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Author Archives: Mark Vandenberg

Stowe Loves Summer

May 25, 2022 1:01 pm

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When people think about Stowe some may immediately think about winter, snow, and skiing. Which is rightfully so, however we also think summer can be just as adventurous and enjoyable as our winter season. Keep reading to discover why Stowe is in love with summer (and why we think summer loves Stowe right back).

The water is cool, and oh so refreshing.

Between the plentiful swimming spots along the Stowe Recreation Path, Bingham Falls, Moss Glen Falls, the Waterbury Reservoir and our indoor pool, Stowe provides so many options to play in the water. Perhaps you are seeking a little adventure, then head to Bingham Falls, or take the very accessible and short hike out to Moss Glen Falls. The Waterbury Reservoir also has options for renting paddle boards and kayaks through Umiak Outfitters. The reservoir is also a great spot for families to spend an afternoon picnicking and swimming at the beach.

Best views in Stowe, VermontThere truly is a path for everyone, and in Stowe whether you are hiking or biking this sentiment rings very true.

It’s no secret that the best views can be found at the top of Stowe Pinnacle. However, if you are tight on time, even the shorter trek up to Sunset Rock is also visually and physically rewarding. As far as biking goes, whether you’re traveling with newbies or more advanced riders, the scenic Stowe Recreation Path is a must. Stowe is also home to endless miles of mountain biking. You can search by trail types for all levels and abilities and locations here.

Summer Après Alfresco!

It’s a thing, and it’s definitely a thing in Stowe. After all, your summer vacation should be full of flavor, so we have a great line-up ofOutdoor dining in Stowe, Vermont recommendations. The von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall offers outdoor seating with a view, and the Alchemist is also welcoming back their outdoor Beer Garden opening on May 26th. Let’s also not forget about the sparkling ciders and the outdoor space at Stowe Cider, as well as the beautiful outdoor bar at Idletyme. If you fancy grapes over hops and ciders, we also recommend a glass of wine and cheese plate at Dedalus Wine Shop. Pssst… They also offer free wine and cheese tastings weekly, get the details here.

We hope June’s blog post is getting you excited for your summer vacation in Stowe, or perhaps you are about to look at a calendar to figure out a good time to visit. See you soon!

Winter Adventure Awaits

November 11, 2021 4:16 pm

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If you ask Paige from this season’s television show Winter House on Bravo, she might describe Stowe, Vermont as a place with bad Wi-Fi, a lot of applesauce and locals who home school their children. We’ll attest to the fact that yes, in fact we don’t always have good internet, and we love our apples, but no, most of us do not home school our children as we have a fantastic public school system. And the kids even get a half day off of school in the peak winter months to enjoy skiing and other winter activities. Whether you are coming to Stowe to party like Kyle, Amanda, Gabby, or Cierra, there’s plenty of adventure to be had in our “mom and pops” neck of the woods.

For the 2021/2022 Stowe winter season, there’s probably one word that sums up it all: planning. More and more people are eager to travel, especially with the upcoming vaccinations of children under 12. Stowe, Vermont has always been a high demand destination, but even more so now as travelers focus on those bucket list vacations that have been on hold. This means that this is not the year to leave things to chance. With our tips below you’ll be on track for an unforgettable Stowe winter vacation.

Accommodations

We’ve got a little bit of everything for everyone at the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites. Our Superior Rooms on the ground floor with drive-up access are perfect for adventure seekers looking for quick and easy access to their car and to make a quick early morning getaway for first chair at the mountain. If convenience and the ultimate comforts are more your style, try our Deluxe Suites with full kitchens and a gas fireplace. These rooms sleep two adults and two children comfortably. Christmas and New Year’s Week, Martin Luther King Jr. Weekend, and Presidents’ Week fill up very fast with all other peak weekends from January through March following close behind.

Important Links:
Sun & Ski Inn “Before you Arrive” Information
Hotel Room Information

 

Winter Activities

If you are planning to downhill ski at Stowe Mountain Resort, be sure to check your dates for accommodations and ski ticket prices simultaneously. The longer you wait to purchase your tickets before you arrive, the more expensive it will be. Better yet, purchase an Epic Pass before season pass sales end later this month. This year’s 20% Epic Pass price reduction can’t be beat. We highly recommend that you read the information from Stowe Mountain Resort on our “Stowe Alpine Ski Planner” which also gives information on mask and vaccination requirements.

