The Green Mountain Byway provides four-season access to Vermont’s premier outdoor recreation region with a wide variety of recreational offerings for all interests and ability levels. These include world-class downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, hiking, paddling, fishing, mountain biking, and road biking to name a few. Fall and spring are good times to take in the foliage, wildlife, maple sugaring, or wildflowers.
Stowe held its first Winter Carnival in 1921 with ski jumping, skating, and other fun-filled events. Lift-serviced skiing at present day Stowe Mountain Resort started when the Mount Mansfield Ski Club opened a rope tow on the Toll House slope on February 2, 1937.
Stowe has since established its reputation as one of the premier ski resorts and vacation destinations in the world. Nearby Trapp Family Lodge is also a winter mecca for cross country skiing and snow-shoeing with over 60 km of groomed trails and 100km of back-country trails accessible from its ski center. The Town of Stowe also grooms the 5.3-mile Stowe Recreation Path for cross country skiing.
Summertime brings its own host of recreational activities to Stowe and Waterbury. Hiking is a popular activity and is well supported by an abundance of trails. In Stowe, the paved Stowe Recreation Path is a favorite place for walking. More adventurous hikes lead to local summits, including Mount Mansfield, where the Long Trail passes. View descriptions of suggested hikes from the Green Mountain Club.
The Long Trail and Green Mountain Club
The first section of the Long Trail, the oldest long distance hiking trail in the United States, was cleared in the Byway Corridor by 1912. In 1930, the final link of the Trail was cut to Canada by volunteers of the Green Mountain Club. From its Headquarters and Visitors Center on the Byway, the Green Mountain Club protects and maintains the Long Trail and side trails.
Road and Mountain Biking
In addition to the Stowe Rec Path, beautifully scenic roads along the Byway provide for ample recreational road biking opportunities. Stowe and Waterbury are also at the front of the mountain biking trend. Both towns have seen growing participation in recent decades. New and expanded mountain biking trail systems on public and private land have fueled the sport’s popularity and are a draw for adventure-seeking visitors. Perry Hill and Cotton Brook in Waterbury, Cady Hill Forest, Sterling Forest, Adams Camp and Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe provide over 70 miles of trails suitable for mountain biking. Visit Stowe Trails Partnership and Waterbury-area Trail Association (WATA) for more information on local mountain biking trails.
The Byway contains abundant public land including three state parks: Little River, Smugglers’ Notch, and Waterbury Center; two state forests: Mount Mansfield and CC Putnam; and Moss Glen Falls, Bingham Falls, and Stowe’s town-owned Sterling Forest, Cady Hill Forest, Mayo Farm, and Stowe Recreation Path.
For more information regarding area recreation opportunities, view the Stowe and Waterbury Recreation Guide or visit links for the Vermont Dept. of Forest, Parks and Recreation and Stowe Parks and Recreation.