ADAMS -- Thousands of hikers will tackle Massachusetts' highest peak Monday for the 46th annual Mount Greylock Ramble, but the full experience starts Sunday with the return of RambleFest.
The second annual festival, a satellite celebration the day before the traditional Columbus Day hike up Mount Greylock, will take place from 1 to 6 p.m. in the Depot Street parking lot. It has itself become a showcase event, attracting an estimated 1,500 people last year.
A plethora of local restaurants and vendors will be on hand while attendees enjoy a wide range of activities -- from trolley tours to campfires.
Four local eateries will hold live cooking demonstrations outdoors throughout the day, so visitors can see how some of their favorite dishes are made.
Trolleys will also give tour-takers a historical lift through downtown Adams.
"They were really well-attended last year," Town Administrator Jonathan Butler said.
Pittsfield brewer Wandering Star will be on hand, pouring pints of its beer. Their flagship brew, Thunderbolt IPA, is named after Mount Greylock's iconic Thunderbolt Ski Trail. The backcountry trail is the site of the annual Thunderbolt Ski Race, which has its own complementary festival each winter, ThunderFest.
The town will also unveil two new exhibits at the Thunderbolt Ski Museum in the Adams Visitor Center, including a video kiosk that gives viewers a virtual ride down the slopes.
"It's one of the biggest days we have in Adams," Butler said.
According to Butler, many people stick around to eat at local restaurants and bars.
"A lot of the restaurants and bars do different specials [after RambleFest]," Butler said.
For Monday's Ramble, a free shuttle will take climbers from the Adams Free Library at McKinley Square to the base of the Cheshire Harbor Trail -- the easiest, but still rocky, path up Greylock -- throughout the day.
The annual hike attracts thousands of hikers of all ages from around the region to the mountain's peak at 3,491 feet above sea level. The summit's Bascom Lodge will be open for food and drinks from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Prizes will be given to the fastest, youngest and oldest people to ascend the mountain. An award will also be given to the hiker who traveled the farthest to hike.
After Monday's hike, participants will be able to regenerate with refreshments. Sweatshirts and T-shirts commemorating the event will also be for sale, in addition to 50/50 raffle tickets when hikers come off the mountain.
Butler said the events are meant not only to provide the local community with fun activities, but also to bolster Adams' standing as a place to visit in Berkshire County.
Adams is trying to brand itself as an excellent place for outdoor, recreational activities, Butler said. Some of the vendors at RambleFest, such as Berkshire Outfitters, reflect that interest, according to Butler.
The town, which puts together the events with local community organizations, has heavily promoted the Ramble in other regions of the state.
"It's really a town effort," Butler said.
Parking Monday at the base of the mountain is discouraged. Free parking will be available on Depot Street next to the Adams Visitors Center. The last shuttle to the mountain will leave the library at 1 p.m.