If you want to have a bit more flexibility and plan activities according to the weather forecast, you will not have much trouble with Nordic skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating, and fat biking. Sleigh rides, dog sledding, and snowmobiling are all better reserved in advanced. Don’t forget to ask about the cancellation policy for inclement weather conditions.

Important Links:
Stowe Alpine Ski Planner
Winter Activity Information

 

Gear and Clothing

We’ve made it easier than ever to be prepared for your Vermont getaway with the right gear and clothing. Visit our new Sun & Ski Inn Shop for a consciously curated collection that will help you make the most out of the season. We’ve got Men’s, Women’s, and Kids’ clothing and accessories, from ski jackets to gloves. You’ll also find backpacks, sweatshirts, and some snowboards with eye-popping designs, too! Whether you’re visiting Stowe, or any other ski mountain this season, get geared up for a comfortable ride down your favorite runs. (You may even find a few gift ideas!)From iconic ski brands to locally sourced casual wear, it’s right here for you in the Sun & Ski Inn Shop.

 

Top Five Foliage Drives in Stowe

September 30, 2021 1:28 pm

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Leaf peeping season is among us! While the first leaves already start to change at the end of August, the best colors usually appear between the last few days of September and the middle of October. No one can predict exactly when peak will arrive, but if you travel to Stowe during that time period you are sure to see some beautiful scenery.

Our guests often ask us what the best driving routes are around Stowe. Even within the borders of Stowe, the leaves change at different times depending on the elevation. We’ve mapped out the five best foliage driving routes that will give you the best of everything. Here are the highlights.

Elmore Mountain Road to Randolph Road

From the Stowe village, head north on Route 100 toward Morrisville. On the right hand side you will see a road to right called Randolph Road. Shortly after, turn right onto Elmore Mountain Road. Stay on Elmore Mountain Road until you reach Route 12. Take a left on Route 12 which will turn into Upper Main street. Upper Main Street will turn into Historic Vermont Route 100. On the left you will see Randolph Road again. Continue on Randolph Road until you meet up with Route 100 again to return to Stowe.

Visitor tip: Elmore Mountain Road is home to Elmore Mountain Farm, a wonderful Vermont business that makes soaps and other body care items. The farm is not open for visitors. However, their products can be found in local retail shops like the Body Lounge just down the street from the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites.

Brush Hill

From the Stowe Village head north on Route 100 toward Morrisville. On the right hand side you will see a sign for Brush Hill Road. Brush Hill Road turns into Moss Glen Falls Rd.

Visitor Tip: Before getting back to Route 100, a stop at Moss Glen Falls is a must do! A short walk (10 minutes) will bring you to some of the most beautiful cascading waterfalls in the area.

Edson Hill and West Hill Road

From the Sun & Ski Inn property, take a left onto Route 108/Mountain Road. Stay on the Mountain Road until you reach Edson Hill Road on the right-hand side. Continue on Edson Hill and it will bring you automatically to West Hill Road. Stay on West Hill Road to the bottom which brings you back to the Mountain Road.

Visitor Tip: Edson Hill Road will take you along some of the most beautiful and grand residential properties in Stowe. Don’t expect to get a peak at many of them, though, because they are hidden down long dirt drive-ways and densely forested areas. Some have ornamented gates. Regardless, this drive is one of the most beautiful at all moments of foliage season. Early leaf peepers will be treated with color at these high elevations and even past peak is a sight to see as the deeper parts of the forested areas turn colors and shed their leaves to form a blanket of color.

 

Moscow and Little River

From the Sun & Ski Inn property, take a left onto route 108/Mountain Road. At the fork in the road at St. John’s Episcopal church, take a left onto Luce Hill Road. Take a left onto Barrows Road. This route will take you through mostly residential areas of Stowe. At the end of Barrows Road take a left onto Moscow Road. At the end of Moscow Road you will take a left onto River Road for the last leg of the loop. River Road will bring you back to Route 100. Continue left onto Route 100 to the Stowe Village and return to the Sun & Ski Inn by taking another left onto Route 108/Mountain Road. This route is best around the middle of foliage season because of its lower elevations.

