Mount Greylock is like an island,
different in geology, climate and ecology from its local
surroundings. Rising above the region
one can view the neighboring Taconic, Hoosac, and Green Mountains
and Berkshire Hills, and further in the distance, the Catskills,
Adirondacks and White Mountains.
The Reservation includes the promontories Mounts Prospect,
Williams, and Fitch, Saddleball, Ragged Mountain and Stony
Ledge, as well as Mount Greylock summit. The Hopper, surrounded
on three sides by steep slopes, is a unique geologic valley
supporting stands of old-growth red spruce
forest over 150 years old. The Society of American Foresters
designated the Hopper a Natural Area in 1978, followed in
1987 by the National Park Service designation as a National
Ecologists have compared the transition in forest vegetation
zones from base to summit as if walking from Pennsylvania to
northern Maine in one day. Quite aptly, William Brewster, an
eminent 19th century ornithologist described the mountain as “a
Canadian island rising from an Alleghenian sea.” The
Northern hardwood forest is found on the lower slopes: Red
Oak, beech, birches, Black Cherry, ashes and maples. At about
2,600 feet in elevation this transitions into the boreal or
spruce-fir forest dominated by Red Spruce and Balsam Fir, joined
by Mountain Ash and Yellow Birch; the only sub-alpine environment
in Massachusetts and southern New England. Due to the higher
elevation spring flowers can often still be found blooming
into early summer throughout the reservation.
Mammals that can be found on Greylock include
moose, white-tailed deer, black bear more...
backbone of the mountain was formed from an ancient
sea bed. more...