Greylock via Thunderbolt Trail

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Active member
VFTT Supporter
Jan 15, 2013
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Vernon, Conn.
I need a new map of Greylock.

I had planned to hike up Thunderbolt Trail starting at the end of Thiel Road, where my map says there's a trailhead. However, Thiel Road is closed. I then went up Gould Road, because the map showed that I could park there, road walk to the end of the road, and pick up Thunderbolt Trail there. However, Gould Road is closed just past the parking area. According to my map, that parking area just connects to some local trails, so I was going to switch to another trail, when I talked to a woman in the parking area about my woes, and she said she was about to climb Greylock from there. I looked at her map, and it showed a connector trail between the local trails and Thunderbolt Trail. So I took that trail (Bellows South Trail) and ended up doing a hike which was basically what I'd planned to do at first.

The weather was sunny and hot, but not as hot as it has been recently in Connecticut.

Thunderbolt Trail is very steep. The section I did, between Bellows South Trail and the Appalachian Trail, climbs 1100 feet in 0.7 miles. It wasn't bad, other that being so steep, but I'm glad I didn't descend it. When I got to the top of the trail there was a sign saying, "Thunderbolt Trail is closed to hiking beyond this point." However, there was no such sign at the bottom of the trail, at least that I noticed, and when I saw this sign I'd already hiked it.

After that it was a third of a mile to the summit. There were a lot of people up there, mostly who drove up, but also some bicyclists, and some other hikers, some of whom I'm pretty sure were through hikers. I had a soda in Bascom Lodge, climbed to the top of the tower, and went back down. On my way down I took Bellows Pipe Trail to Bellows South Trail, which was essentially my original plan. That was a lot less steep that Thunderbolt, and of course longer, but it didn't seem to take long at all.

This was my third time climbing Greylock.

Here are the pictures.



NE111 in my 50s: 115/115 (67/67, 46/46, 2/2)
NE111 in my 60s: 87/115 (62/67, 23/46, 2/2)
NEFF: 50/50; Cat35: 39/39; WNH4K: 41/48; NEHH 89/100
LT NB 2009; CT NB 2017; FHT EB 2023

"I don't much care where [I get to] --" said Alice, "-- so long as I get somewhere," ...
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."
- Lewis Carroll
There used to be signs asking people not to hike on the Thunderbolt trail itself, since it's not hardened for summer hiking use. Are they still there?
There used to be signs asking people not to hike on the Thunderbolt trail itself, since it's not hardened for summer hiking use. Are they still there?
The DCR maps for summer and winter note that the Thunderbolt is for winter use only. There's also this link which says the upper section is closed for hiking.

There are also some maps attached to posts or kiosks at different locations showing the uphill skinning trails and noting that Thunderbolt is for downhill skiing only.