Visitor Tip: A little-known fact is that Moscow is a historic village. It used to be an industrial center with a general store and school. MoscowFall foliage in Stowe, Vermont has its own zip code and still has its own 4th of July parade every year.

Stowe Hollow to Cold Hollow Cider Mill

From the Stowe Village take Route 100 North and take a right on to School Street across from the Stowe community church. Stay straight to continue onto Stowe Hollow Road. Take a left onto Upper Hollow Road and follow until you reach Kneeland Flats Road. Kneeland Flats will take you back to Route 100 where you will take a right towards Stowe.

Visitor Tip: On Upper Hollow Road keep an eye out for one of the most picturesque red barns in Vermont. It’s a must have for your Instagram feed! Don’t forget to stop for a hot apple cider and a cider donut on your way back at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill!

Download Foliage Map

Health and Well-Being Awaits

September 1, 2021 12:21 pm

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The kids are back to school and you may be returning to in-person work or continuing in a remote capacity. While you may have had the summer family vacation, it might not be quite enough to give you the re-set you really need. Stowe, Vermont is the perfect location to relax and invest in your health and well-being. Check out the experiences below and plan a getaway.

Stay

Lodging in Stowe, VermontAt the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites our Deluxe Suite is designed with comfort, convenience, and relaxation in mind. It is a spacious room with a king size bed, full kitchen, and sitting area. In the winter months, enjoy the gas fireplace as well. Sip a cup of tea, open the windows for fresh air, and view the green hillsides and in some rooms the babbling river behind our property.

Un-wind

One of the best ways to un-wind is to exercise and get physical. We have multiple opportunities at your doorstep. One of our favorite activities is waking up early for an early morning walk on the Stowe Recreation Path. Walking over bridges, along side the river and through the trees along the recreation path is a zen-like experience sure to clear the mind and soul. Or take a hike to the top of one of many beautiful peaks.

Relax

A reset is not complete without relaxation. We recommend a visit to one of our several local spas including The Lodge at Spruce Peak or Stoweflake Mountain Resort. Relieve the muscle tension in the sauna and hot tub, schedule a massage, and feel the tension melt away. Relax the mind and spirit with a yoga class to complete your physical and internal make-over.

Feed the senses

Your well-being is undoubtedly impacted by the food you eat. Commit to healthy eating during your getaway to cleanse and heal from the inside out. While it’s tempting to fall into the trap of vacation eating, we have specific meal tips from around the destination. For breakfast, start with our “Fresh Start” breakfast box including healthy items like yogurt, fruit, a Vermont Smoke and Cure meat stick, and Cabot cheese. Stop for lunch at Café on Main and choose from a variety of soups and deli salads. Finish off the day with Pecan crusted Salmon at Harrison’s Restaurant.

Transform

You’ve taken the first steps towards investing in your health and well-being, but how do you make it stick after the vacation is over? One of our experience partners, Rachel Vandenberg from PEAK Leadership Coaching can support you to do just that. Make your trip purposeful and the impact long-lasting by building in individual, partner, or group coaching sessions. The coaching sessions will deliver strategies giving you the ability to carry and maintain the sense of harmony you received from your trip. The coaching program includes two coaching sessions during your retreat and one virtually in the follow-up to your trip. Book the coaching package through PEAK and receive a two night/three-day personal itinerary, reservation assistance for each activity you choose and a 25% lodging discount. Learn more here.

 

Ice Cream Treats for Summer Days

August 3, 2021 7:02 pm

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Ice cream in Stowe, VermontThis month’s blog is written by 11-year old guest writer Noah. He knows his ice cream and takes you on a tour of ice cream treats available throughout the Stowe Area.

Stowe Sweets

Stowe Sweets is an ice cream and creemee shop right behind the Country Store on Main in the center of town. They have a variety of flavors like Vanilla, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip, Fly Fishing Fudge, Muddy Boots, and my favorite Cotton Candy. They have a bunch more flavors, so make sure to check those out too. I really love this place because it’s right by the Rec Path and it’s right in the center of town. They also have very kind employees which is a service we always love having. Their employees are high school students trying to start a good life. I really like how they have smiles on their faces and are always working hard to give good service.

