May 29, 2024
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Experience Stowe Vermont Best Things to Do in the Fall

Explore Stowe Vermont in the Autumn Fall Foliage Season

Reach the top and enjoy breathtaking fall vistas by riding the gondola up Mt. Mansfield for panoramic views of the autumn foliage. Pedal through the fall foliage by biking Stowe, Vermont's scenic 5.3 mile recreation path. Learn about the peaceful paved trail along the Little River, bike rentals, and the vibrant village and mountain views that make it a top autumn peak fall foliage adventure. These are just a few things that show Stowe is a great place to visit!

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1 Exploring Stowe, Vermont and the Best Things to Do in the Scenic Village

Exploring Stowe, Vermont and the Best Things to Do in the Scenic Village


Discover why Moss Glen Falls near Stowe, Vermont is a top fall attraction for families, from its short hike and incredible views to the granite gorge and suspensions bridge overlooking the 125 foot falls surrounded by fall color. VT in the fall is absolutely magical!

Find the best ways to soak in fall's beauty with outdoor activities at the Trapp Family Lodge's Stowe, Vermont center. Hike, bike, stay in cabins, and ride the mountain coaster while surrounded by the Green Mountains' vibrant autumn hues. A fall foliage road trip and hiking in Stowe make visiting Stowe, Vermont a memory you will treasure for years to come.

Let's Go Stowe! Best Things to Do in Stowe, Vermont in the Fall Months

Stowe is one of the best places to have fun on a fall day during peak fall. When those autumn leaves start their color show, it's time to head north to Stowe for the quintessential Vermont fall getaway. We're talking perfect leaf peeping as you drive past rolling hills swathed in crimson, amber, and gold.

Stunning fall colors abound everywhere and there is a lot of Vermont to enjoy! Pull over and snap some pics of waterfalls tucked among the fall foliage in Stowe, on a hike or visiting one of the local waterfalls. If you're looking for a way to see Stowe, your trip to Vermont and Vermont fall foliage trip is the start to a beautiful fall day!

Explore Stowe Vermont

Best Fall Activities in Stowe – The Top of Mount Mansfield

The Stowe gondola skyride is a must. Ride the gondola up Mt. Mansfield for an unbeatable aerial view. For the more adventurous, enjoy a hike along the ridge of Mount Mansfield. Get started from the auto toll road as part of your fall road trip! The colors of fall are in full bloom as the stunning fall foliage greet you.

Here are some tips for hiking Mount Mansfield

  • The main access point to the hiking trails on Mount Mansfield is via the Toll Road. This is a private road that begins in Stowe and winds up the mountain for about 7 miles to an area called The Nose. Note that there is a fee to drive up the Toll Road.

From The Nose, there are a few major hiking trail options:

The Long Trail – This trail runs the length of Vermont and goes over the summit of Mount Mansfield. It is a strenuous hike with steep sections and rocky footing. The roundtrip hike to the summit and back from The Nose is about 7.4 miles.

The Maple Ridge Loop – This 4.2 mile loop connects to the Long Trail and hits highlights like Taft Lodge and the Chin. It offers great views with less climbing.

The Sunset Ridge Trail – Starting across from the top of the Toll Road, this trail is 4 miles roundtrip and offers panoramic views to the west. It is a steep and rocky hike.

The Subway – This unique natural rock formation makes for an interesting short hike near The Nose.

Some key tips for hiking Mount Mansfield:

  • Be prepared for varied weather conditions. The summit is exposed and weather can change rapidly. Dress in layers.
  • Wear proper footwear as trails are rocky. Hiking boots are recommended.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks.
  • Check forecast and trail conditions before going.
  • Allow enough time. The hike to the summit and back can take 6 hours or more.
  • Consider your fitness level and choose an appropriate trail. The Long Trail is quite strenuous.

Stowe VT in Fall and Best Places

Of course, you can't miss out on apple picking at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury Center on the way to Stowe, or at Stowe Cider for the full nostalgic experience. On-tap cider including flights is the specialty of this funky taproom with picnic tables & games.

