Pinnacle Park gets a facelift

DORSET- Cutler Memorial Forest and The Pinnacle Park have been undergoing changes that local hikers may find worthwhile.

The Pinnacle property is a 35 acre forested parcel and an adjacent seven acres on a small hill (named the Pinnacle) east of Route 30.

Before Dorset took ownership of the property it was first given to Long Trail School, but the school was unable to make proper use of the land. Eventually, the town acquired ownership in the eastern most part of Pinnacle Lane, which was given to the town by the Keeler-Mithoefer family. Dorset now has ownership stake in all of Pinnacle Lane.

The town road crew created a small parking lot area just off of Pinnacle Lane, with a new trail header sign, allowing easier access the park by car.

There is also work on "The Tower" at the top of Pinnacle Hill - the 102-year-old tower was starting to fall apart.

History of the property

The property was given to the town in 1976 by Mrs. Isabella Cutler. However, before that, in 1910, Miss Cecelia De Nottbeck had a stone tower built at the top of the hill to replicate a "ruin" from the English landscape. That "ruin" is now know as "Pinnacle Tower." Cutler added walking and hiking trails around the tower, staring to turn the area into what it is today.

In 2005, the town of Dorset acquired the remaining property through a gift from the late Robert and Margaret Keeler.

In recent years the Dorset Conservation Commission has made several improvements to the property:

Making trails, creating a parking area, and building a new bridge over the Mettawee river.

This past fall the Conservation Commission designed a network of small bridges to link the trail networks together, allowing hikers to traverse over wet areas. A hike around the entire property takes anywhere from 35 to 45 minutes and the trails cover both flat ground and hills.

The trails are used for more than hiking, as it is an popular spot during the winter for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. The changes to the park will allow for better access to all users in any season.

The town of Dorset hopes to encourage residents to make the short trek to the Pinnacle and see the progress that has been made.


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