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The Stowe Recreation Path encapsulates the best parts of Vermont mountain life. During summer the vegetation is lush and green, and the nearby West Branch Little River keeps the trail cool and provides excellent fishing and swimming opportunities. In the winter, the trail gives visitors a reason to go outside and explore the elements, and the views of snowcapped peaks are more than photo-worthy.
Trail users can enjoy this out-and-back path in either direction, but most people start at the northern segment because it’s all downhill from there! The northern trailhead also lies approximately 3 miles south of the base of the world-class Stowe Mountain Resort.
The first several miles of gently sloping trail travel through the forested banks of the West Branch Little River and provide opportunities for quiet enjoyment in a rural atmosphere. Be on the lookout for wildlife along the trail; as you travel south, you’ll quickly pass a horse farm where horses often graze by the side of the trail, and lucky recreationists may even get to see a moose feeding in the distance. Portable restrooms, benches, and picnic tables are provided at a series of smaller parking lots along the trail.
After 2.5 miles, the trail crosses under Luce Hill Road, where development becomes denser and the trail more popular. A variety of restaurants, breweries, and lodging line the trail from here until the trail’s end in Stowe Village. Several of these establishments have created doors with direct access points from the trail to welcome in trail users.
Given the popularity of this trail, Stowe prioritizes clearing snow and ice from the Stowe Recreation Path in the winter for year-round use. You can still enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing in the snow along the sides of the trail. A free shuttle during the winter months transports trail users up the mountain for a one-way trip back down.
To reach the northern trailhead from I-89, take Exit 10 for SR 100 and head north on SR 100 toward Stowe. Go 9.8 miles, and turn left onto SR 108 N. Go 4.3 miles, and turn left onto Brook Road. The parking lot is on the left in 400 feet.
To get to the southern trailhead in Stowe from I-89, take Exit 10 onto SR 100. Follow SR 100 N toward Stowe 10 miles, where the entrance to the Stowe Recreation Path parking lot will be in Lintilhac Park on the left next to Stowe Community Church.
My wife and I drove up from NYC On Fri morning to ride this trail. Parking was easy in a public lot on Weeks Hill Rd off Mountain Rd. The Path crosses Weeks Hill Rd and we road from there towards the mountain. You cross the road once and several bridges over a river. We were lucky it was a Friday and the trail was empty. There are a few spots where the path is narrow so if it were crowded it could be an issue. Heading towards the mountain it is a slight uphill so when you come back there are places were you Chan coast for a while if you wish.
This is a beautiful trail but it is very narrow unlike Rail to Trails. On a busy weekend day it was a bit frustrating to ride this trail. There are many bridges but they aren't wide enough for bikes going both ways, never mind the walkers. It was also difficult on the bridges to see who was coming the other way so I ended up walking across the 10 bridges after a close collision.
Recommend going during the week when the trail may be quieter. It is a beautiful trail - but there are others in the area that can offer a better riding experience.
Great path that is paved and well maintained. Easy bike riding where you can also walk/run. Beautiful little area as you ride through woods, pass by fields, and cross over bridges. You ride over and around a nice little creek. Bike path also rides by several of Stowe's good restaurants who all have bike racks and outdoor seating. A must do if in the area!!
We have been riding this with our grandkids for 10+ years. Now they are in high school. Enjoy the ride, the beaches along the river, restaurants and shops along the way. You can ride it up and back in an hour, or make stops and enjoy for the day.
Beautiful scenery. Mostly removed from road noise. Rolling terrain, but no hills. Slight downside -- bridges are a bit narrow and there are ten of them.
On Tuesday, July 29 we started at the bottom of the trail parking lot behind the Methodist Church on Main St in the center of the Stowe Village and went uphill to the top for the easy ride back.
Very scenic paved path along a stream parallel to 108 but well away from the highway with only 1 major street crossing. Too scenic and serene for words. Lots of places to stop, play and eat for a great family outing.
Not for road bikers since its a multi use trail with walkers, joggers, and small children, especially on the sections closest to the village.
We've rode the path on the 7/6/14 (4th of July weekend). Absolutely adorable path, great time and fun! Yes, it's a bit narrow, but it actually makes it cozy and beautiful! Also, they've done a good job putting line markers on the payment on the turns so that everybody stays on the correct side/part of the path.
What we've loved the most was what the path goes through. Views are amazing, there are even few restaurants on the path! We've even bumped into a farmers market around the middle of the path (can't promise it's always there, but we had a luck to give it a shot).
This trail is such a frustration. On the plus side, Stowe is a great town and the trail is extremely scenic. It crosses a river multiple times and has scenic views.
But the trail is just too narrow. Some of the bridge crossings aren't really wide enough for two bicycles, and the entrances to the bridges involve sharp 90 degree turns right as you get to the bridge. No doubt this was designed to slow bikers down, but the turns are a danger in and of themselves.
It's so frustrating. An otherwise perfect trail was ruined by a myopic designer. Such a shame.
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