In order to foster habitat conservation, watershed integrity, education and the enduring connection of people to the natural world, we acquire and provide access to lands along the Windmill Hill Ridgeline and nearby areas.
Pinnacle trails are open for visitors, with the Pinnacle cabin open for day visitors and overnight reservations. Please observe social distancing and other safety measures. People who are not fully vaccinated should wear masks while in the cabin.
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Reserve your copy of the book The Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association’s Story: How did they get all that land?, written by board members Rosalyn Shaoul and Libby Mills, by making a special donation of $25 or more here.
Thanks to your generous support, the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association has finalized the purchase of an important parcel of forest and ponds in southern Vermont! Donations are still welcome here. The Lily Pond Highlands, formerly known as the Massey property, covers more than 600 acres in the towns of Brookline, Athens, and Townshend, directly within view from the Pinnacle summit. Learn more by reading our article on the property.
The Pinnacle is the highest and most scenic peak (about 1,683 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 Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association has finalized the purchase of an important parcel of wild forest and ponds in southern Vermont. The Lily Pond Highlands covers more than 600 acres in Brookline, Athens, and Townshend, just west of the Pinnacle ridgeline and directly within view from the Pinnacle summit.
This land is important to conserve because its forest offers habitat for bear and moose, and its two pristine ponds are home to beaver colonies, a heron rookery, and several species of ducks. Its wetlands and vernal pools support the endangered Northern bulrush and other uncommon plants. Wood turtles, a species of conservation concern in Vermont, live on the property in the watershed of Grassy Brook. Development is already encroaching into the adjoining valley and ridge, and acquiring the property will permanently protect it from being developed.
The entire property is part of a priority habitat block for the state, and it connects to another large conserved area to the south. Allowing the trees to continue to grow on this tract will capture carbon from the atmosphere to help mitigate the effects of climate change. Next steps include securing a conservation easement and establishing a trail for low-impact public access.
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 a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation that has expanded its land-conservation efforts, linked and extended trail systems, inspired dedicated volunteers, and fostered effective partnerships.
Pinnacle lands—with the inclusion of the Bald Hill and Athens Dome areas—now consist of more than 2,700 acres in Rockingham, Athens, Grafton, Brookline, Townshend, and Westminster. These publicly accessible lands include a 26-mile hiking trail system and wildlife sanctuary.
We invite you to experience these beautiful places, help us protect these special habitats, and introduce these lands to others through our recreational and educational programs. As you learn more, we hope you will become an ardent supporter of the Pinnacle Association and our important conservation work.