Over the Hill Hike, Saturday June 24, 9:30 AM-1 PM.

This guided 4-mile hike has lots of features and is a great way to celebrate summer. Read more on the Events page.

Requests for Pinnacle Trail Hikers

As nature beckons and Pinnacle lands – the Holden Trail in particular – become a more popular destination for schools and other large groups, we ask hikers to follow the guidelines below.  By trying to control the number of people on the trail at the same time, we hope to enable all users to experience the beauty and serenity of our natural world.

  • Groups of 15 or more are asked to contact Tony Coven at 802-387‐6650.
  • Large groups are encouraged to break into groups of 4‐8 while hiking to allow hikers to experience the many wonders that Pinnacle has to offer.
  • Please observe a strict low‐impact, carry‐in/carry out, leave‐no‐trace policy.
  • An outdoor fire is permitted upon request only at the Pinnacle summit, with prior authorization from Westminster Town Fire Warden Cole Streeter, 802‐722‐3178.  Please carry in your own firewood.

Visit Trails & Maps to direct you to other choices of trails to investigate within Pinnacle’s 20-mile trails system.

The days of daily mysteries and awakenings are here! Every hour of daylight seems to bring new wonders and appreciation for this beautiful time of year. We need to make the most of each opportunity to be outside and seek new ways to interact with nature.

As your eyes spot emerging details on even the most familiar trail, please remember that conditions may be slippery. Always avoid staying out too long or relying on cell phones, which may not always work.

Our helpful maps and free programs make great introductions to someone new, an old friend, or a young relative or neighbor. Your personal touch can make all the difference in opening up a new world of wonder and delight to nature lovers from near and far.

As always, this website is the best place to check for news, upcoming events, or other information. And we encourage you to send your seasonal trail photos and hiking tidbits or trail challenges to whpa@sover.net so we can know what’s happening on Pinnacle lands, who is enjoying them, or where we need to make improvements.

May you enjoy every lovely moment on our trails!

The Champion White Ash, 2016

The Champion White Ash, 2016

The Cellar Hole, 2015

The Cellar Hole, 2015

Paul's Ledges, 2014

Paul's Ledges, 2014

Upcoming Events

Weekend Strolls, Workdays, and More

June 24, Saturday, 9:30 AM-1 PM. Over the Hill Hike! Enjoy a 4-mile hike on the Jamie Latham Trail, past an old beaver pond and stone walls, through beautiful hardwood stands, with a stop to enjoy the view from the newly renovated Pinnacle Cabin. Bring water, lunch, snack, insect repellent, sunscreen. Meet at Westminster West Church to split cars and carpools between the start at Latham and finish at Holden. Register with Tony Coven at 802-387-6650.

June 17, Saturday, 2-4 PM. Cabin Celebration postponed to October 14 because of wet trail conditions! Rain or shine. Revel with friends, refreshments, and live music by Ron BosLun and Nick Kaiser at the renovated cabin at our amazing Pinnacle overlook. Meet masons/carpenters Phil and Izaac Pellerin, window magician and volunteer Oliver Brody, and others who made the improvements possible. Carpooling and registration are essential.  

Email whpa@sover.net or call 802-463-9226 to register by October 7, find out about parking and carpooling locations, or arrange for transportation for those who cannot walk to the site. Wear long pants and insect repellant to deter ticks. Read more here.

HIKE TO CHAMPION WHITE ASH RESCHEDULED
July 15, Saturday, 9:30 AM-noon. Hike to Champion White Ash.
Forester Arthur Westing and wife, Carol, will lead a walk to the largest White Ash in Vermont and discuss the factors that make its record-breaking success possible. Meet at Westminster West Church to carpool. Registration required with Arthur Westing at westing@sover.net. No dogs, please. Read More Here.
Rain date: Sunday July 16 at 9:30 AM.

SAVE THE DATE: September 14, 7 PM. Wet Sneakers and Muddy Clothes: The Importance of Nature-Based Play and Education. Presentation by well-known author, teacher, and nature activist David Sobel at Compass School.


What did I miss?

