|Roads to Mount Greylock Summit to Close Saturday |
|By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff |
04:57PM / Friday, October 29, 2021
|Mount Greylock closes for the season this weekend. |
LANESBOROUGH, Mass. — The roads to the Mount Greylock State Reservation will be closed Saturday, Oct. 30, at 3 p.m. to avoid Halloween vandalism.
Park Superintendent Travis Clairmont told the Mount Greylock Advisory Council on Thursday that, as in recent years, he plans to close down the mountain roads Saturday afternoon while he still has seasonal staff on hand.
Also to avoid Halloween, a night that always brings vandalism to the reservation
"There has been consistent vandalism on Halloween night so it is one more reason to close up," Clairmont said. "Last time we were open on Halloween, they smashed windows and burnt a kiosk. Stuff like that we don't need."
Clairmont looked back on the season and noted it was not as busy as he anticipated.
"People just weren't here in high volume. I was expecting mayhem, but it was manageable for once," he said. "This year felt slow compared to last year during the pandemic."
Although there weren't people flooding the mountain, there was actual flooding, and the very wet summer with record levels of rainfall led to extra maintenance on the reservation, especially on dirt and gravel roads.
He said this may have deterred people from visiting the mountain.
There was a week this July when there was a thunderstorm every day. He said he was clearing downed trees every day.
"We had to maintain access and we had a lot of big trees come down," he said. "It was a lot of work."
Clairmont reported that the trash issue on the reservation has lessened. He cited an iBerkshires article from April
that helped focus attention on the issue.
"The trash level has been manageable," he said. "What took me four or five hours before takes me 45 minutes."
He said DCR heeded the call and sent over trash cans for trailheads. Also, Berkshire Bank sent more than 20 or so volunteers to help with the cleanup.
"This was great to see," he said. "Hopefully we can keep it going ... visitors are showing a little bit more responsibility."
Clairmont didn't go too far into mountain incidents but did note one bizarre occurrence where a mischief of domesticated rats was released on one of the vistas.
"It was strange. We are talking 10, 20, 30, 40 rats," he said. "We don't really know, but we had rats running all over the place for a few days."
He said he found the cages tossed over the vistas. He said staff and patrons helped him catch what he could. He said they were sent to a wildlife sanctuary.
Even more bizarre, Chairman Cosmo Catalano Jr. said this same thing happened about four years ago.
Clairmont said cyclists on the mountain road continue to be an issue. He said they almost never follow speed limits or stop at pedestrian crossings
"No matter what I say about 75 percent of them disobey," he said.
He said this became very clear at a recent half-marathon running race up the mountain during which he helped direct traffic.
"A bike will come down 70 miles per hour around the corners," he said. "There will be someone on the crosswalk and they lock their breaks, skid, and crash. I have been hit and struck by bikes in the past."
He said they are trying to install wifi on the summit to allow for contactless payment for parking.
Also, the summit weather hawk is up and running again.
"We have live camera footage, we have wind speed," he said. "The whole thing is working. It has been a long time."