You’ve never captured fall in Vermont like this
Autumn in Vermont is a thing of legend. Our guests come from all over the world to see the reds, oranges and yellows of the Vermont maple trees. Foliage photography often doesn’t do justice to what you experience with the human eye. Being here in person is really the only way to see and feel what it is really like.
There are many ways to tour the hill sides of Stowe, Vermont for leaf peeping, as they call it. Traditionally, our guests take road tours by car, bus or motorcycle. If you are staying with us at the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites, we provide a sample of foliage site seeing routes that can be taken in our area.
What you may not have known is that there are so many more ways to capture fall foliage in your mind and heart! Here are some of our favorites.
Coasting over nearby water ways
Many of our visitors see Stowe, Vermont as a mountain town, which it certainly is. But hidden in the hills between Stowe and Waterbury you will find a large body of water called the Waterbury Reservoir. The Reservoir is open to swimming, boating, kayaking, paddle boarding and canoeing in the late spring, summer and early fall months.
To cover the most area, try the Fall Foliage Boat Tour lead by the Fly Rod Shop. In addition to seeing the fall colors all around the banks of the reservoir, you may encounter local wildlife including beavers, ducks, ospreys, deer and perhaps even the rare bald eagle or moose! If you are lucky, Punxsutawney Bob might be able to tell you when fall foliage will reach its peak.
If you are looking to get some exercise and hear all the sounds while touring the Reservoir, paddling by canoe, kayak or stand up paddle board is highly recommended. Be sure to fully educate yourself on the safety precautions needed for fall boating with the waters turning colder. Umiak Outdoor Outfitters will be able to answer all your questions and set you up with a guided or self-tour.
Pedaling through the woods
In the higher elevations between Stowe and Morrisville your will find Sterling Forest. If you are looking for early color changes in mid-September, this is the place to be. The leaves begin to change earlier in the higher elevations and vibrant spots of color can already be seen. Sterling Forest is home to a mountain biking trail network with mountain bike routes for beginners through advanced riders. For beginners we recommend Maple Run, a wide double track route, out and back. Along the way stop at the historical ruins of the old Sterling Town. For intermediate to advanced riders, try Callagy’s trail to Split Rock for a rigorous ride that takes about one and a half hours to complete. There’s nothing like hearing the crunch of the fallen leaves below your tires, cool air whipping through your hair and brushing by through the trees.
For gear and mountain bike rentals Sun & Ski Inn and Suites guests can walk across the street to Pinnacle Ski and Sports. For a full service experience, Four Points Mountain Biking School can provide instruction or guided mountain biking trips to your choice destination in the Stowe area.
Flying among the tree-tops
You cannot get much closer to the leaves than flying through the air among the trees. In this case we are not talking about an airplane. How about zip lining!? Two zip line adventure opportunities are located within ten and twenty-five minutes from our hotel. Both experiences are quite different. At Stowe Mountain Resort after taking a gondola ride to the top, take a few moments to witness the panoramic views of neighboring mountain ranges and snap some photos. You will then experience a thrilling decent down Mountain Mansfield in three zig zagging spans of the zip line.
Arbortrek Canopy Adventures, on the other side of Smugglers Notch, provides a variety of tree-top zip lining opportunities for all ages. We love this tour because as you experience flying through from tree to tree you also have the opportunity to learn about local flora and fauna from their local guides. This experience is very social and a great way to build lasting memories with friends or family members. We wrote about a trip with friends last year on our blog.
If keeping both of your feet on the ground is more your style, capture the sensation of flying through foliage with your own drone or check out our very own Mark Vandenberg’s compilation of the summer-to-fall transition in fall 2017. It will take your breath away!