Red Barn Ice Cream

This ice cream shop you guys will really like because of its location! (And the ice cream of course.) Red Barn Ice cream is an ice cream and sweets shop right on the Rec Path. This is a very great location for our guests because it is a few minutes walk from the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites. This shop serves Wilcox Ice Cream a Vermont-based ice cream maker. Lastly, Red Barn is a very kid-friendly place it has a mini picnic benches, which are perfect for the kids.

Acorn Italian Ice

Acorn may not sell ice cream but it’s close. I love this place so much I had to put it on the list. This place has great Italian ice. They have the best flavors like Birthday Cake, Swedish Fish Chocolate, and Lemon. You can even have two flavors in one cup. This place is a family business that has great customer service and we love going there because of it. They have a nice lawn to enjoy your Italian ice. Also, it is in the center of town so it is a great place to go to when you’re taking a stroll through town.

Crossroad Creemees

This place may be farther than some people may like, but I think it’s worth the drive or pick up a treat on your way out of town (located near the 89 interstate exit). I love this place because of their creemees and milk shakes. This place also has amazing prices for what they serve you. Their employees work hard to serve you with nice creemees and good service.

 

Effortless Family Fun

June 30, 2021 11:39 pm

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By our family, for your family

Since 1996, the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites has been owned by the Diender family. The Diender family comes from a long line of hospitality operators and the business is currently owned and operated by Michael and Debi Diender’s daughter and son-in-law, Rachel and Mark Vandenberg. Rachel’s parents always had a vision for creating family-friendly accommodations in Stowe, Vermont. The location, conveniently across from the Stowe Recreation Path and bordering the West Branch River, has long been a draw for visitors, and the on-site Family fun in Stowe, Vermontactivities have been enhanced with the glass-enclosed pool and 18-hole miniature golf course over the years. The Vandenbergs continued the family focus with an expansion in 2015 including new rooms and Stowe Bowl, the 8-lane boutique bowling lounge. The new developments for the hotel were thoughtfully designed, always keeping in mind what the Vandenbergs experienced was most convenient for their own family and three active children. In recent years, the Vandenbergs have created an environment committed to effortless family fun.

Effortless

We recently asked one of our loyal guests what made them come back again and again to our property. The convenience of our location and on-site entertainment and activities was one of the biggest reasons they named. Stowe, Vermont has a great offering of outdoor activities, shopping, and dining. Add the indoor swimming pool, mini-golf and bowling alley, and the vacation is complete, flexible for any season, and available without even stepping foot into the car.Pet-friendly lodging in Stowe, Vermont

We’ve expanded on our offering of an “effortless” experience by investing in our product and services. Check-in with our rapid registration process, bring your pet at no additional cost, send us a text message for your needs, pick up our breakfast boxes anytime, and request housekeeping services when you need them.

Family

Our commitment to families is deeply rooted in our inclusive family values. It starts with our own family and dedication to spending quality time with our children. It continues with our extended family, including our loyal staff members with whom we promote a family first attitude. Our guests are also part of our extended Family-friendly lodging in Stowe, Vermontfamily and we understand that your family includes friends and your loyal furry friend as well.

The Sun & Ski Inn and Suites is committed to creating a family vacation environment that is safe, warm, diverse and inclusive for everyone that wishes to stay with us.

Fun

What would a vacation be without the number one priority – FUN! Our lives are filled with responsibility and obligation. Vacation is a time to relax, let go, and have tons of fun. Relax by ourFamily fun in Stowe, Vermont wood-burning fireplace (winter) or outdoor fire-pit (summer). Splash in the river. Play board games and lawn games. Enjoy some friendly competition on the mini-golf course or the bowling lane. Explore the town by foot, bike, or car. Find adventure on the mountain or in the woods.

Summer events come back to Stowe

June 2, 2021 4:10 pm

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The unofficial start of summer has come, and we are thrilled for the comeback of events around Stowe in the coming months. From live music to fairs, markets and food events, there’s a bit of something for everyone.

