Where can you visit this mountain that inspired Melville and Thoreau?




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  • Vermont
  • Massachusetts
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware

The Answer:

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Nathaniel Hawthorne came to the conclusion that Mount Greylock in Massachusetts got its name from the “lock of grey mist” that surrounded the mountain. In 1838, he was the first writer to climb to the summit of the mountain, and in the years that followed, many other famous authors, such as Henry David Thoreau and Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., also made the ascent. It is also stated that Herman Melville was inspired by Greylock when he watched the snowy peak erupt through the clouds, like a breaching whale in the ocean, which prompted his imagination to develop ‘Moby Dick.’ In 1932, the Veterans War Memorial Tower, which is made of granite and measures 93 feet in height, was constructed on top of the mountain. The peak of the foggy mountain, which stands at 3,489 feet tall and is the highest point in Massachusetts, was recently equipped with a bright LED beacon and can now be seen from approximately 60 miles in all directions.

Website that was last updated: mass.gov on August 14, 2023 Source:

Where can you visit this mountain that inspired Melville and Thoreau?

Massachusetts, a state rich in history and natural beauty, is home to a majestic mountain that has inspired some of the greatest literary minds in American literature. This mountain, located in the northeastern region of the United States, holds a special place in the hearts of authors such as Herman Melville and Henry David Thoreau. Its breathtaking landscapes, captivating vistas, and serene ambiance have served as a wellspring of inspiration for these renowned writers and continue to attract visitors seeking to immerse themselves in the beauty that ignited their literary masterpieces.

Nestled within the picturesque region of Massachusetts, this mountain has long been a source of fascination for both locals and travelers alike. Its prominence in the literary world can be traced back to the mid-19th century when Herman Melville, one of America’s greatest novelists, drew inspiration from the mountain’s grandeur for his iconic work, “Moby-Dick.” Melville, who spent time living in the nearby town of Pittsfield, found solace and inspiration in the mountain’s commanding presence, which he likened to the majestic power of the great white whale in his novel.

Henry David Thoreau, another literary figure of immense influence, also found himself captivated by the allure of this Massachusetts mountain. Thoreau, a renowned transcendentalist philosopher and writer, sought solace in nature and often embarked on journeys to the mountain’s slopes. His experiences in the wilderness surrounding the mountain inspired his seminal work, “Walden,” a reflection on the importance of simplicity, self-sufficiency, and communion with nature. Thoreau’s profound observations and deep connection with the mountain’s natural surroundings continue to resonate with readers and nature enthusiasts to this day.

Visiting this Massachusetts mountain is an opportunity to step into the world that inspired these literary giants. As visitors ascend the mountain’s trails, they are greeted by a tapestry of natural wonders. Towering trees, vibrant flora, and babbling streams accompany their journey, setting the stage for contemplation and introspection. The mountain’s summit offers panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see, showcasing the beauty of the surrounding landscapes and providing a vantage point from which to appreciate the splendor that ignited the imaginations of Melville and Thoreau.

Exploring the mountain’s trails allows visitors to immerse themselves in the sights, sounds, and scents of the wilderness. The rhythmic crunch of leaves underfoot, the gentle rustle of the wind, and the fragrance of pine trees create a multisensory experience that evokes a deep sense of connection with nature. It’s as if the mountain itself whispers stories and sparks inspiration in those who traverse its paths.

Beyond its literary significance, this Massachusetts mountain offers a wide range of recreational activities for outdoor enthusiasts. Hiking trails of v