Stowe Recreation Path In Vermont

Here is everything you need to know about the Stowe Recreation Path:

  • Trail System: National Recreation Trail
  • State: Vermont
  • Length: 5.3 miles.
  • Type: Biking
  • Surface: paved
  • Managed By: Stowe Land Trust
  • Permit Required?: No
  • Website:

The Stowe Recreation Path, located in Stowe, Vermont, has a rich history that dates back to the early 19th century. The path was originally a railroad line known as the Stowe Branch Railroad, which was constructed in 1872. The railroad played a crucial role in the development of the town, connecting it to other parts of Vermont and facilitating the transportation of goods and people.

However, with the decline of rail travel in the mid-20th century, the Stowe Branch Railroad fell into disuse. In the 1970s, the railroad tracks were removed, and the idea of transforming the abandoned rail corridor into a recreational path began to take shape. The Stowe Recreation Path was officially established in 1989, covering a distance of 5.3 miles.

The path was designed to provide a safe and scenic route for walkers, joggers, cyclists, and rollerbladers, allowing them to enjoy the natural beauty of the area. It winds its way through picturesque landscapes, including meadows, forests, and alongside the West Branch River. The Stowe Recreation Path has become a beloved destination for both locals and tourists, offering a peaceful and enjoyable outdoor experience. Its historical roots as a railroad line add to its charm and provide a glimpse into the town’s past.

While On The Trail

Access Points

1. Stowe Village: The Stowe Recreation Path starts in the heart of Stowe Village, making it easily accessible for residents and visitors alike. There are parking options available in the village.

2. Mayo Farm: Located about 1.5 miles from Stowe Village, Mayo Farm is a popular access point for the Stowe Recreation Path. It offers ample parking and restroom facilities.

3. Mountain Road: The path crosses Mountain Road, a major thoroughfare in Stowe. This intersection serves as a convenient access point for those coming from the north or south.

4. Ranch Brook Road: About 3 miles from Stowe Village, Ranch Brook Road provides another access point to the Stowe Recreation Path. Limited parking is available in this area.

5. Topnotch Resort: Situated about 4 miles from Stowe Village, Topnotch Resort offers parking and access to the path. It is a great starting point for those looking to explore the path’s southern section.

6. Trapp Family Lodge: Located approximately 5 miles from Stowe Village, the Trapp Family Lodge is a well-known access point for the Stowe Recreation Path. It offers parking, restrooms, and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

7. Barnes Hill Road: About 6 miles from Stowe Village, Barnes Hill Road provides another access point to the Stowe Recreation Path. Limited parking is available in this area.

8. Moscow Road: Situated approximately 7 miles from Stowe Village, Moscow Road offers parking and access to the path. It is a popular access point for those coming from the east.

9. Cotton Brook Road: About 8 miles from Stowe Village, Cotton Brook Road provides another access point to the Stowe Recreation Path. Limited parking is available in this area.

10. Pinnacle Road: Located approximately 9 miles from Stowe Village, Pinnacle Road offers parking and access to the path. It is a great starting point for those looking to explore the path’s northern section.

These are some of the major access points or trailheads along the Stowe Recreation Path. There may be additional smaller access points or parking areas along the path as well.

Transportation Available

1. Stowe Mountain Shuttle – Shuttle service to and from Stowe Mountain Resort.
2. Green Mountain Transit – Public bus service connecting Stowe to nearby towns.
3. Stowe Taxi – Local taxi service for convenient transportation in and around Stowe.
4. Uber – Ride-hailing service available in the Stowe area.
5. Stowe Bike Rentals – Bike rental service for exploring the Stowe Recreation Path.
6. Stowe Mountain Bike Club – Offers guided mountain bike tours and transportation services.
7. Stowe Electric Department – Electric vehicle charging stations available for eco-friendly transportation.


The Stowe Recreation Path offers the following amenities:

1. Restrooms: There are restroom facilities available along the path at various locations for visitors’ convenience.

2. Parking: There are designated parking areas available near the Stowe Recreation Path, allowing visitors to park their vehicles and access the path easily.

3. Camping Sites: While camping is not directly available on the Stowe Recreation Path, there are nearby campgrounds and camping sites in the Stowe area for those interested in camping.

4. Picnic Areas: The path features several designated picnic areas where visitors can stop, relax, and enjoy a meal or snack amidst the beautiful surroundings.

5. Benches: There are numerous benches placed along the path, providing resting spots for visitors to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

6. Bike Rentals: Visitors who do not have their own bicycles can rent them from various rental shops located near the Stowe Recreation Path.

7. Water Fountains: There are water fountains available along the path, allowing visitors to stay hydrated during their journey.

8. Dog-Friendly: The Stowe Recreation Path is dog-friendly, allowing visitors to bring their furry friends along for a walk or bike ride. However, dogs must be kept on a leash and owners are responsible for cleaning up after them.