When you need a beer after all that, hit up The Alchemist Brewery or Idletyme Brewing for a craft beer straight from the source. And don’t worry, there are plenty of festivals, shops on main street, farm-to-table restaurants (mmm, pumpkin ravioli), and even golf courses to keep you busy in between. Yup, with its small town charm and surrounding Green Mountains, Stowe sure knows how to show off fall's finest. Get ready for the autumn adventure of a lifetime!

The Very Best things to do in Stowe in the Fall

With its unbeatable foliage, outdoor adventures, and quintessential Vermont charm, Stowe is the perfect fall escape. The following are some of the activities in Stowe that you might enjoy, so read  on!

Leaf Peeping in Stowe in the Fall

When the fall season arrives in Stowe, the Green Mountains erupt in a vibrant display of autumn foliage. There's no better way to experience the brilliance than leaf peeping in Stowe. Drive along the scenic Route 108 passing rolling hills swathed in crimson, amber, and gold. Ride the gondola up Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak, for panoramic views of the fall tapestry surrounding you. Stop at Stowe's recreation path and hiking trails to admire waterfalls nestled among the changing trees. Or walk through the villages of Stowe and soak in the small town charm framed by the colorful landscape. With its unspoiled nature and iconic mountain terrain, Stowe offers leaf peeping at its absolute finest.

The Stowe Community Church 

Swing by and soak in the charm of this historic Vermont village church. Founded way back in 1818, it's one of Stowe's original places of worship. The white-steepled building that stands today dates back to 1827. Inside, the sanctuary still has that quaint, traditional vibe with about 300 seats. Stained glass windows, wood pews, hymns on the organ – it'll give you that authentic small-town church experience. Park behind the Stowe Community Church and marvel at the places to see fall foliage.

But Stowe Community Church has also kept up with the times. They're open and welcoming to all, with a mission to give back to the Stowe community. Throughout the week, they host free meals, support local charities, hold AA meetings, and open their space for various community gatherings.

Consider stopping by for Sunday worship or a special concert. Introduce yourself to the pastor and chat with some friendly locals. You'll gain insight into what daily life is like in this historic mountain village. Breath in the fresh air, snap a photo out front, and listen for the church bells ringing through town. For a taste of community and Vermont heritage, make some time for Stowe Community Church.

See Historic Vermont Covered Bridges Around Stowe

Tucked away in the rolling green hills and valleys of Vermont are over 100 historic covered bridges waiting to be explored. Three of these architectural gems are located around the Stowe area, making it easy to check them off your New England bucket list.

The Brookdale Bridge

Stowe Brookdale Covered Bridge

Constructed in 1964, the Brookdale Bridge, located in Stowe, stretches over the West Branch Little River at one end of Stowe's popular recreation path. This “stringer” style bridge was inventively built using stringers instead of traditional trusses. Travelers can easily access it via Brook Road off Route 108 and park in the small lot by the path entrance just before reaching the bridge. It's a gorgeous site to see in fall and winter.

Emily's Bridge – A Bridge With A Ghost Story

Stowe VT Emilys bridge

Emily's Bridge Stowe VT aka Gold Brook Bridge or Stowe Hollow Bridge

Also called Gold Brook Covered Bridge, this 1844 Howe truss bridge has the distinction of being the oldest in Vermont. Legend has it the bridge is allegedly haunted by Emily's ghost, with reports of ghostly figures sighted in the moonlight. Located at the junction of Gold Brook Road and Stowe Hollow Road, you can find it using Route 100 and Gold Brook Road. It's an easy drive from Stowe.

The Red Covered Bridge in Nearby Morristown

Red Covered Bridge

Built in 1896, the Red Covered Bridge's unique design features a king post truss with an overlaid queen post system. Just a quick 10 minute drive away from Stowe village, it carries Cole Hill Road over Sterling Brook. Take Route 100 towards Morrisville, go left on Stagecoach Road, left on Sterling Valley Road and gaze upon this red beauty within two miles.

Vermont's covered bridges showcase craftsmanship and charm from another era. Seek out these three hidden gems near Stowe and walk back in time.

