ice skating at Spruce Peak

Winter in Stowe is Not Just Skiing

Most people who come to Stowe in the winter usually come for the skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort or the Nordic skiing at Trapp Family Lodge. But winter in Stowe is not just skiing. There are many outdoor sports you can do on snow and ice. Did you ever notice that most winter sports start with S? Skiing, snowshoeing, skating, snowmobiling, sledding, and the lone wolf, ice fishing. Here’s an overview of where to go in Stowe for these non-skiing winter sports.

Snowshoeing in Sterling Valley


Sterling Forest (yup, another S), a few miles north of Stowe Village, was once farmland. Now preserved by the Stowe Land Trust, it is an ideal place for easy-to-moderate snowshoeing. The Catamount Trail, a cross-country ski trail that runs the length of Vermont and is maintained by the Catamount Trail Association, is the main vein through the network. Trails such as Marston, Sterling Run, and Peak-A-View were once logging roads and are now used for non-motorized recreation. The far-reaching Marston Trail was the driveway to the Marston Farm, and remnants of stone walls and the homestead foundation remain. On the northern side of Sterling Brook are the Papa’s Trail, Upper Gorge Loop, and Basin Trail. To the east of Sterling Brook

Eight Bridges trail. All are great for snowshoe outings. A trail map and directions to Sterling Forest can be found at Stowe Mountain Bike Club. Rent snowshoes and get tips at Umiak Outfitters.


If you love ice skating you must check out the beautifully maintained rink at Spruce Peak Village. Skating is free. Bring your own skates or rent them at the ski rental shop in Base Camp, then show us your triple Salchow! (Named for Ulrich Salchow of Sweden, won the World Figure Skating Championships ten times, from 1901 to 1905, and from 1907 to 1911.) Here’s Kevin Reynolds of Canada doing the first-ever quadruple Salchow.

Snowmobiling in Cotton BrookSnowmobiling

Zoom zoom! Stowe Snowmobiles operates out of Umiak Outfitters and runs tours in Cotton Brook, a gated logging road in nearby Moscow. Following instructions on how to drive a snowmobile, the guided tours head up Cotton Brook Road for one- and two-hour tours on groomed trails. VAST, the statewide club, grooms over 2,000 miles of trails in Vermont.

sledding in Smugglers NotchSledding

There’s nothing like flying down a slope on a sled. One of the best places to go sledding in Stowe is in Smuggler’s Notch. The road is closed to traffic and the snow is well-packed by a variety of snow travelers (including one or two snowmobiles). You’ll have to walk to the top of the Notch, but it’s worth the trip and exercise, because the ride back down is a blast. Bring your own sled or rent a high-tech one at Umiak Outfitters. There’s also Marshall Hill, right in the village. It used to sport a rope tow!

dog sledding in Cotton BrookDog Sledding

Woof woof! Riding in a sled behind a team of dogs is surprisingly peaceful. You might even be lulled to sleep! Peace Pups, based out of Elmore, Vt., offers a variety of tours in the area.

Eden Dogsledding does unfettered tours with their un-chained gang of Siberians in the remote area of Eden. They even offer “stay and sled” packages, where you stay onsite in a romantic and cozy cabin.

Ice fishingIce Fishing

Once an angler, always an angler, even in winter! If you need a fishing fill this winter, go to the Fly Rod Shop. They will show you where to go and provide you with all the gear you’ll need. They’ll even auger the hole for you. You can join the shantytown on Waterbury Reservoir, or venture further out to places like Green River Reservoir and Lake Willoughby.

Now you can see that winter in Stowe is not just skiing. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy when the snow files, andhen you’re ready to move here and want to buy a house, or of you looking to sell your Stowe home, contact me, I will bring my best to the table.

Lea Van Winkle, Realtor/Broker

Four Seasons Sotheby’s International Realty

Stowe, Vermont




Posted in Recreation and Entertainment, Uncategorized.