9. Informational Signage: The path features informational signage at various points, providing visitors with details about the area’s history, wildlife, and points of interest.

10. Scenic Views: The Stowe Recreation Path offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains, rivers, and forests, providing visitors with a picturesque experience.

Please note that amenities may vary, and it is always recommended to check for any updates or changes before visiting the Stowe Recreation Path.

Nearby Services

1. Stowe Mountain Lodge – Upscale resort offering luxurious lodging and dining options.
2. Trapp Family Lodge – Alpine-style lodge with cozy accommodations and a variety of dining choices.
3. Topnotch Resort – Elegant resort featuring comfortable rooms, multiple dining options, and a spa.
4. Sun & Ski Inn and Suites – Affordable lodging with a pool, hot tub, and complimentary breakfast.
5. Commodores Inn – Family-friendly hotel with spacious rooms, an indoor pool, and a restaurant.
6. The Whip Bar & Grill – Casual eatery serving American fare and drinks in a cozy atmosphere.
7. Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge – Lively pizzeria offering a variety of pies, sandwiches, and drinks.
8. The Bagel – Cozy café serving freshly baked bagels, sandwiches, and coffee.
9. Stowe Bee Bakery & Café – Charming bakery and café offering pastries, sandwiches, and coffee.
10. Stowe Police Department – Local law enforcement agency providing emergency services and assistance.

Stowe Recreation Path Difficulty Notes

The Stowe Recreation Path offers a moderate difficulty level, making it suitable for a wide range of individuals. The path spans approximately 5.3 miles and is mostly flat, making it accessible for walkers, joggers, and cyclists of all ages and fitness levels. The well-maintained gravel surface provides a comfortable and enjoyable experience, while occasional gentle inclines and descents add a touch of challenge. With its scenic views of the surrounding mountains, charming bridges, and peaceful meadows, the Stowe Recreation Path offers a delightful outdoor activity that can be enjoyed by both beginners and experienced outdoor enthusiasts.

Features And Attractions

1. Mount Mansfield: The highest peak in Vermont, offering stunning panoramic views of the surrounding area.
2. Trapp Family Lodge: A historic lodge and resort that was home to the famous von Trapp family from “The Sound of Music.”
3. Stowe Village: A charming New England village with quaint shops, restaurants, and historic buildings.
4. Gold Brook Covered Bridge: A picturesque covered bridge that spans the Gold Brook and offers a great photo opportunity.
5. Moss Glen Falls: A beautiful waterfall located just off the recreation path, perfect for a refreshing stop.
6. Stowe Pinnacle Trail: A moderate hiking trail that leads to a summit with breathtaking views of the Green Mountains.
7. Sterling Falls Gorge: A scenic gorge with cascading waterfalls and lush vegetation, accessible via a short hike from the path.
8. Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center: A hub for outdoor activities, including cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and hiking.
9. Wiessner Woods: A peaceful nature preserve with well-maintained trails, ideal for a leisurely walk or birdwatching.
10. Stowe Land Trust: A network of conserved lands and trails that showcase the natural beauty of the area.
11. West Branch Little River: A picturesque river that runs parallel to the path, offering opportunities for fishing and picnicking.
12. Stowe Country Club: A scenic golf course with rolling hills and mountain views, perfect for golf enthusiasts.
13. Edson Hill Manor: A historic country estate with beautiful gardens and walking trails, providing a glimpse into Stowe’s past.
14. Sunset Rock: A popular spot to watch the sunset over the Green Mountains, offering breathtaking views.
15. Stowe Mountain Resort: A premier ski resort with world-class slopes, gondola rides, and a vibrant village atmosphere.

Usage Guidelines

– Dogs must be leashed at all times.
– Clean up after your pet and dispose of waste properly.
– Bicycles and rollerblades are allowed on the path.
– Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the path.
– The path is open year-round, but certain sections may be closed during winter months due to snow and ice.
– Stay on designated paths and respect private property boundaries.
– Be courteous to other users and yield to pedestrians.
– No littering; please dispose of trash in designated bins.
– No camping or overnight stays on the path.
– No open fires or barbecues.
– No smoking or vaping on the path.
– Use caution and follow posted signs for any construction or maintenance activities.
– Respect wildlife and do not disturb or feed them.
– Use the path at your own risk; the town is not responsible for any accidents or injuries.

Seasonal Information

The Stowe Recreation Path, located in Stowe, Vermont, is a picturesque trail that offers visitors a chance to immerse themselves in the natural beauty of the area. While the path is open year-round, there are certain times of the year that are particularly ideal for a visit.

One of the best times to explore the Stowe Recreation Path is during the fall season, typically from late September to mid-October. This is when the surrounding landscape transforms into a vibrant tapestry of red, orange, and yellow hues as the leaves change color. The path becomes a scenic route, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. The crisp autumn air and the sound of leaves crunching underfoot create a truly magical experience for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts.

