Things to Do in Stowe, Vermont: Hike Mt. Mansfield State Forest
BY Lisa Friedman
Mt. Mansfield State Forest is a beautiful place to hike in Stowe, Vermont. There are many cross country ski trails to hike on. Most of the trails are very easy to walk with a few climbs. There are one or two trails with intermittent steeper climbs, but nothing too difficult or too long of a stretch for someone in reasonable shape to tackle reasonably well. Many people also enjoy mountain biking and snow shoeing on the trails.
The trails are very scenic – heavily wooded along meandering streams with big boulders. I love hiking there first thing in the morning with the morning sun and clean, fresh air or when late afternoon sends golden shafts of light through the trees.
Mt. Mansfield is the tallest mountain in Vermont standing at 4,393 feet. Mt. Mansfield State Forest includes roughly 40,000 acres of land including Little River State Park, Waterbury Center State Park, Smugglers Notch State Park and Underhill State Park in addition to Stowe Ski Resort, Smuggler’s Notch Ski Resort and a cross country ski center. A section of the Catamount Trail and the Long Trail pass through the forest and the water bodies of Lake Mansfield, Waterbury Reservoir and Sterling Pond are encapsulated within it. Route 108 is designated as a National Scenic Highway and the Toll Road to the summit of Mt. Mansfield is a popular destination for travelers preferring to drive to the summit rather than hike to it. Smuggler’s Notch is the most scenic drive in the state of Vermont as you meander through the massive mountain pass with its hairpin turns and large boulders.
It is estimated that the Mt. Mansfield State Forest draws one million visitors yearly. I am so fortunate to live and work in Stowe, Vermont where beauty is just a few steps from my door!
Stowe, Vermont – a beautiful place to live!