With an elevation of 3,489 ft, Mount Greylock is the highest peak in Massachusetts. The land gives it's explorers a plethora of trails to choose from. Whether you are an experienced hiker or just giving a nature a try for the first time, there is no doubt in my mind that you’ll find a sense of peace while traversing the canopy covered paths. The forest is categorized as a Taiga-boreal ecosystem, which is a one of a kind in the state. The area has been designated as an IBA (important bird area) and is home to at least 132 different species of birds such as the black poll warbler (left) and the Bicknell’s thrush (right).
Now on to the fun fact of the day.
If hiking or bird watching doesn’t pique your interest perhaps ghost hunting will? That’s right, old Greylock has a haunting tale of a broken hearted Union soldier. When The soldier returned to his farm after serving a year in the Civil War, he finds his wife in the arms of another man and his children calling the strange man “Daddy”. Distraught he turns to the mountain to lose himself in the wilderness. William Saunders lives out the rest of his life as a hermit only leaving his man made shack for work occasionally. He is referred to as the “Old Coot” by the townspeople. His wife and family never knew of his whereabouts as the war had left him a bedraggled, shell of a man, making him unrecognizable to his loved ones and the rest of the town. His body was discovered in January of the late 1860’s in his shack by a couple of hunters. The cause of death was never disclosed but seemed to be of natural causes. When the hunters entered the shack they claimed that they witnessed Saunders spirit leave his body and dart up the mountain.
The ghost of the “old coot” has been photographed twice by hikers on Bellow’s Trail
where his shack had once stood. He has been witnessed by hundreds of people since the time of his death and up until today. He appears during the winter months with most reports during January. His shade has been described as a bearded, mournful man dressed in rags of another era. No need to be frightened, the spirit has never harmed or scared the hikers of Bellow’s trail and once spotted, darts up the mountain side.
Greylock Mountain is approximately 25 minutes away from the Yankee Inn and as you can see is worth visiting. Go and have your own adventure!