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For an afternoon of fun in Stowe take a ride on the shoe-leather express. Go hiking! Stowe has a variety of trails to offer hikers of all ability levels. The trail system in Stowe is well maintained with clear paths and obvious trail blazes. Here are a few sample hikes to get you trekking.

The Pinnacle Trail is a relatively short hike located east of town. The trailhead in Stowe Hollow is a 2.8-mile drive from Main Street on mostly paved roads. From the trailhead it's a 1.4-mile hike to the summit of the Pinnacle, a 2,740-foot peak in the Worcester Range (the eastern border of Stowe).

Most of the trail is a fairly gradual and unobstructed ascent up the west side of the Pinnacle, although there is a short rocky section as you near the top. At the summit you will find unparalleled views of the town of Stowe below and Mt. Mansfield to the west.

Hiking at a leisurely pace allowing time to enjoy the views takes about 2.5 hours round trip, while the physically fit can run the whole thing in 50 minutes.

On the opposite side of town lies the Long Trail, a 265-mile trail system running throughout Vermont, which crosses Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak in Stowe. From Stowe the easiest access is in Smugglers' Notch, where there are two trailheads.

Greem Mountain ClubFor more information on the Long Trail, be sure to visit the Green Mountain Club, on Route 100 between Waterbury and Stowe, an excellent resource for hiking Vermont's Long Trail as well as many other hiking trails.

Northbound, the Long Trail leaves from the picnic area near the bottom of the Notch and climbs steadily over "Elephants Head" to Sterling Pond in 3.5 miles. A shorter and easier route to this scenic pond leaves from the parking area at the top of the Notch. The trail is steep and rocky for the first half mile, then flattens as it traverses Spruce Peak. It is another half-mile to Sterling Pond and a round trip total of 2 miles.

More intrepid climbers can follow the Long Trail South from Smugglers' Notch up Mt. Mansfield. This is one of the steepest sections of the Long Trail; here the trail climbs almost 3,000 vertical feet to the top of Mt. Mansfield (4,395 feet) in 2.3 miles. It is flatter toward the bottom, fairly wide but steeper through the middle, and very rocky at the top.

The views are well worth the effort: From the summit you can see west across Lake Champlain to the Adirondacks and on a clear day Mt. Washington can be seen to the east. Bring warm clothes, water and a picnic for an enjoyable day trip.

Moss Glen Falls

From Stowe Village take Rte. 100 north 3 miles to Randolph Road on the right. The first road on the right is Moss Glen Falls Road. Proceed 0.6 miles to a small parking area on the left. Follow the trail signs. This is a short, scenic hike to a spectacular waterfall with swimming holes. The trail is not well marked but the route is obvious by following the brook upstream to the falls. Be aware that you may encounter mountain bikers. Be careful at the falls, loose debris at the edge of the trail can be slippery and dangerous. Inexperienced hikers should stay to the left above the falls.

This trail connects to the VAST snowmobile trail, so be careful not to follow the wrong trail back.

Wiessner Woods is a perfect option for those seeking a big woods feel closer to home or just looking for a nice walk in the woods. Conserved in 1993 by Stowe Land Trust, Wiessner Woods boasts 80 acres of natural beauty including woods, streams, meadows, and an intricate and well maintained trail network.

Perfect for jogging, walking the dog, cross country skiing, or a nice outing with the family, Wiessner Woods is a true gem of the Stowe community. Wiessner Woods is home to an abundant array of wildlife, trees, and flowers. Deer, moose, fox, and even bear along with noble white pines, sugar maples, beech, and cherry trees make up the back drop of this little haven.

There are many other hiking opportunities in the Stowe Area. For more information on hiking in and around Stowe, contact us at 877-GO-STOWE for hiking maps and recommendations.