One of the simple pleasures of cycling is the scenery that one encounters while on the road. Fortunately, for visitors of Stowe, Vermont, the area offers many scenic routes for road cyclists to enjoy eight months of the year.
Stowe offers a riding experience for all levels including challenging hills for the accomplished cyclist. As with many rural areas, the roads here can be a bit narrow and the shoulders are often small. However, Vermont drivers are used to sharing the road and tend to be very courteous to cyclists.
Stowe Recreation Path Beginner/Family:
For cyclists with less experience, the Stowe Recreation path is a wonderful option providing a 11 mile round trip tour. Start your ride by parking on Brook Road off of Route 108. You can follow this path all the way to the end on Mountain Road and back. For a slightly more adventurous tour, exit the path at Chase Park and turn right onto Luce Hill Road, then left at Barrows Road, Moscow Road and River Road (a firm dirt section), which brings you back to Stowe Village. This is an eight mile loop.
Local Tip: During your ride on the Stowe Recreation Path, you can take advantage of several local swimming holes that can be found along the West Branch Little River, as well as stop for breakfast, lunch or dinner at several restaurants along the way.
Randolph Road Intermediate and Advanced Cyclists:
Turn left out of Stowe Mountain Lodge and follow Route 108 to downtown Stowe. From downtown Stowe, ride north on Route 100 three miles, then turn right on Randolph Road. This is a nice bike road with very little traffic and wonderful views of Mount Mansfield and the Worcester range. This is an excellent 25 mile out-and-back ride if you ride all the way to Morrisville and return to Stowe.
Notch Loop Intermediate and Advanced Cyclists:
The Notch Loop is a classic ride for Stowe road bikers and is a challenge whichever direction you ride. Begin south on Route 108 and then left to go north out of Stowe on Route 100. Turn left on Stagecoach Road and continue straight through Morristown Corners. At Hyde Park, proceed west on Route 15, through Johnson and then left onto Route 108 in Jeffersonville.
The Notch is the last thing between you and your return to Stowe – total distance is 43 miles. Note that if you ride this course clockwise, you will climb the Stowe side of “The Notch,” which is significantly steeper. Riding counterclockwise is less steep but the hill is much longer.
This course was used as a qualifying race to make the 1976 Olympic Road Biking Team; the race started and finished in the Spruce Peak parking lot at Stowe Mountain Resort and ran clockwise for 2 laps 86 miles total! George Mount won the Stowe race and went on to a fourth place finish in the Olympic Road Race in Montreal, missing the Bronze Medal by one place in a 4man breakaway sprint finish.
Stowe Loop Intermediate and Advanced Cyclists:
A shorter loop in Stowe is from Route 108, turn onto Luce Hill Road, bear left onto Barrows Road, and follow this 'til it ends on Moscow Road. Take a left and ride to the end of Moscow Road at Rouet100. Turn left and ride approximately a half mile. Turn right onto Gold Brook Road which will have a 90 degree bend to the left after about a quarter of a mile. Take a left onto Covered Bridge Road. Here you will pass the famous 'Emily's Bridge' a Stowe landmark. At the end of the road, bear left onto Stowe Hollow Road. This will end (with a slight left) at School Street, which brings you to Main Street, where 108 will bring you back to your start. This is about a 20 mile ride.
Randolph/ Stagecoach Loop Intermediate and Advanced Cyclists:
Take a left out of Stowe Mountain Lodge and head south on route 108 until you reach the center of Stowe. Turn left to go north on Route 100 for three miles, bear right onto Randolph Road. Follow Randolph Road until it ends in Morrisville and then turn right to follow Route 100 North for about one mile until you see Bridge Street. Ride down Bridge Street until you meet Cady's Falls Road. Turn right and look for Stagecoach Road, the first road on the left. This will return you to Stowe and Route 100, about two miles north of Main Street. Turn right onto Route 108 North to return to the Lodge. This is about a 27 mile ride from Stowe Mountain Lodge.
Cambridge/Bakersfield Intermediate and Advanced Cyclists:
You can either climb up and over ‘The Notch’ for this ride or drive over and start in Cambridge. Climb up Cambridge Road to Fletcher, where the road becomes Fairfield Road, follow this north to Fairfield where you will turn right onto Route 36, ride through East Fairfield into Bakersfield.
In Bakersfield, you will turn right onto Route 108 for a fast ride back down to Jeffersonville. Route 15 will return you to Cambridge or Route 108 will take the advanced cyclist back over ‘The Notch’ to Stowe, for those that started their ride without a drive.