Another great time to visit the Stowe Recreation Path is during the summer months, from June to August. The path is bustling with activity during this time, as the weather is warm and sunny, making it perfect for outdoor adventures. Visitors can enjoy biking, walking, or jogging along the path, taking in the stunning views of the Green Mountains and the babbling brooks that run alongside it. The path is also dotted with picnic areas, allowing visitors to take a break and enjoy a leisurely lunch amidst the natural beauty.

It’s important to note that the Stowe Recreation Path does have seasonal closures. During the winter months, typically from November to April, the path is closed to biking and walking due to snow and ice. However, it is transformed into a winter wonderland and becomes a popular destination for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The path is groomed regularly, providing a smooth and enjoyable experience for winter sports enthusiasts. It’s advisable to check the trail conditions and closures before planning a visit during the colder months.

In conclusion, the Stowe Recreation Path offers a year-round opportunity to explore the stunning beauty of Vermont. Whether it’s the vibrant colors of fall, the lively atmosphere of summer, or the serene winter landscape, each season brings its own unique charm to this scenic trail. Just be sure to plan your visit accordingly, considering the seasonal closures and activities available during each time of the year.


1. Paved Surface: The Stowe Recreation Path has a smooth, paved surface, making it easily accessible for wheelchair users.
2. Wide Path: The path is wide enough to accommodate wheelchairs and other mobility devices comfortably.
3. Gentle Slopes: The path has gentle slopes, ensuring a smooth and manageable experience for wheelchair users.
4. Accessible Entrances: The entrances to the Stowe Recreation Path are designed to be accessible for individuals using wheelchairs or other mobility aids.
5. Rest Areas: There are designated rest areas along the path, providing opportunities for wheelchair users to take breaks and enjoy the surroundings.
6. Benches: The path features benches at regular intervals, allowing wheelchair users to rest or take in the scenery.
7. Accessible Parking: There are accessible parking spaces available near the Stowe Recreation Path, ensuring convenient access for individuals with disabilities.
8. Accessible Restrooms: Accessible restrooms are located near the path, providing necessary facilities for wheelchair users.
9. Signage: The path is equipped with clear and visible signage, making it easy for wheelchair users to navigate and find their way.
10. Assistance Animals: Service animals are allowed on the Stowe Recreation Path, providing support to individuals with disabilities.

Safety Information

1. Stay on the designated path: Stick to the marked trail to ensure your safety and avoid potential hazards.
2. Be aware of other users: Keep an eye out for cyclists, walkers, joggers, and other users to prevent collisions and maintain a safe environment.
3. Yield to faster users: If someone is moving faster than you, step aside and allow them to pass safely.
4. Use appropriate safety gear: Wear helmets while cycling and use reflective clothing or lights during low-light conditions.
5. Keep pets on a leash: Prevent your pets from running onto the path or interfering with other users by keeping them on a leash.
6. Respect wildlife and nature: Do not disturb or feed wildlife, and leave plants and natural features undisturbed.
7. Stay hydrated: Bring water with you to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather or longer walks/cycling trips.
8. Be cautious at road crossings: Follow traffic signals and exercise caution when crossing roads along the path.
9. Report any hazards or maintenance issues: If you notice any unsafe conditions or maintenance needs, report them to the appropriate authorities.
10. Be mindful of weather conditions: Check the weather forecast before heading out and be prepared for changes in weather during your trip.

Conservation Notes

The Stowe Recreation Path, located in Stowe, Vermont, is a popular multi-use trail that winds through picturesque landscapes, offering stunning views of the surrounding mountains and forests. In terms of conservation status, the path is well-maintained and managed to ensure the preservation of its natural beauty and ecological integrity.

Efforts have been made to protect the biodiversity along the Stowe Recreation Path. The path passes through various habitats, including wetlands, meadows, and woodlands, which support a diverse range of plant and animal species. Conservation measures have been implemented to minimize the impact of human activities on these habitats. For instance, designated areas are in place to prevent disturbance to sensitive ecosystems, and visitors are encouraged to stay on the designated path to avoid trampling vegetation or disturbing wildlife.

Additionally, the Stowe Recreation Path is regularly monitored for any signs of invasive species. Invasive plants can outcompete native species, leading to a loss of biodiversity and disruption of natural ecosystems. To prevent the spread of invasives, educational programs are conducted to raise awareness among visitors about the importance of not introducing or spreading non-native species along the path. Furthermore, ongoing efforts are made to remove any invasive species that may be detected, ensuring the conservation of the path’s natural flora and fauna.

Overall, the conservation status of the Stowe Recreation Path is commendable. Through careful management and conservation practices, the path continues to provide a recreational space for visitors while preserving the natural environment and its ecological values.

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