Location: Stowe Village, accessible from Sunset Street and Taber Hill Road
Date Protected: August 1999; land purchased by SLT with funding from the Town of Stowe, Freeman Foundation, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Recreation Trails Program and private donors
Landowner: Town of Stowe; conservation easement held by SLT and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
Conservation Purposes: The primary purposes of the conservation easement are to conserve and protect the public outdoor recreational, scenic, natural areas and open space resources of the property, and to prevent the use or development of the property that would adversely affect these resources. The secondary purposes are to provide opportunities for educational activities and to conserve significant wildlife habitats for present and future generations.
Project Background: Protecting Sunset Rock was a goal of Stowe Land Trust’s because of its significant scenic and recreational attributes, and its contribution to Stowe’s rural character. The opportunity to purchase the property arose in February 1999. At Town Meeting, locals expressed their support for the purchase by voting in favor of a Town Bond for the purchase. Stowe Land Trust closed on the property in August 1999, placed a conservation easement on it, and donated the property to the Town.
Property Description: The property contains a mix of forested and recently cut-over upland habitat types, which include a range of vegetative age and size classes from regenerating early successional sapling stands to pole-sized hardwood and a stand of log-sized white pine. These conditions have resulted largely from various human disturbances and manipulations. The property is an early successional habitat, so it is anticipated that the forest structure and species composition will change significantly in the coming years. The property does not contain any significant streams or springs, however there are some wet areas most notably along the northeastern edge of the property. This mix of conditions provides habitat for wildlife including: deer, wild turkey, partridge and songbirds. Two carriage road-type trails and one steeper foot trail rising out of the Village are maintained on the property for public access.
Public Access: Sunset Rock is accessible from Sunset Street via the Sunset Rock Trail, or the parking lot on Taber Hill Road.
Directions: Sunset Rock is located in Stowe Village off of Sunset Street or Taber Hill Road. Sunset Street entrance (walking directions): From the intersection of Route 100 and 108 in Stowe Village, head north on Route 100. Bear right onto Sunset Street and walk to the end of the street. The Sunset Trail is marked and begins off to the right. Parking is available on Main Street or in any of the designated parking areas in Town. Please do not park on Sunset Street, all parking is reserved for residents. Taber Hill Road entrance (driving directions): From the intersection of Route 100 and Route 108 in Stowe Village, head north on Route 100. Take your 3rd right onto School Street. After 0.3 miles, bear left onto Taber Hill Road. Travel for 0.3 miles and turn left into the Sunset Rock parking area.