Vermont State Parks Announces Dedication of Sentinel Rock State Park

It's been 13,000 years in the making. On Saturday, July 11, Vermont State Parks will host the dedication of Sentinel Rock State Park. The park is named after the iconic Sentinel Rock, a glacial boulder that stands in the center of the park and overlooks the northern portion of Lake Willoughby in Westmore, Vermont.

In 1997, Windsor Wright donated a 356-acre portion of his family-owned Sentinel Rock Farm to the State of Vermont. Throughout their half-century of stewardship, the Wright family worked to maintain the property "in as good a condition as we found it and to share the enjoyment of the natural attributes of the location with others who would appreciate them as we have." The Wrights donated the property to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (DFPR) with the intent that the state conserve the natural and scenic resources of the property and manage it for public use and enjoyment. The family also requested that the property continue to be maintained for hay and pastureland.

In 2008, the Vermont Legislature passed a resolution allowing DFPR to sell the historic Cheney House, a structure located near the south end of Lake Willoughby. Proceeds from the sale were earmarked for the development and implementation of a long-range management plan for the park.

Part of the management plan for the park included the removal of the farmhouse, guesthouse and garage that existed on the property. "The integrity of these structures was compromised and the cost of renovation was not feasible," explained Susan Bulmer, parks regional manager for DFPR. DFPR worked with ReSOURCE/ReBUILD of Burlington to demolish the buildings. Nearly half of the materials from the demolition were repurposed.

DFPR contracted with Maclay Architects of Waitsfield, VT and LandWorks of Middlebury, VT to design and develop a parking area for visitors, interpretative signage and ADA accessible trails that lead visitors to Sentinel Rock and to the former site of the farmhouse.

"The park offers a day-use area for visitors to enjoy the wonderful qualities of the park," said Bulmer. "It also continues to be managed as sustainable agricultural and forest land."

"Sentinel Rock and the surrounding area has long attracted geologists, students, and others who are interested in the area's unique blend of bedrock exposure, glacially deposited boulders and expansive views of a glacially-influenced landscape," she added.

Vermont State Parks will host the Sentinel Rock State Park dedication on Saturday, July 11 at 10am. The park is located at Hinton Hill Road in Westmore, VT. A community-sponsored reception will be held at the Community Fellowship Hall in Westmore. The public is invited to attend the dedication and reception.

Contact: Susan Bulmer, Northeast Parks Regional Manager; (802) 476-0181; susan.bulmer@state.vt.us