The transformation of Sentry Hill (picture gallery included)

Sentry Hill’s highest point. Photo contributed.

~ Article and photos contributed by S.R. ~

Dutch Cul de Sac/Emilio Wilson Estate – The transformation of St. Maarten’s highest hill, Sentry Hill, which also has Emilio Wilson Estate nestled on one side, has seen a slow but steady transformation in the past few months ever since Rain Forest Adventures (RFA) started their building activities in the area in preparation for the ski lift chair up the hill and other coming attractions.

The Emilio Wilson Estate, and Sentry Hill by extension, will have atleast 8 ski lift towers going up the hill in addition to chair receiving stations. These were placed recently with the help of a helicopter over a 3 week period, leaving many residents with little rest.

Ski Lift Towers leading up Sentry Hill. Photo contributed.

The access dirt road up the hill is about 4 to 5 meters wide and will see, as developers indicated an emergency evacuation route along side it in case the ski chair lift malfunctions.

First ski lift receiving station. Photo contributed.

The first ski lift receiving station sits right below the peak of Sentry Hill on the right side when looking up from Emilio Wilson Estate. Guests will have to disembark here and take another ski lift chair which entry point sits about 30 meters from the disembarking zone. This second ski lift station will lead guests to the highest peak of Sentry Hill.

Highest ski lift receiving station. Photo contributed.
On top of highest receiving station. Photo contributed.

Once disembarking the second ski chair lift, guests will need to find their way to the peak of Sentry Hill where RFA has yet to build the observatory deck(s).

Building of Zip Line and observatory deck. Photo contributed.

The views are amazing but one can’t help but feel disappointed and saddened that Sentry Hill has undergone irreversible man made changes. Also one has to wonder what will happen to all the man made structures in the unfortunate event that RFA’s commercial venture seizes to exist due to financial hardship.

Zip line station. Photo contributed.

The zip line attraction, one of the steepest in the world, will be for those thrill seekers looking for a steep spike in adrenaline as it’s almost a vertical drop down.

Zip line view. Photo contributed.

Before starting operations, RFA stated their building activities would not affect more than 3% of Emilio Wilson Estate. That appears not be accurate as judging from the picture below, one can see the lower section of their building activities and see that 5 new buildings have been erected or are in the process of being built. One of which is a massive white rectangular building which supposedly will house the ski lift engine. The bus parking lot has not been paved yet which will impact the lower section of Emilio Wilson Estate even further.

Lower section of Emilio Wilson Estate with RFA’s ongoing building activities. Photo contributed.



  1. Listen at this time we got to try all kinds of things to stimulate the eeconomy. Emilio Wilson park is nice and peaceful but it needs to be utilized . It makes no money as is. its stagnant. We need a controlled motion forward. They don’t have to use the whole park , just some of it and make it an entertainment that benefits our island . Something we can use.

  2. Still better in my opinion than having an apartment complex or housing project built there like the original geniuses came up with. This project preserves a significant amount of nature versus the concrete jungle rhetoric of the old guard. Looks like they’re restoring the Emilio Wilson house as well.

  3. Van putten ??All they could do is talk shit but they the ones who goin be on it enjoying there self f*** ppl in Sxm especially nienke

  4. This is sxm again like to damn complaining all the time, can you do better, leave the landscape for who, for another foreigner to buy and do something else with then what complain again, hush and leave progress do it’s work, it’s a tourist attraction, you will see when it start, make sure you don’t go up there because you are against, being here for 38 years all I know you people only complains and then votes the same people again, also make sure non of your families enjoy it either, I wont to see that, I wonder where your salaries comes from and from your families and friends, for you don’t grow anything to sell.

    • That those not mean Idont have an opinion see thaats what beeen goin on for years where there a town meeting for this project I neva see MarcelGumbs in culsac eva tell me something who is benifiting from this project culsac ppl Im damn shur not me A StMartiner? so take it easy lets ?see

  5. What a waste of one the most beautiful spots on the island. And the walk up there used to be so beautiful.. Glad I did it several times before the influence of money spoiled the experience.. Sad.

  6. We are always hiking there. But last week we could not pas because piles of wood was obstucting our way. How will that be in the future? We are still aloud to hike there?

    • RFA cannot stop anyone from hiking Sentry Hill. They only hold the long lease to Emilio Wilson Estate. So from Cake House road you can still access the highest peak.