After lunch we strolled around the park area.
This is an entrance to the 'Seven Sisters' trail, part of the Metacomet-Monadnock trail. The 7 Sisters section goes all the way to Bare mountain, about 3 hiking hours away.
Here's an interesting website with the Building's timeline and old pictures:
From what I read the first summit house on this hill was built around 1821, and it was alternately rebuilt through the years as it became more popular as a resort/tourist spot.
There used to be a Tram that brought people up a covered tunnel to the house. Whoever etched their name on this rock long ago back in 1873 probably rode that tram.
There is this small memorial to the fallen Air Force fliers out of Westover. Back in 1944 a B-24 bomber crashed into the mountain near here.
The Summit House as it stands today was extensively renovated in the 1980's.
While you can walk around the balcony of the house any time, occasionally they open the doors and let people inside, where there are some period furniture, decor, pictures and paintings, and other interesting tidbits like slide shows showing the building's history.
I think the view from this mountain exceeds all others. Beating out the view from Sugarloaf and Mt. Tom, which are 2nd and 3rd in my book.
You can see both sides of the valley from here very nicely. On a clear day like today you can see all the way to Mt. Monadnock in New Hampshire to the north, and the towers of Hartford to the south.
When the building is open you can go up higher to the 2nd and 3rd floor decks. I took this 360 view from the top deck...
And took this video from the crowded main balcony:
After the park we went to Northampton for a coffee and a walk-about. We walked through the beautiful Smith College campus down to the bridge crossing the Mill river, which separates the main campus from the athletic fields.
(The setting sun helping me out with the photos.)