Ascent of Berlin Mountain on 2010-05-16

Climber: Micah Schneider

Others in Party:Aimee Bouchard
Date:Sunday, May 16, 2010
Ascent Type:Successful Summit Attained
Peak:Berlin Mountain
    Location:USA-New York
    Elevation:2818 ft / 858 m

Ascent Trip Report

To reach the trailhead, we took Rt. 2 all the way from Greenfield, MA to Petersburg NY. This section of Rt. 2 (from Rt. 91 to North Adams) is one of the prettiest drives in the entire state. If you do it during tourist season, there are ample opportunities to stop at Indian-themed souvenir shops. This route also allows a stop at the high point of Franklin County, MA. The trailhead for that hike is not far from Rt. 2 in the town of Florida, and is fast enough that it can be easily combined with either Berlin or Greylock. Please see those trip report for directions.

The trailhead for Berlin Mountain is not far over the border into NY from MA. The parking area affords great views of Greylock, but the best view is to come. As indicated in other reports, avoid the trails to the left of the parking lot (as you face south), and follow the Taconic Crest trail. After about a mile and a half (at the end of a fairly step climb, 350 feet of elevation or so), you will see a spur trail on the left that leads uphill. This trail goes to the summit of Mt. Raimer, and makes for a quick side trip. The summit of Raimer is mostly wooded in, but it features the concrete base remains of an old ski lift.

Berlin Mountain is about 2.7 miles from the parking area. The trail is well "blazed" (if you count plastic signs nailed to a tree as such), but this old woods road is quite wide, and easy to follow. You get your first glimpse of Berlin as you come down the southern slope of Raimer, and it looks pretty imposing. Thankfully, the trail is not that difficult, and we got from the parking area to the summit in about 90 minutes, including our side trip to the summit of Raimer. Be advised, as previously reported, that the signs prohibiting ATVs are obviously ignored, and the trail is badly eroded in several spots.

As Dan Case surmised, the views from the summit of Berlin on a clear day are spectacular. There is no better vantage point for Greylock than here, and that includes the amazing view you get of it coming down into North Adams along Rt. 2. The Catskills are in fact visible distantly to the southwest, but the high peaks of the southern Taconics are not. Misery Mountain and its wind towers are in the way. Total elevation gain (according to our GPS) was just under 1800 feet, including our side trip. There are a few spots where you have to go down in order to go up again, and that boosts the gain just a bit from previous reports. Including time to enjoy the views, snacks, etc., we completed the entire round trip in just over three hours.
Summary Total Data
    Quality:6 (on a subjective 1-10 scale)
    Route Conditions:
Maintained Trail
    Weather:Pleasant, Breezy, Clear

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