Markets

The Stowe Farmer’s Market is underway for the season and takes place every Sunday from 10:30am to 3:00pm at its new location on the Mountain Road. Locals and visitors alike enjoy hanging out at the market listening to live music, picking up fresh locally farmed food products and discovering other locally made products like handmade jewelry and artwork.

Summer events in Stowe, Vermont

Stowe Vibrancy’s Main Street Live event is a wonderful Thursday evening activity starting July 15th, 2021 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. Stroll the historic Main Street and take pause at the music tent for some live tunes and vibes from the Vermont Jazz Trio and weekly guest musicians. Pick up some beautiful gifts from artisan vendors lined up in white tents on Park Street.

Beer and Cider Garden Events

The first weekend in June marks the return of Stowe Cider’s Garden. Enjoy outdoor live music in a beautiful garden setting typically offered on the weekend evenings. Book tables or picnic spots in advance with a mature (21+ only) group of friends. Summer is a great time to try one of Stowe Cider’s limited summer releases like Brain Waves Gummy Bears or their rose-flavored Stowe Craft Seltzer.

The Alchemist Brewery will open its first season-long beer garden on July 1st, 2021. The outdoor bar will sell beer, wine, soft drinks and light snacks. The Alchemist has a beautiful field area to sit and relax while kicking back a cold one. They will offer picnic tables and shady umbrella-covered areas and encourage guests to bring their own picnics from surrounding restaurants and eateries.

Family Friendly Fairs

The first returning signature Stowe event is the Vermont Renaissance Fair on June 26th and 27th. The Renaissance Fair will feature artisan and craft vendors from around New England. Dress your best in traditional renaissance attire and experience performances from musicians, acrobats, dancers and even a joust! You won’t go hungry with their offering of food and beverages from local food and drink vendors.

While not located in Stowe, the Champlain Valley Fair at the end of August is well worth the mention in our line-up of summer events. Just a short 45 minutes away you can partake in a yearly Vermont tradition at the Champlain Valley Expo. Take in one of the motorsports shows, ride the Ferris wheel, visit the animal exhibits and munch on your favorite fair food like fried dough and cotton candy. The “10 best days of summer” begin on August 27th, 2021.

A Vermont Vaxication

April 30, 2021 2:56 pm

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We are unlikely to take vacations for granted ever again in our lifetime. It’s been over a year for many people since they traveled. It’s not only about the places we visit, but most importantly the people with whom we travel and those we visit. With vaccinations being rolled out swiftly in the United States, the vacation and travel surge is about to hit.

They’re calling it the “Vaxication”: the first trip planned after one is fully vaccinated. We think a Vermont Vaxication is just what the doctor ordered. Especially since Vermont no longer requires a quarantine period to travel to Vermont from out of state.

What does one do on a vaxication? We do, of course, what we haven’t been able to do!

Take a breath of fresh air

We’ve been stuck behind masks for many months. While masks are still required in many places indoors, the CDC recently announced that vaccinated individuals are no longer expected to wear masks outdoors. It’s time to throw caution to the winds and breathe freely in the open air. Vermont has plenty of ways to enjoy the fresh mountain air. With a dry spring, mountain biking is already in full swing in Stowe, Restaurant in Stowe, VermontVermont. We recommend Cady Hill for early season riding. If a vigorous walk is more your style, try Cotton Brook.

Enjoy your favorite restaurants

Take-out is great once in a while, but it takes away from the act of dining out as a leisure activity. You can now eat indoors at one of your favorite Stowe, Vermont restaurants. We’ve missed date nights at Harrison’s Restaurant and family dinners at Sushi Yoshi at the tatami tables. We haven’t even had the opportunity to experience the newly renovated space at the Skinny Pancake! We’ve heard the “Green Mountain” Crepe with Vermont apples and Cabot cheddar cheese is delicious. Stowe restaurants are looking forward to serving you again live and in person.

Re-unite with family and friends

With vaccinations and loosening gathering restrictions in Vermont, we are back in business with family reunions, “vax-givings” (parties toBowling party in Stowe, Vermont celebrate everyone being vaccinated), bachelor parties, weddings, and more! The Sun & Ski Inn and Suites is the perfect home base to bring your loved ones back together with our large Loft Suites, Deluxe Suites with kitchens, and connecting rooms. We also have plenty of on-site activities like bowling and mini-golf. Let us help you plan a party!

