Saturday, April 01, 2017

Adams details spring construction plans for first two miles of Greylock Glen trail network

Peck's Falls (Paul Jahnige photo supplied by the state DCR)
This is a news release supplied March 31, 2017, by the Town of Adams.
For more information contact Donna Cesan, Community Development Director, Town of Adams: 413-743-8300 x 131;

ADAMS, Mass. – The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) and the Town of Adams, Massachusetts have announced plans to begin construction of the renovated trail system at Greylock Glen.  This spring, DCR will commence construction of the 2-mile, Class 1 “Glen Meadow Loop” trail in the heart of the Glen.  Eventually, plans call for a 30-mile improved trail system for hiking, mountain biking, snowmobiling, and skiing.  Approximately half of the trails will be built over existing trails, and half are new trail construction in fields or woodlands.  “We are incredibly excited to begin on-the-ground trail construction at Greylock Glen as a part of this model for environmental conservation, active recreation, and economic development,” said DCR Commissioner Leo P. Roy. 

The $50 million Greylock Glen Resort, currently being developed by the Town, has been designed as an environmentally sustainable ecotourism destination that will include a lodge and conference center, a campground, an outdoor recreation center and environmental education facility, a performing arts amphitheater, an environmental art garden and dozens of miles of multi-use trails. The construction of the Class 1 trails will be the first phase of the project.  Donna Cesan, Community Development Director for the Town of Adams said, “Getting a jump start on construction of the trails system will not only be a boon for public enjoyment but help the Town attract private developer partners for the other components of the Glen resort development”.

The recreational opportunities and experiences that are anticipated at the Greylock Glen Resort include:
  • Hiking trails that will highlight scenic features of the Glen and include three hiking routes to Mount Greylock State Reservation and the Mount Greylock summit;
  • Mountain-biking trails that will wind through the forest and provide a variety of difficulties and destinations;
  • Cross-country ski trails for both skating and class styles that will provide for a variety of loops, difficulties, and distances;
  • Downhill back-country skiing, most notably the historic Thunderbolt Trail and a new proposed Thunderbolt Glade and Meadow route that recalls the original alignment from the 1930s;
  • Snowmobile connections that will allow snowmobilers to connect from adjacent properties to and across the Greylock Glen; and
  • Camping in the Greylock Glen campground, for which the Town is currently seeking a development partner.
In improving the Glen trail system, DCR and the Town are also working together to protect the wetlands and waterways on the property, and the many rare species that the Glen supports.  “There are beautiful streams, waterfalls, ponds and marshes at the Glen and many rare species.  Over the past few years, we have completed extensive mapping, planning and permitting to ensure that we avoid impacting the resources at the Glen that make it so magical,” said Paul Jahnige, DCR Director of Trails and Greenways.
One of the central pieces of this trail system is what is defined as Class 1 trail loops in the center of the Glen development area.  These trails are expected to be 8-10’ wide crushed stone surface with an appropriate sub-base and drainage.  In addition to walking, hiking, and biking, these wider trails are suitable for X-country skiing and even carriage and sleigh rides.

The entire Greylock Glen site is 1,063 acres, of which fewer than 50 will be developed. Approximately 95% of the site (1,008 acres) was permanently protected last year by the Baker Administration and announced by the Secretary of Energy and Environment, Mathew Beaton.  Greylock Glen is adjacent to the 12,500-acre Mount Greylock State Reservation which includes the tallest peak in southern New England.  Users of the Glen’s trails system will be able to enjoy hiking, climbing, backcountry skiing and boarding, snowshoeing, mountain biking, nature walks, birding and many other outdoor activities, while being only a short drive from the Berkshires’ world famous tourist destinations such as Tanglewood, Clark Art Institute and MASS MoCA.

Approximately 3 million people visit the Berkshires each year to attend its many cultural events and museums, as well as to enjoy its beautiful scenery and outdoor recreational opportunities.
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