Burlington Earth Clock – Burlington, Vermont - Atlas Obscura
Our new kids' book is on sale! Shop now.

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington Earth Clock

Stand at the center of this lakefront sundial, and you'll become part of the timepiece. 

It may look like a prehistoric stone circle randomly erected along the shores of Lake Champlain, but this structure is actually a modern compass, calendar, and clock. Stand smack dab in its center, and you, too, will become part of the timepiece.

Like any sundial, the Burlington Earth Clock uses shadows cast upon the ground to tell time. But this particular sundial is different, as it only really works if a person steps into its center and acts as the gnomon.

The 14 granite stones do more than tell the hour of the day. The whole circle also acts as a compass, with particular stones aligned with the four main cardinal directions. The artwork is a calendar, too. While standing in the center, if you look westward, you’ll see stones planted to mark the point on the horizon where the sun sets during the equinoxes and solstices.

The stone circle was erected by a grassroots nonprofit called Circles for Peace. The aim of the piece is to help people find a sense of inner calm by syncing with the rhythms and cycles of the natural world.

Know Before You Go

When you enter the park, park in the lot to your left, cross back over the street, and then head back toward where you came in. The path will branch off toward the lakefront. Continue a bit up the hill, and you'll run right into it.

Contributed by
CoryHistory CoryHistory
Edited by