 

Grinding Gravel

March 31, 2021 9:42 pm

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Gravel riding, also known as gravel grinding or adventure riding, is an increasingly popular form of cycling that combines elements of road and mountain biking, but involves riding over dirt roads. Stowe, Vermont is particularly well suited for gravel rides, events, and races, as the surrounding rolling hills and idyllic countryside boast more unpaved roads than paved! The first organized gravel rides began appearing in Stowe and then statewide in the early 2000s, and this year there are multiple events slated to run from April through October, attracting thousands of riders to the area to ride, race and roister with like-minded gravel enthusiasts. Climbing up a long, steep dirt route in the Green Mountain Forest as the road undulates and surfaces change–all under picture-perfect blue skies–is an unforgettable experience that only non-traditional bike riders will ever get to appreciate.

Considered by most to be the Greg LeMond of the gravel world as the two-time winner of the Dirty Kanza and a podium finisher at a host of other gravel races, is Stowe’s own Ted King, better known as “The Gravel King”. As a Middlebury College graduate, King has ridden Vermont’s dirt roads for decades, and when not racing professionally in Europe is an ambassador for the general sport of cycling. His lobbying in support of putting more seats in saddles takes the form of encouraging gravel riding, coaching and hosting a pair of events: Rooted Vermont & King Challenge. In addition, King also sits on the board of Mountain Bike Afghanistan and nourishes the love of cycling with his company, Untapped, which highlights a single, pure ingredient: maple syrup, Vermont’s own incredibly wholesome, nutritious sweetness that can fuel rides, leaving behind the world of traditional sports gels.

King leads a rigorous Saturday morning group ride from late spring through early fall entitled the “Stowe Gravel Worlds” loop that features mostly buff gravel roads for which Vermont is well known, but still a few, brief Class 4 sections (non-maintained tracks or roads with deep layers of sharp gravel) with plenty of detours, derivations, and hills to set it apart from the standard paved route. As a local, “The Gravel King” suggests an after-ride dip in any number of the West Branch Little River’s swimming holes, refueling with a strong brew and pastry at PK Coffee, grabbing a cold-filtered beverage from the Alchemist brewery, and visiting Ranch Camp for all your gravel bikes needs, whether that be apparel, parts, sales, or service.  At 47.79 kilometers, an elevation difference of 1,168 feet and an average grade of +0.1%, Ted’s après-ride suggestions are a post-ride requirement!Gravel Grinding in Stowe, Vermont

For those with an inflated competitive nature, organized gravel events are now cropping up across the rugged Green Mountain State at a rate never seen before as riding and racing is becoming more inclusive with huge growth in all segments. Sending riders on a combination of dirt, gravel, farm roads, logging trails, and the odd paved section, distances range from 25 to 85 miles, testing the limits of riders of all levels and ages, with most riders competing with themselves just to finish.  And participants throw their leg over all types of iron steeds, including road bikes with skinny rims all the way to fully dedicated gravel bikes with wider, knobby tires, although a traditional MTB or a tandem bicycle might nose the line on occasion. While some events are fully supported with food, aid stations and clearly marked directions, others require the rider to be fully self-sufficient and carry all their own supplies.

So, what’s the pay-off? Unlike traditional road racing events, upon completion of a gravel ride participants gather to share in microbrews, local foods and live music with other competitors and family members. What could be better than riding one’s bike, sipping craft beers, sampling local cheeses while pouring over the latest cycling equipment to a nationally acclaimed band? As Ted King stated, “Everyone is pushing themselves to their limits and celebrating afterward with an IPA—how cool is that?” As difficult as the riding may be, the environment and the chance to ride keeps participants coming back, while new informal and organized gatherings emerge, and existing events increase their ridership. Gravel grinders are approachable for everyone with hopes of getting a little dirt under their tires, but enjoys the atmosphere associated with exploring new paths and their own boundaries.

