Welcome to the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association!
The Pinnacle is the highest and most scenic peak (+/-1683 feet) in Westminster, Vermont. It is located on the Windmill Ridge, straddling the Brookline/Westminster line. The view from the Pinnacle overlooks Hedgehog Gulf in Brookline and westward to Mount Snow and Stratton Mountain, over 20 miles away.
The dream of conserving The Pinnacle developed as a use of the Jamie Latham Memorial Fund, established in November 1991 to honor a young man who had loved this beautiful spot. From this beginning, the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association was formed. It is now a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation under both State and Federal law.
Its lands now consist of 1,808 +/- acres in Rockingham, Athens, Brookline, and Westminster. These publicly-accessible lands include an extensive hiking trail system (14 miles!) and wildlife sanctuary. View a map of the Reserve here.
At the Pinnacle peak is a lean-to (below) that is available for overnight camping. Visit the Reserve Use Page for information on how to make a reservation for the lean-to!
New Access Points Map listing directions to trailhead kiosks, available for download here! All maps and directions are available on our MAPS PAGE!
Take a Kid for a Hike Day
Hike the Pinnacle with your kids
Saturday June 1, 2013
10 am-2 pm
Meet at the Westminster West Church to carpool
Bring water to drink
And lunch to eat at the top
Call Camilla at 869-1388 for information
** LATEST NEWS **
Calendar of Upcoming Events!
Schedule of Events: Weekend Strolls, Workdays, and More
June 1, Saturday, 10 AM-2 PM. Take a Kid for a Hike Day. Tony Coven will lead this hike to the Pinnacle lookout. We’ll provide a mid-hike snack and special sticker for all participants. Meet at Westminster West Church to carpool to the Holden Trail kiosk. Wear sturdy sneakers or walking shoes, and long pants to ward off ticks. Bring water, bag lunch, insect repellant, sunscreen. Contact Camilla Roberts at 802-869-1388 or firstname.lastname@example.org for information and registration.
July 6, Saturday, 11 AM-3 PM. Over the Top! Sarah Waldo and Kath Martin will lead hikers up Holden Trail to the Pinnacle for a bag lunch, then south on Ridgeline Trail and down sometimes steep Cascade Trail to Hedgehog Gulf in Brookline. Hikers will be ferried back to the start at Holden Trail kiosk. Bring water, lunch, insect repellant, sunscreen. For information and registration, contact Sarah Waldo at 802-387-6036 or email@example.com.
September 8, Sunday, 1-3:30 PM. Plein-Air Painting. Capture nature on canvas along beautiful Ledge Road Brook. Meet at the Ledge Road trailhead parking area with your art equipment and a snack and drink. We will provide a rugged vehicle to transport supplies to your chosen site along the brook. At 3 PM we will collect supplies and return to the trailhead to view works created. See Fall 2013 Newsletter for details on a winter exhibit we are in the process of planning. Contact Camilla Roberts for information and registration at 802-869-1388 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 21, Saturday, 11 AM-4 PM. Accessibility Day. This once-a-year opportunity for a vehicle ride to a special trail site will go to Paul’s Ledges for lunch via an often rough road. Leaders will be Tony Coven and Bev Major. The popularity of this program and the need for four-wheel-drive vehicles make advance registrations a MUST for riders. Hikers do not need to pre-register. Bring water, bag lunch, and sweater or jacket for chilly weather at the top. Meet at Westminster West Church to carpool. Contact Bev Major at 802-387-5737 or email@example.com for information and registration.
October 19, Saturday, 1-3:30 PM. Bald Hill Hike. Randy Major will lead this moderate hike to the Bald Hill summit area, Twin Falls, and historic earthworks of disputed or unknown origin. Meet at the trailhead at 232 Covered Bridge Road in Westminster. For information and registration, contact Randy Major at 802-387-5737 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
November 2, Saturday, Noon-3 PM. Soapstone Hike. Led by Bill Brown of the Grafton Improvement Society and Andy Toepfer of the Pinnacle Association, this somewhat long moderate walk will feature the soapstone history of the area, a look at one quarry and related cellar holes of a boarding house and mill where soapstone blocks were sawn with wire cable. Dress warmly, wear sturdy shoes, and bring water. Meet at the parking lot opposite The Nature Museum at Grafton to carpool to the start. For more information, contact Andy Toepfer at 802-869-3379 or email@example.com.
Trails and Nature Reserve
(Along the Ledge Road in Grafton and Athens)
Athens Dome trails are cleared and marked with disks!
Parking areas are improved and kiosks installed!
A map of the new trail system is below. Take a look, and hike (snowshoe) the new trails!
What began as a vision several years ago has become a real on the ground trail system and nature reserve.
Further trail improvements to be made in the coming years include a footbridge across Ledge Road Brook, a few boardwalk sections across wet areas, some trail benching here and there, view clearing and a lean-to shelter at the Lake property summit, a small utility shed with porch (so hikers can get out of the rain) at the Ledge Road parking area, and a trail designed and constructed at the soapstone quarry".
The Athens Dome at Grafton Committee appreciates the diverse and essential support that has made this possible:
· the stalwart volunteers who have been out there clearing the new trails
· Ray Hitchcock for drafting the Act 250 permit and shepherding the process
· Andy Toepfer for designing the new trials, and organizing every trail clearing event
· the students and teacher Bob Simeon at Windham Regional Career Center for building the new kiosks
· all the generous donors that made the purchase possible
· the Grafton Selectboard, Road crew and Irene recovery officials for repairing the bridge, road, and culverts
· the Grafton Improvement Association for agreeing to their section of trail
· the Windham Foundation for their section of trail and grant support
· Vermont Housing and Conservation Board for the huge grant to purchase and conserve the Lake property
· Vermont Land Trust for partnering in the conservation easement
This 207 acre property was acquired and conserved in 2010, with the help of the Vermont Land Trust, a major Vermont Housing and Conservation Board grant, the Windham Foundation, and significant donations from many area people. It is currently managed by a committee under the WHPA called the Athens Dome at Grafton Conservation Committee (ADGCC).
Trail Map of the property (map has been updated in September 2012)
Photos from the Athens Dome Nature Reserve:
The Creature Rock boulder site Soapstone quarry One of the loveliest waterfalls
ARCHIVED NEWS can be found here
Access to WHPA Lands
Handicapped individuals may use wheelchairs on WHPA trails. Our trails
are fairly rugged, often steep, with numerous waterbars, rocks and other
obstacles. Wheel chair users will need to use caution as our trail system
has trail design limitations that may affect user safety. Please see
detailed information on trail kiosks.
Handicapped individuals may use motorized vehicles only on the Paul's Ledges
access road. Users will need to call Camilla Roberts at 802-869-1388 for a
key to the gate. All other trails are restricted from any powered vehicle
use by all individuals (whether handicapped or not). Please see detailed
information on trail kiosks.