Activities to Enjoy in and Fall Foliage in Vermont

Visiting Stowe in the fall is a great road trip. There are simply so many things to during fall in Stowe Vermont that it may require a stay of more than one day to experience it all. New England in the fall is always a fascinating time of year and you should pick up a guide to visiting Stowe at one of the many stores and restaurants to help you best manage your visit.

Apple Picking for a True Taste of Fall in Stowe, VT

For a quintessential fall activity, visit one of Stowe's apple orchards. Meander through rows of trees heavy with ripe, juicy apples as the smell of cider doughnuts wafts through the air. Listen to the crunch as you pluck fresh apples right from the branch to fill your basket. Stowe farms boast many varieties of apples including Macintosh, Empire, Macoun, Cortland, and Honey Crisp apples. Their October orchard is loaded with late season apples, that include Jonah Golds, Candy Crisps, Fujis, and Ida Reds! Because the orchard is more than walking distance away, a complimentary wagon ride will be provided.

Best Places Stowe Vermont

Stowe Cider & Cheese lets you pair your apple picking with their award-winning hard ciders. Don't forget to grab a bag of just-pressed cider and apple treats from the farm stands. Enjoy the nostalgia and flavors of the season with an afternoon spent apple picking in Stowe.

Stowe Mountains in Fall

Enjoying Fall Flavors at Stowe's Farmers Market

Well into the fall, Stowe hosts a weekly open-air market brimming with autumn's bounty. Here you'll find just-picked produce, pumpkins, squash, maple syrup, artisanal cheeses, baked goods, flowers, and more. Browse the stalls chatting with farmers and grabbing fresh ingredients to cook farm-to-table meals with peak fall flavor. Don't miss the apple cider donuts, maple cotton candy, or Pumpkin Bisque soup for the ultimate taste of the season. With mountain views as your backdrop, Stowe's farmers market encapsulates the rich offerings of harvest time in Vermont. Apple cider season and peak foliage combine for a taste of autumn delight!

One of the Best Things is Getting Lost in a Stowe Corn Maze

For some fall family fun, make your way to the Percy Farm's corn maze right in Stowe. Finding your way through the elaborate labyrinth carved out of towering stalks has become an annual tradition for many. Don't worry about getting too lost – you can always take the bridge to the exit if needed. It's right along the Stowe Bike Path and easy to find your way around. Kids will love playing in the corn pit, going on a wagon ride through the fields, and visiting the farm animals. After solving the maze, head to the barn for fresh donuts, cider, and coffee. Wandering through the winding trails is a perfect fall outing.

Biking Stowe's Scenic Recreation Path Fall Foliage Fun

One of the best ways to soak in Stowe's fall splendor is by biking along the 5.3 mile Stowe Recreation Path. This paved trail runs through the heart of Stowe, offering stunning views of surrounding mountains ablaze with autumn hues.

Experience Stowe's Scenery on Two Wheels

Nestled in the green mountains of Vermont, the town of Stowe offers a myriad of outdoor adventures for visitors. One of the best ways to take in the natural splendor of Stowe is by bicycle on the Stowe Recreation Path. This 5.3-mile paved path winds through the West Branch Little River valley, providing a relaxed route for cyclists of all levels.

The recreation path starts in the village of Stowe and heads northwest, following the river and offering scenic views of surrounding hills and mountains. Cyclists will pass by the Topnotch Resort before crossing over the Brookdale Covered Bridge, a quaint 64-foot wooden bridge built in 1964.

Continuing on, the path runs adjacent to Ranch Brook, traveling through serene forests and wetlands. This stretch features some gentle hills and winds, giving cyclists a taste of Stowe's terrain without the difficulty of the steep mountain roads. The halfway point is marked by a small rest area with benches – a perfect spot to take a quick break before pedaling on.

As the path loops back to town, it winds behind Stowe High School and the Stowe Ice Rink. Cyclists will catch more lovely views of the river and mountains before returning to the starting point at the village. For those looking to continue the adventure, the route connects to the Cross Town Trail leading to Mount Mansfield.

With its gentle terrain and bountiful natural splendor, the Stowe Recreation Path is ideal for cyclists of every skill level, from weekend warriors to families looking for an easy joyride. Visitors can bring their own bikes or rent from one of the local shops in town. The path provides an accessible way to soak up Stowe's quintessential Vermont scenery on two wheels.

