Franklin County Highpoint Trip Report

two areas on Crum Hill (2,840+ ft and spot elevation 2,841 ft)

Date: August 23, 2004
Author: Dave Covill

We drove out the 3 hours from Mattapoisett to the far northwest corner of the state and took a motel room in Lanesboro, just north of Pittsfield. There are 3 cheap motels in Lanesboro, as opposed to chain motels in the city of Pittsfield. We drove up Mount Greylock first, then down into North Adams.

From North Adams, drive east on Route 2 to the junction of Route 8, heading north to VT. Continue from here 4.8 miles to the little hamlet of Florida, really just a few houses. Previous approach directions up Tilda Road are accurate.

There are two test wind towers, each about 100 feet high, guyed out, and connected to meters and other equipment at the bases. There is one on each highpoint spot, the northernmost being about 100 feet north of the high outcrop in the north contour area. The southernmost one is near the main contour area but is on the north flank of it and probably lies 300 feet north and maybe 10-15 feet lower than the high ground there. There are a few signs from the wind company but no signs regarding trespassing and no sign of real windmills. I have been in contact with a person with the Hoosac Wind project and he said there would be towers there in the future and that they were testing now. He said they would do their best to accommodate locals and hikers in the future. I imagine it should be pretty easy to route a path sufficiently far from the towers to allow hikers to cross over the highpoint in the woods. If they don't, they will simply invite people to stealth visit, which is not in anyone's best interests.

We agreed that the initial trail entrance was confusing but, once into the woods and up a few feet, you stay left as noted and the trail becomes well established. We found the trail to contour the north side of the west ridge for 1/4 mile, then steeply ascend it back south to the first highpoint area. We were able to walk past the contour on the trail, which is a nice 4-5 foot wide ATV/snowmobile trail, by about 50 feet then cut into the open clearing back to it. We had to crash some bushes a bit but, once on top, you'll notice a small path leading off of it straight toward the wind tower.

Continue up the path to the main contour area, about 200 yards up to the south. The path traverses the ridge crest about 100 feet to the southwest side. Pick a spot where the path appears to top out and cut into the medium dense woods for perhaps 100 feet to high ground. Look for the small register bottle hanging from a tree branch. We looked hard but never saw the other register on the ground. As we walked back to the clearing and the southern of the 2 towers, we could see that the lower guy line attachment point on it hand-leveled even with us. A similar place to hand level from near the northern highpoint and test tower would not be possible, as the ground near it is too flat. From the clearing where we stood, we could view out to the top of the northern tower and, while we could not level to it as the only portion visible was well above us due to the trees in the way, it clearly was lower than the southern tower and would lead you to conclude that the area near it is lower than the area near the southern one. The southern tower stands quite a few feet below the main highpoint. It makes sense in the field.