, a small alpine lake nestled in the woods on one side of the rugged mountain pass known as Smugglers' Notch, is lovely whether covered in ice and snow, warmed by the summer sun or curtained with mist on a cool autumn morning amongst the season’s foliage. The trek is a short but steep two-mile round trip up and down from the parking lot on Vermont 108. Or as it known to locals, the Notch Road. The excursion can be turned into a half-day or all day hike by adding on one of many linking segments, including stretches of Vermont's storied Long Trail. A swim in Sterling Pond will not be forgotten!
a challenging climb of 2.1 miles and 2500 feet of elevation, the first 1.6 miles follow blue blazes until it meets up with the Toll Road for the final half mile. Before it terminates at the Nose, you are afforded a multitude of scenic vistas due to the ski trails transecting the Haselton. It is well-worth the effort, and those hardy souls who make the climb will be amply rewarded with extravagant views and a great sense of accomplishment.
is a fun and challenging route to 'The Chin' of Mt. Mansfield (The Summit). This is the shortest and steepest but also most technically difficult route to the summit. The trail is mostly large rocks and is usually wet. This route is considerably less busy than the popular Long Trail, which also makes it an appealing and challenging alternative route to the crest. Elevation gain is about 2600 feet and the trail is about 4 miles in length.
is known as the birthplace of Stowe skiing. The first downhill ski trails in Stowe were cut in Ranch Valley in the 1930’s. Look for a sign for the “Ranch Camp”, Stowe’s first ski in –ski out hotel! While the focus of downhill skiing has moved up Route 108, the Ranch Valley still offers great turns as well as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing during the ski season and great hiking during the summer months.
The Long Trail
Known as the “Footpath in the Wilderness,” follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains for more than 270 miles from the Massachusetts line to the Canadian Border. Built by the Green Mountain Club (GMC) between 1910 and 1930, the Long Trail is the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the country. In 2015, Stowe Mountain Resort completed construction of the Spruce Loop which connects Spruce Peak at Stowe to the Long Trail. Head to the top of the Spruce Peak Plaza, follow Liftline Drive to the trail head on your right.
is a relatively short hike located east of town. The trailhead in Stowe Hollow is a 2.8-mile drive from Main Street on mostly paved roads. From the trailhead, it's a 1.4-mile hike to the summit of the Pinnacle, a 2,740-foot peak in the Worcester Range (the eastern border of Stowe). Most of the trail is a fairly gradual and unobstructed ascent up the west side of the Pinnacle. And there is a short rocky section as you near the top. At the summit, you will find unparalleled views of the town of Stowe below and Mt. Mansfield to the west.