The path follows the course of the Little River, passing vintage covered bridges, tumbling waterfalls, and thick forests glowing with warm colors this time of year. It's perfectly peaceful pedaling while taking in the vibrant foliage and fresh air.

The trail is relatively flat and smooth, making it ideal for cyclists of all abilities, including families. Plentiful benches line the path, so you can pause to relax or photograph the scenic landscape.

You'll wind through the idyllic village of Stowe, where you can stop at a cafe or shop for local goods. The route also provides access to other iconic Stowe trails.

Don't have a bike? No problem! There are a few local outfitters that rent bikes perfect for the recreation path.

  • Umiak Outdoor Outfitters offers cruisers, mountain bikes, and bike racks.
  • AJ Sports has bike sales and rentals located right next to the path.
  • Stowe Motel & Snowdrift also rents bikes affordably for all ages.

For an active and family-friendly way to take in Stowe's autumn beauty, spend an afternoon cycling the recreation path. The glowing trees, mountain vistas, and fresh Vermont air create an unforgettable fall experience.

Exploring Moss Glen Falls – A Scenic Fall Family Adventure

One of the top family-friendly fun things to do near Stowe is visiting the breathtaking Moss Glen Falls. This easily accessible waterfall surrounded by vibrant fall foliage makes for a memorable autumn outing. The kid-friendly hike to the falls is just over a half mile round trip along a gradual wooded trail. As you walk, witness the bright yellows, oranges, and reds of the changing leaves all around you.

The sound of rushing water builds as you approach the granite gorge containing Moss Glen Falls. Spanning an impressive 125 feet across with a 62 foot drop, it's an impressive sight to behold. There are plenty of viewing areas around the waterfall, so you can get right up close to feel the mist on your face and snap those family photos. Don't miss the iconic bridge overlooking the waterfall's crest.

Pack a picnic lunch to enjoy streamside on the spacious rocks at the base of the falls. The peaceful soundtrack of the cascading waters makes it a perfect spot. With its family-friendly short hike, incredible fall scenery, and rewarding waterfall views, Moss Glen Falls is a can't-miss for those visiting Stowe with kids. It's sure to provide an unforgettable fall memory as you explore this natural wonder together.

So if you're seeking a scenic trip to Stowe everyone will enjoy, make the quick trip to marvel at Moss Glen Falls. It's conveniently located just 5 miles from Stowe Village off Vermont Route 108.

Celebrating Fall at Stowe's Festivals and Oktoberfest

Throughout the autumn, Stowe hosts fun festivals to celebrate the season. In October, Oktoberfest brings Bavarian music, food, and beer to town. Don your dirndl or lederhosen and prost! Harvest Fest offers crafts, games, and treats for the whole family. Stowe's fall festivals encapsulate autumn traditions and bring the community together through changing leaves and crisp air. It's the perfect enhancement to your leaf peeping trip!

Playing Fall Golf in Stowe

For golfers, Stowe offers the the best opportunities to play in peak fall conditions. Stowe Country Club boasts gorgeous views of surrounding hillsides ablaze with autumn hues from the courses. The crisp air, reduced rates, and smaller crowds make fall a wonderful time for golfing here. And the chance to drive and putt among the colorful foliage is a one-of-a-kind experience. Schedule a tee time during your fall trip to Stowe and enjoy personalized foliage along the fairways and greens. There area also a number of other golf clubs near Stowe in neighboring Morrisville, Waterbury and Waterbury Center.

Activities to Enjoy in Stowe and Your Stay in Stowe

Relaxing with a Spa Day and Experience Stowe in the Fall

Pamper yourself amidst fall's splendor with a spa treatment at one of Stowe's world-class spas. Topnotch Resort offers an extensive spa menu and an unparalleled view of Mt. Mansfield from the treatment rooms. Stoweflake Resort also provides rejuvenating services along with fitness classes, water therapy, and salon treatments. Massages, body wraps, and facials will leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed. What better way to immerse yourself in the spirit of autumn?