May 10, Wednesday, 8-9:30 PM. Moonlight Hike at Bald Hill. (Note the date change.) Nocturnal adventure with Vanessa Stern, member of the Bald Hill Conservation Committee and WHPA Board. Everything looks different by moonlight. Wear waterproof shoes. Meet at Bald Hill kiosk on Covered Bridge Road in Westminster. Contact Vanessa Stern at 802-463-4948 to register, get information, or check on the weather.

NOTE: Rain Date is now on! Sunday, May 7, 10 AM-noon. Spring Wildflower Walk. Libby Mills and Carol Westing will lead this favorite stroll to discover delicate ephemeral flowers of the hardwood forest. Meet at Westminster West Church to carpool to the mystery site. Wear waterproof shoes. Bring camera and water. Rain date now on: Sunday May 7 at 10 AM.

April 30, Sunday, 1:30-3:30 PM. Interpretive Walk at the Dunn Nature Trail. The traditional hike before the WHPA Annual Meeting will feature the Dunn Nature Trail, a 1.1-mile loop trail located in the mixed upland forest of the Stephen Martin Memorial Wildlife Sanctuary on Bemis Hill Road in Westminster, VT. WHPA Board members field biologist Paul Wilson, naturalist Andy Toepfer, and forester Silos Roberts will focus on migrating songbirds, vernal pools, and forest ecology.

April 30, Sunday, 4-6 PM. Pinnacle Annual Meeting and Program: We Are Still Here – Abenaki Culture and Contemporary Issues. Rich Holschuh, who serves on the Vermont Commission on Native American Affairs, and Roger Longtoe Sheehan – Abenaki artist, native musician, and educator, as well as Chief of the El-Nu Abenaki Tribe – will speak on the Abenaki Heritage in Vermont, their relation to the land, and their efforts to reclaim their culture. At Main Street Arts, 35 Main Street in Saxtons River. Members and the public are encouraged to attend to learn about Vermont’s Native Americans and about plans the Pinnacle Association has for the coming year.

April 22, Saturday, 10 AM-noon. Vernal Pool Walk on Earth Day. Becky Chalmers, Wetland Ecologist for VT Agency of Natural Resources, will discuss the life cycles of animals found in vernal pools and Vermont’s rules to protect those special places and their inhabitants. All ages are welcome. Wear waterproof boots. Meet at Westminster West Church to carpool. No bug repellant allowed on your hands if you wish to handle creatures we find.

March 29, Wednesday, 6:30 PM
Saxtons River Valley Trails Initiative Meeting

This is your opportunity to help figure out where a trail should go to extend the Bellows Falls Historic Riverfront Park through the Bald Hill Reserve and on to Saxtons River. Maps will be available for discussion, and there will be a brief presentation at 7 PM. The program will be on the third floor of the Rockingham Public Library and is co-sponsored by WHPA, the Bald Hill Preserve Committee, and the Rockingham Conservation Commission.

Left to right, Rick Cowan, Stewart Read, and Sarah Waldo discuss the Riverfront Park Trail and its views across and up the Connecticut River.

Left to right, Rick Cowan, Stewart Read, and Sarah Waldo discuss the
Riverfront Park Trail and its views across and up the Connecticut River.

April 7, Friday, 7 PM. Into the Woods with Our Children –
Presentation by Lynn Levine

Renowned naturalist Lynn Levine of Dummerston will reveal her hands-on approach to awakening in youngsters an enduring love of the natural world. A focus of her talk will be how to break down barriers so children will want to go into the woods, rather than play with their electronic devices, and how we can help them develop a need to return to the woods again and again. A consulting forester, environmental educator, and author of nature-based books for adults and children, Lynn has created and taught nature-based curricula for the Vermont Institute of Natural Resources and local elementary schools. Her talk should be particularly pertinent for parents and environmental and science teachers. This free program is open to the public, hosted by Windham Regional Woodlands Association, and co-sponsored by WHPA, the Vermont Learning Collaborative, Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, Southeastern Vermont Audubon Society, Dummerston Conservation Commission, and Putney Mountain Association. The presentation will take place at Vermont Learning Collaborative, 471 US Route 5, Dummerston, VT. Click here for more information and directions.