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The Thunderbolt Trail

The Thunderbolt Trail

The Thunderbolt Trail

Page Type: Route

Location: Massachusetts, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 42.63360°N / 73.14056°W

Object Title: The Thunderbolt Trail

Route Type: Hiking

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Time Required: Half a day

Difficulty: Strenuous

Route Quality: 
 - 2 Votes


Page By: DavidHowland

Created/Edited: Dec 20, 2007 / Dec 27, 2007

Object ID: 366543

Hits: 18449 

Page Score: 75.08%  - 6 Votes 

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The Thunderbolt Trail is the shortest and steepest route to the summit of Mt. Greylock. The trail is mainly composed of steep mountain meadows with great views to the surrounding Berkshires Region. The trail offers backcountry skiing in the winter and was originally cut by the CCC. The United States Eastern Alpine Ski Championships were held on the Thunderbolt Trail in 1936.

Getting There

Travel south on MA Route 8 from North Adams. Once through Adams (a different town than North Adams), turn to the right onto Friends Road. Friends Road will become West Road. After 1.5 miles, turn right onto Thiel Road. Continue on Thiel Road to find the trailhead. Parking is available at the intersection with Gould Road (plowed) or farther down Theil Road at the actual trailhead (unplowed, 4WD required).

Route Description

From the trailhead, the Thunderbolt Trail ascends 2275 vertical feet in 2 miles. The trail starts west, heading up the base of the mountain, and crossing the original ski trail on hiker's right. After a half mile, the trail turns to the north-west and heads steeply up towards the Mt. Greylock summit ridge. After 1.5 miles of hiking, the Thunderbolt Trail reaches the summit ridge and intersects with the Appalachian Trail. Hikers should follow the AT .5 miles southwest (turn left) to the summit of Mt. Greylock. On the route to the summit, the AT passes by a stone shelter/warming hut and crosses the summit road (closed, along with Bascomb Lodge, until 2009).

Mt. Greylock Map
Map of the Thunderbolt Trail, courtesy of the New England Lost Ski Areas Project.

Essential Gear

During the winter, when the trail is snow covered, snow shoes are helpful, but not required. The trail is usually well packed. During the summer, nothing more is required than hiking boots.

External Links

North Adams Forecast - Weather.com

Map of the Winter Trails on Mt. Greylock.

Additions and Corrections

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hightineraryThiel Road


Hasn't voted

Thiel Road is closed; the hike starts at the barricade. Thus, the first five minutes of the route are on pavement.
Posted May 20, 2016 9:06 am

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T-bolt to Sill Traverse 2016-14Near the middle of the trailThunderbolt Trail headMy dad on the Thunderbolt TrailMt. Greylock - Thunderbolt Trail