Downtown Stowe Shopping Stowe's Stores & Galleries

Stowe's main street features a treasure trove of independently owned shops and galleries brimming with local wares and artisan goods. One of the best places to explore Stowe in fall. Find plush alpaca throws, hand-carved bowls, landscape paintings, homemade jams and syrups, smoky incense, blown glass ornaments, and more.

Chat with the artists and owners who have set up shop in Stowe, and take a piece of Vermont craftsmanship home with you. Pop into stores like The Country Store on Main, Stowe Mercantile, The boutique, and many other shops and services as you explore Stowe's offerings. Days in Stowe offer plenty of the best places to visit and enjoy! 

Savoring Farm-to-Table Cuisine

Eat in Stowe during peak foliage season. It's one of the best fall dining locales in Vermont. With an abundance of local farms, dairies, and orchards, Stowe boasts incredible farm-to-table dining opportunities.

Restaurants like Piecasso Pizzeria (a personal favorite), The Bistro at Ten Acres, and Harrision's Restaurant features seasonal ingredients in creative dishes all autumn long. Try pumpkin ravioli, butternut squash soup, venison stew, or Vermont cheese plates. And don't miss out on apple crisp, maple creme brulee, or cider doughnuts for dessert! Stowe's culinary scene offers the flavors and bounty of fall on each menu.

Touring Stowe's Breweries and Experience Stowe Vermont in the Fall

If you love beer, visiting Stowe's breweries is a must. Take a tour of The Alchemist Brewery, tasting their ultra-hoppy Heady Topper straight from the source. Idletyme Brewing and von Trapp Brewing also offer behind-the-scenes tours along with seasonal fall brews and German-style beers perfect for Oktoberfest. Sipping a craft pint surrounded by autumn ambiance makes for a memorable experience. Prost!

Stowe Gondola Rides: The Best Way to Experience Fall Foliage

Stowe Gondola Rides

As autumn arrives in Vermont, one of the top places to take in the fall foliage is by riding the gondola skyward in Stowe. Gliding above the vibrant landscape in an open-air cabin provides a breathtaking perspective.

The Stowe Mountain Resort gondola carries passengers up to an elevation of 3,625 feet on Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak. The ride itself takes about 12 minutes, letting you leisurely ascend above the trees.

As you get higher, you'll witness a sea of rustic reds, vibrant oranges, and sunny yellows spread out before you. With views spanning from Stowe village to Camel's Hump and beyond, it's truly an unforgettable way to soak in the colors.

The gondola runs daily throughout the fall foliage season, so you can ride multiple times to appreciate the changing leaves at different stages. Try a morning ride to witness the mist lifting off the mountains and a later afternoon ride to see the colors glow in the sun.

Bring the Camera and Experience Stowe Vermont in the Fall

Don't forget to bring your camera! Capture stunning aerial shots of the patchwork fall landscape from inside the gondola or stop at the top to pose with the panoramas behind you. The views from the Cliff House, at the summit are also postcard-perfect.

Leaf peeping by gondola lets you rise above the crowds and traffic often associated with fall in Vermont. With a relaxing, birds-eye journey, you'll gain a new appreciation for the natural beauty that surrounds Stowe.

Plan your visit to Stowe this fall and be sure to add a gondola ride to your itinerary. Gliding above the vibrant foliage is an experience you won't want to miss!

Enjoy Fall Fun at the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center

Nestled in the mountains right in Stowe, the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center offers plenty of family-friendly activities to enjoy Vermont's fall scenery. From hiking trails to yoga, massage, mountain biking, 18-hole disc golf, wine tastings, etc. you'll find endless ways to make the most of autumn.

Trapp Family Lodge

Trek through the glow of fall foliage on the Outdoor Center's extensive hiking and mountain biking trails. With over 40 km of paths ranging from easy to difficult, you can choose the right adventure for every ability level. For a more leisurely pace, join a naturalist-guided walk to learn about the changing fall landscape. Keep your eyes peeled for birds flocked for migration and glimpses of wildlife before hibernation.

With stunning vistas, changing scenery, and endless outdoor activities, the Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center offers a magnificent fall getaway. Revel in the season as you bond with family and nature.

Don't forget to stop by the Bierhall afterwards for a tasty local brew and snack on the deck overlooking the mountains. Prost!

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