By Sharon Harper, Go Stowe
Vermont is known for its scenic beauty, and Stowe is no exception. With a picturesque landscape, rolling hills, small-town charm steeped in history, and abundant outdoor recreation, it’s no surprise Stowe was named one of “11 Best Small Towns in America” by Travel + Leisure. Conveniently, a scenic byway designated by the State of Vermont called the Green Mountain Byway passes right through Stowe—offering visitors access to may of Vermont’s hidden gems.
About the Byway
The Green Mountain Byway is a 71 mile-long corridor along Route 100 and beyond, which includes the Vermont towns of Waterbury, Stowe, Morristown, Morrisville, Hyde Park, Johnson, Jeffersonville and Cambridge. This world-renowned scenic corridor is part of the National Scenic Byways Program, which recognizes selected scenic roads throughout the United States, and is home to recreational opportunities, historic sites and cultural interests. The towns and villages that make up the Byway are included on the Vermont State Historic Register and maintain a vibrant cultural identity rooted in the tradition of rural Vermont.
Scenic Views & Small-Town Charm
Nestled between the Green Mountains and Worcester mountain range, Stowe is simply stunning. Discover scenic views at every turn. On top of it all, you’ll find historic or unique structures, including the Stowe Community Church, one of the first non-denominational churches in the United States, which has the tallest steeple in the state. A new part of the Green Mountain Byway that starts in Stowe is the world-famous Smugglers’ Notch mountain pass. You’ll also find several locally owned Vermont businesses right on and just off the Green Mountain Byway.
History and Culture
Stowe has hosted travelers for more than 200 years. The Stowe Historical Society is part of the Stowe History Museum, which houses a collection of artifacts, postcards, stereoviews and other photographs documenting the history of Stowe. Since 1988, the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Museum has celebrated the rich history of skiing and riding in Vermont, collecting and preserving approximately 8,000 individual items. Stowe is also home to a thriving arts community. Find unique works of art at a local gallery or attend vibrant arts events anytime of the year. The Current art center, formerly the Helen Day Art Center, provides year-round visual art exhibitions in its galleries, arts education programs as well as its annual outdoor sculpture show, Exposed, throughout the village of Stowe each summer.
Outdoor Recreation & Activities
From hiking and mountain biking the area’s world-class trails, to paddling Vermont’s pristine waterways, you’re bound to discover adventure off the Green Mountain Byway year-round. Explore the Stowe Recreation Path, a 5.3-mile paved multi-use recreation path that follows the West Branch River, starting from Stowe village. In the winter, the path is groomed for cross country skiing. Cady Hill Forest is a 320-acre property owned by the Town of Stowe in the heart of Stowe village, with 11 miles of multi-use trails suitable for mountain biking. The trails are popular for snowshoeing and fatbiking in the winter. Other properties like Sterling Forest are conserved for recreational use by Stowe Land Trust. As well, outdoor outfitters provide equipment rentals, gear and apparel, service and more.
The Best, Really
Only in Stowe can you find Vermont’s highest peak—majestic Mount Mansfield—standing at 4,393’ and where the iconic Stowe Mountain Resort is situated. Stowe is also home to Vermont’s tallest waterfall, Moss Glen Falls, cascading from 85 feet high. The Gold Brook Covered Bridge (a.k.a. Emily’s Bridge) is one of several classic bridges in Stowe. Built in 1844, it is the oldest Howe Truss bridge in Vermont and is considered to be haunted by Emily’s ghost. Additionally, just off the byway is Trapp Family Lodge, 2,500-acre mountain resort in the European tradition by the family that inspired The Sound of Music. It’s a popular destination in its own right, with mountain biking, hiking and Nordic ski trails, a brewery and other dining venues on-site, and stunning views to boot.
Stowe, Vermont is a world-renowned four-season destination complete with unforgettable world-class adventures, unique cultural experiences, and local signature flavors—all packaged together. So get outside, get going, and celebrate Vermont along the Green Mountain Byway in Stowe! Go Stowe has all the resources to plan your trip in the area. When in town, be sure to stop by our Visitor Information Center in the historic downtown village. Enjoy the ride; savor the journey!