Stowe Area Hiking

General Information About Mt. Mansfield

According to an Indian Folklore, a giant was traveling and laid down because he was tired. With his side profile facing upward toward the sky, he is still resting in the Green Mountains. This is one of the legends which tries to explain the resemblance between the Mountain and a person's side view of a nose, lips and chin. The Chin, also called The Summit of Mt. Mansfield, is the highest point of Vermont at 4,393 feet above sea level.


Smuggler's Notch is a narrow pass through the mountains with an elevation of 2,162 feet and 1,000 foot cliffs on either side. It is paved but is very windy and steep. Smuggler's Notch got it's name during the War of 1812 when Vermonters hid cattle and other supplies in the Notch. Goods were smuggled into Canada to feed the British Army, who were then fighting the American army. There are beautiful and interesting rock formations in the Notch such as Smuggler's Head, Elephant Head (a 6,000 ton rock which fell from the Mountain in 1910), Hunter and His Dog (outstanding), Singing Bird (sits high in the cliffs and is outlined against the sky, and Smuggler's Face (sits very high on the cliffs and resembles a large face in relief). Look also for the Big Spring (located near the Information Booth), Smuggler's Cave and the Natural Refrigerator (a rock crevasse always at 49 degrees). An Information Booth is staffed at the top of Rte. 108 in the summer for assistance. Parking and picnicking is also located near the Booth.

HIKING TRAILS

Bingham Falls
It is located on the Mountain Road beyond the Toll Road. After you drive past the Inn on the Mountain, look for a widening in the shoulder on the left and straight across the road is a well beaten path leading to Bingham Falls. Water cascades through a fume and tumbles down through a series of chutes, falls and pools.

Elephant's Head to Sterling Pond
This 7.4 mile round trip hike takes 4-3/4 hours. It starts at the State Picnic Area south of Smuggler's Notch and the trail heads east. This is part of the Long Trail.

Gondola
It is open mid June through mid October. There is a nominal fee to ride the Gondola. It starts at the Base Lodge at Mt. Mansfield and rides to the Cliff House which serves meals. There is a place with picnic tables and beautiful views just below the Cliff House. From the top of the Gondola, go .3 miles to Summit Ridge. Then go right .4 miles to the Chin. Return along Summit Ridge to the Octagon (1.4 miles), walk down Nosedive ski trail and then back to the Gondola base. It takes about 3 hours. We recommend bringing a sweater-it gets cold up there!

Lake Elmore State Park
Take Route 100 North to Route 12 to Lake Elmore State Park. There is a small fee to use the park during the summer. The trail to the top of Elmore Mountain is approximately 1 mile and follows a work road.

Moss Glen Falls
From Route 100 North, turn right onto Randolph Road (which is 3.1 miles north of Stowe). Turn right after .4 miles onto Moss Glen Falls Road. Continue right at another fork and cross a bridge. You can park left of the bridge. The trail continues on this old road, swampy at times. In the field ahead is a limited parking area. The trail then runs off the road into the woods and then into the Falls. The lookout is at the bowl of the Falls after a steep climb. This .8 mile round trip takes 30 minutes.

Stowe Pinnacle Trail
More difficult 1-1/2 miles up. Spectacular view from the top. Follow Goldbrook Rd. from Rte. 100 (1.5 miles south of Stowe) and take a left at .3 miles and then take a right at 1.8 miles. You can leave your car at the parking area on the left 2.3 miles on Upper Hollow Rd. The lot has a split rail fence around it. Follow the blazes from the end of the lot to the Pinnacle. There is one lookout on the way.

Sterling Pond Trail
An easy 1-1/2 miles to the fish stocked Sterling Pond. Park at Visitor's Booth at the top of Smuggler's Notch on Route 108. Follow the white blazes across Route 108 from the booth. This is part of the Long Trail North and is clearly marked.

Stowe Recreation Path
Starts on Luce Hill Road and ends either 3 miles behind the White Community Church in Stowe Village or 2.7 miles behind the Covered Bridge Condo-miniums. It is a very scenic walk, bike or jog with beautiful bridges and views.

Taylor Lodge Trail
This easy, uphill, 3.2 mile round trip hike takes 2-1/2 hours. From Moscow, drive 5.8 miles to the end of Nebraska Valley Road. Park at the upper lot at Lake Mansfield Trout Club. Walk behind the Lodge and along the Lake. The trail follows the north side of the lake. At the end of the Lake, bear right and follow the blue blazes.

Toll Road
Located 7 miles up the Mountain Road (Rte. 108) on the left, just before the Inn on the Mountain. This 4-1/2 mile Road is open mid May through mid October. The Toll Road ends at the Mount Mansfield Summit Station just below the Nose (4,062 feet). Follow the Tundra Trail 1/2 mile north (red & white blazes on the rocks) to Drift Rock (20 minutes) and then another mile on the trail will take you to the Summit of Mt. Mansfield (The Chin). The highest point on Mt. Mansfield is The Chin at 4,393 feet. It is easy hiking and on a clear day has beautiful views of Lake Champlain, Worcester Range, Jay Peak, Mt. Washington and Whiteface Mountain. We recommend bringing a sweater-it gets cold up there!

Click below to download a Hiking Guide from SAA:

  • SAA5038 sterlingbrook
  • Stowe Hiking
  • SAA3620 moss glen falls