Nordic Skiing in Stowe, Vermont

February 28, 2021 6:18 pm

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Alpine (downhill) skiing has long been a significant draw for visitors to Stowe, Vermont in the winter. What might be less known, are the fantastic trails and landscapes available for Nordic (cross-country) skiing. For those who have taken up Nordic skiing, there is a great passion for the sport from people who seek a great workout, solitude in the woods and even some downhill thrills. During these times of physical distancing there is also the advantage of not having to wait in lines or ride ski lifts.

Stowe, Vermont has a variety of options and terrains for every Nordic ski lover from homegrown trails out the backdoor and nearby fields to professionally groomed and tracked trails at established Nordic ski centers. Here are our favorite spots around Stowe for this time-honored sport and recreational activity.

Smugglers’ Notch

Smugglers’ Notch is a road that traverses between Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak and crosses over to the neighboring town of Jeffersonville. In the winter it is closed because of the narrow turns around large boulders that are impassible with a snow plow. Drive as far as you can up towards the mountain and the road will stop at a parking lot. Head straight ahead up the road for a gradual incline towards the peak of the road. You may not notice the incline on the way up, but the way down will bring you faster back to the parking lot than expected. Smugglers’ Notch Road is perfect for skiers itching to get their first Nordic experience of the year. Due to the higher elevations it is possible to ski at Smugglers’ Notch when other trails and centers are not yet open for the season.

Stowe Recreation Path

We love the Stowe Recreation Path because it is literally right out the front door of the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites. In the summer the path is Nordic skiing in Stowe, Vermontmeant for biking and walking. In the winter when the path is covered in snow it can be a great (and free!) option for Nordic skiing. For a longer ski take a left on the path to enjoy at least five miles of the winding trail alongside the river and over bridges. You will catch some views of Mount Mansfield along the way. For a shorter ski, head to the right, ski to the center of Stowe, and stop for lunch on Main Street. The best time to ski the Recreation Path is right after a snowstorm. Our local Stowe Nordic Club lays fresh classic ski tracks regularly after a good snowfall. 

Edson Hill

Edson Hill is a small gem in the Nordic ski offerings in Stowe, Vermont. The Heath Family created a trail network in the 1950’s behind the historic Edson Hill Inn (formerly Edson Hill Manor). Edson Hill offers a smaller breadth of trails than the other larger Nordic centers but trails are groomed. Edson Hill is perfect for visiting skiers looking for a ski-in/ski-out experience at a luxury boutique Inn. Finish your day of skiing with a drink and après ski at the cozy Tavern at Edson Hill.

Sterling Forest

Sterling Forest is a great option for Nordic skiers looking for a bit more adventure and untouched terrain on un-groomed trails. There are options for both beginner skiers (Maple Run) and more advanced (8 Bridges). Sterling Forest trails are open to the public and primarily managed by the Stowe Land Trust, the local land conservation non-profit, but also borders and crosses private property made available by the generosity of private land-owners. It’s a wonderful multi-use area with a vibrant local following of not only Nordic skiers but walkers, fat bikers, back-country skiers and snow mobiles. Feeling really adventurous? Hop on the Catamount trail for an epic day-long ski from Sterling Forest to Trapp Family Lodge. Be sure to do your research for this trip, dress adequately, and bring plenty of water and snacks.

Stowe Mountain Resort Nordic Center

The Nordic center at Stowe Mountain Resort is professionally maintained and groomed with 30 miles of available trails. There are a wide range of trails for all abilities with both flat and steeper inclines through rolling hills and alongside brooks. A trail pass is required.

Trapp Family Lodge

We’ve saved our favorite and most consistent Nordic ski hot spot for last. If you want a guaranteed all around experience for Nordic skiing, this is the place to be. The Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center has 40 miles of trails for all abilities. We love these trails because of the variety and availability of trails throughout the winter. Even during the times of difficult or less ideal Nordic ski conditions, there is always the main loop available on Sugar Road and Fox Track. We long, though, for the peak conditions after a fresh snow storm with snow still sitting on the tree branches when we can enjoy a longer and more challenging ski to the Slayton Cabin and returning down Chris’s Run. There are also multiple options for enjoying a mid-ski meal or après ski (Slayton Cabin, the Bier Hall, or the Kaffeehaus).