Snow was absent in my home state of New Jersey. So my friend Rachel, who owns Sun & Ski Inn and Suites, invited me up for the weekend to Stowe, Vermont. She knew I had just gotten snowshoes for my husband and my kids so they could learn the sport I had fallen in love with already. So we headed to this quintessential ski town in the heart of the Green Mountains to break trail.
Snowshoeing in Stowe, Vermont
Below, here is our snowshoeing experience and other snowshoe places in Stowe that came highly recommended to us.
Trapp Family Outdoor Center
The snow was still a little sparse, so we headed to the Trapp Family Outdoor Center. Rachel’s husband, Mark Vandenberg, a photographer (@stowebeautiful), came along to capture images of our first snowshoe adventure out in the woods.
There is ample terrain to snowshoe with multiple snowshoe-specific trails at Trapp Family Outdoor Center. Depending on your interest, there are also groomed cross-country ski trails and backcountry ski trails available.
The Center had benches for us to get ready, and if we hadn’t brought along our own gear, they had rentals. They also had facilities, which was key for heading out with kids. It took a bit to get everyone’s clasps into place, but we managed to get geared up and enjoy our first snow of the season and couldn’t wait to return.
This 79-acres of woods, once home to ardent conservationists Muriel and Fritz Wiessner, is maintained by the Stowe Land Trust and is family-friendly. Open from dawn to dusk, there are four designated trails in the woods to explore on snowshoes.
My husband and I came back to Wiessner Woods with some friends to take on the Gourmet Fondue and Snowshoe Tour, which led us through the dark woods and back to a warm three-course fondue meal at Fritz Bar. Check out my Instagram Reel for more of our experience.
Maple Syrup lovers will love this trail, once home to a maple sugar shack. Also maintained by the Stowe Land Trust, the sugar maples remain along these three family-friendly trails.
Stowe Recreation Path
From the heart of Stowe Village to 5.5 miles (8.8 km) out, this greenway crisscrosses over the West Branch of Little River. There’s access directly across from the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites. So, this trail is heavily trafficked by walkers and joggers. But you’ll need a good base of snow before strapping on your snowshoes.
More advanced snowshoers may want to head up to Smugglers’ Notch, which got its name because that’s where folks would trade within the cover of the surrounding mountains.
Now, it’s an outdoor playground with four trails: Barnes Camp Boardwalk, a steep climb to Sterling Pond, and the long haul to Taft Lodge just below the summit of Mount Mansfield, which is about 4 miles (6.4 km) round trip. You’ll need a map, compass (the knowledge to use them), and plenty of daylight.
Since Route 108, which leads to Smugglers’ Notch, closes for the winter and is open for snowshoeing as well. About a mile (1.6 km) up, the long-winding road is a trek among boulders, cliffs, and paper birch trees.
Off-Trail in Stowe
Need some off the trail ways to spend time in Stowe? Here are a few ideas to check out.
- Stowe Bowl: This modern bowling alley is full of music and great food. It’s also a nice place to warm up after snowshoeing.
- Shopping in the historic downtown village
- Ice skating in Spruce Peak village
- Taking a foodie tour on Route 100 to Stowe Maple Products, Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and Ben & Jerry’s
- Or a craft beverage tasting tour—either with 4 Points VT or a self-guided tour to local craft beverage producers (Stowe Cider is one of my favorites!)
- Take in Stowe’s vibrant arts and culture scene. Check out a live performance or an art exhibit at The Current.
- Relaxing at the spa
What snowshoe trails and activities do you enjoy near Stowe, Vermont? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below.