Muckross State Park was formally established in July 2016 when the estate of the late State Senator Edgar May donated his former home property to the State of Vermont. It was Mr. May’s desire to see his home become a state park for recreation and learning for all ages, with a focus on nature education and dispersed recreation, serving children of all economic backgrounds. The 204-acre wooded property includes a historic homestead compound, which is perched high on a hill above the Black River. In addition to the historic Craftsman style buildings from c.1912, the estate’s most striking feature is the 80’ high Muckross Falls, which is fed by a 10-acre pond.
SE Group, in collaboration with a team of architects and engineers, developed a Master Plan for Muckross State Park that presents suggested improvements to the park to enhance the recreational and educational opportunities of the site. In addition to exploring uses for the historic buildings that would fit with the park’s program, a new environmental education and day camp pavilion was proposed to provide a sheltered outdoor environment close to the pond. Waterfront accessibility is integrated into the design with a sloped seating lawn, and solutions for safe pedestrian and vehicular circulation are provided in the plan. A conceptual trail network with pause places is also proposed, including a loop trail around the pond, to expand the recreational offerings for visitors. All proposed improvements are designed with a sensitivity to the site’s ecology and historic heritage. The final Master Plan report presented to the Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation includes a detailed site assessment, conceptual plans, cost estimates, phasing recommendations, and a list of potential permits to guide future park planning as additional funds become available for park improvements.