Staff report

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is seeking public feedback on potential designs to enhance Mt. Philo State Park. The ultimate goal is to update the park to meet current visitor needs,while protecting the environment, enhancing historic and cultural resources, and making needed safety improvements.

Mt. Philo is Vermont’s first State Park, as well as its most popular, with over 40,000 visitors every year. In recent years several issues have become apparent in the park, and a full design plan was deemed necessary to ensure that the park is accessible and safe for all users while serving as a sustainable, natural, and recreational resource for generations to come.

After nearly a decade of work and with substantial public input, the long-range management plan (LRMP) for Mt. Philo State Park identified the need of enhancement plans to address parking and trail improvements in response to increased park use, which includes:

  • improved vehicular and pedestrian circulation/safety
  • storm water management/treatment
  • permanent restroom facilities
  • improved accessibility
  • sustainable path connections
  • expanded seating space

“Through the LRMP development process, a number of issues came to light that clearly require yet more planning, design and input,” Parks Regional Manager Reuben Allen said. “Ongoing communication and collaboration with our community partners and park users is critical to our success at Mt. Philo and elsewhere, and just because the plan is complete doesn’t mean the process of designing needed improvements to the park is going to stop. As we move forward, we welcome feedback and ideas for us to continue to improve our ability to serve those who enjoy our unmatched park system.”

The Mt. Philo LRMP was developed by its district stewardship team, a group consisting of subject matter experts from all disciplines within the Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). The plan can be viewed at Mt. Philo Long Range Management Plan. Feedback on the proposed design should be directed to Reuben Allen, Parks Regional Manager at (802) 779-6054 or via email.