|Stowe Mountain Resort, Vermont|
|Vermont's highest peak, a town with a bit of a European accent, and northern Vermont's largest ski resort: that's Stowe.|
There's no doubt that Stowe Mountain Resort is northern Vermont's major ski resort.
The Stowe Mountain Resort experience: you approach the town along Vt Route 100 from Waterbury VT, the home of Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream (yes, there are factory tours).
You enter Stowe to find a pretty Vermont mountain town complete with iconic white church steeple, comfy country inn, and other historic buildings.
Following Vt Route 108, the Mountain Road, north from the town center you parallel the Stowe Recreation Trail, a great resource for walkers, joggers, hikers and bicyclists. You pass inns, resort motels, restaurants, boutiques and shops.
A turn to the left (west) is signposted for the Trapp Family Lodge, founded by the family famous from The Sound of Music.
As you approach Smuggler's Notch and the ski slopes, Mount Mansfield looms huge to the left (west) laced with white ski trails, and to the right (east) rises the great bulk of the Stowe Mountain Lodge, a giant 312-room alpine-style luxury hotel, with the maze of Spruce Peak ski trails behind it.
Stowe's 116 alpine ski trails and 12 terrain parks on 485 acres (196 hectares) are in five distinct ski areas down the slopes of both Mount Mansfield (4395 feet/1340 meters) and Spruce Peak, the mountains on either side of the Smuggler's Notch defile (map). They are served by 14 ski lifts, including a high-speed summit gondola, an inter-mountain transfer gondola, 3 high-speed quads, 2 triples, 4 doubles, and 2 surface lifts. Stowe boasts that it has more mile-long lifts than any other ski resort in the eastern USA. Toll Road is its longest ski trail at 4.3 miles (6.9 km).
The longest vertical drop is 2160 feet (658 meters). Snowmaking covers 90% of the trails.
The variety of trails is such that there's plenty of adventure for everyone, no matter what your ability: Beginner trails 16%, Intermediate 59%, and Expert 25%.
Beginners will want to start off at the Toll House slopes, near the base of the toll road up Mount Mansfield.
The next logical step is to Spruce Peak.
After you've mastered that, go on to the more difficult among the Mount Mansfield trails and slopes.
Lessons and equipment rentals are available, and there are restaurants at Cliff House (top of the Mansfield gondola) and Octagon (top of the toll road), as well as at the base camps.
Because of Stowe's year-round popularity, there are lots of hotels, motes & inns from which to choose. More...
A big event of the winter season at Stowe is the annual Winter Carnival, held during the second week in January, when special races, church suppers, square dances, hockey and skating matches, a snow sculpture contest, and even a Queen's Ball are held. See the Stowe tourist info page for more information.
The town of Stowe has been a summer and winter resort for a long time—since the early 1800s, in fact, when visitors cambe by stagecoach to climb Mount Mansfield. Skiing began here in the 1930s.