Perfect fall day at Mt Greylock

Peak Summited2019 Mount Greylock
Type of HikeDay hike
TrailheadCheshire Harbor Trail
EncounteredWildflowers blooming, Fall foliage
Road ConditionsRoad suitable for all vehicles
Bug StatusNo bugs
Snow ConditionsSnow free
Trail ConditionsTrail in good condition

This was my first solo hike. My daughter helped me plan the safest route for me to do alone. I woke before  5am and left at 5:30 for the 2.5 hour ride to the mountain. It was 54F when I left 64F when I got there, but the movement warmed me up so quickly I ditched my down vest and long sleeves after half a mile. I took the Chesire Harbor Trail, which goes straight to the summit in a series of gently rising switchbacks with some steeper sections (but no hand and foot climbing). There were a few wet spots and a few bridges, but most of the trail was either tree roots or rocky. Close to the summit was a small pond with a board walk over the mud. Then the path got much steeper above the treeline, but shortly after, the summit appeared. I saw very few people on the trail going up, but many cars at the summit.

The sky was clear and the temp had warmed to about 76F, with a sweet breeze. The view was clear to the Taconics and the Adirondacks, both CT and NY states visible in the distance. It was a beautiful fall day with the foliage turning to yellow, red, and some of the beeches turned purple, which was stunning. I had a nice break for an apple and a protein drink at the summit, then I headed back down the same trail. Passing the pond, I noticed a piece of wood semi submerged that looked like Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy:) I made good time going down, but missed a turning; the forks in the trail were not well marked. I stopped to take a photo, and when I restarted my AllTrails app, I saw that I was no longer on Cheshire Harbor, bit on Gould Trail, which looped around CH. My hardcopy map confirmed this, so I began climbing back. (Of course, it was a steep section!) Two trailrunners coming down confirmed that I was on Gould. I hiked back up to the turning; both sides of the trail had blue blazes (NOT helpful, DCR!) so it was an easy miss. I kept checking the app every few minutes to make sure I was on the right trail, and came to the parking lot fairly quickly. I got down to the lot about 2pm, so 6 hours round trip was pretty good for me.

This was my second favorite Challenge Peak (MT Washington will always have my #1 spot), and this makes 4 of 6 peaks I have done this season (Barring Mt Wachusett, which I climb every week to train). This will be my last Challenge Peak, as I got sick on Lincoln & descended, and could not handle Mansfield the day after doing Camel's Hump. I have another climb planned in two weeks, and we are starting to plan a family challenge to bag as many 4000 footers in New England as we can.

This challenge has really helped me build strength and endurance, and spend some good time with my family. It's been an awesome summer.

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