Overnight camping is permitted, and there is also paid lodging at the summit. Dogs and bikes are allowed. Pleasant Valley Sanctuary is located at 472 West Mountain Road in Lenox. It is open from dawn to dusk and the entry fee is $5 per person. No pets or bikes allowed.


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