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Jeff Waters, of Woodstock, Vt., plays with his one-year-old daughter, Amara, at Lake Pinneo in Quechee, Vt., on May 18, 2015. (Valley News – Sarah Priestap) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Places to swim have been a big topic in Hartford lately, with the announcement that Sherman Manning Pools (the public pool on the Hartford High School campus) will close this summer, and possibly be permanently decommissioned after that.

Now, reporter Matt Hongoltz-Hetling has dug up some documents related to Lake Pinneo.

The Quechee Lakes Landowners Association, which had the lake constructed in 1974, has prohibited public access since 2015. Yet according to the state records, the permit to build lake was based in part on the premise that all Hartford residents would be allowed to swim, fish and boat there for a modest fee.

The following PDF is the decision from the Vermont Water Resources Board in May 1974 in response to Quechee Lakes’ application to construct Lake Pinneo.

Quechee Lakes was required to get this approval from the Water Resources Board as part of its larger Act 250 application.

  • Under item 7, C, the board took into consideration the effects on recreational values and found that “with the construction of a recreational lake and beach area, open to use by residents of the Town of Hartford for boating, swimming and fishing, recreational values will be enhanced.”
  • Under item 7, K, the board considered that the public benefits of the lake would be “substantially increased recreational facilities for the residents of the Town of Hartford who will be permitted to use the lake upon payment of a maintenance charge.”


The following PDF is the Act 250 permit awarded to Quechee Lakes in June 1974.

The 11th condition includes an item that says “all residents of the Town of Hartford will be eligible to use the lake, probably with a minimum registration fee.”