Stowe's Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak at 4,393 feet may get all the attention when it comes to hiking in Stowe. But some of the best hikes in Stowe lay in the surrounding areas, from the shady forested trails of Cady Hill Forest or the beauty of Moss Glen Falls at the end of a short walk in. Whether you're looking to bag the big peak or to take a nice stroll through the woods, here are some tips on the best hikes in Stowe for summertime. The best part of hiking in Stowe? After you do the work, our hot tub at our boutique hotel Field Guide is waiting for you.
The Cady Hill Forest is over 250 acres of preserved land owned by the town of Stowe and open to the public for hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing. The Macutchan Loop, named for the family that donated nearly half of the land that makes up the preserve, offers a nice three-mile round trip hike through the forest. The loop trail is well-marked and is also used for mountain biking so keep a heads up for bikers.
This short hike rewards you with a beautiful view of Moss Glen Falls at the end after only a mile and a half of easy trail. The trail to the waterfall has been built up with boardwalks in some places and parallels the Moss Glen Stream for much of it. The 125-foot waterfall can be robust after a rainfall so be careful around the base of the falls and prepare for muddy trail in some spots if there's been rain recently.
There are multiple ways to access the summit of Mount Mansfield, from easy to advanced. The easiest, of course, is to drive to the top via the Toll Road. Those looking to hike can access the summit via the short but steep Long Trail which takes you up the eastern side of the mountain. Only 2.5 miles to the summit, the Long Trail covers 2,800 feet of elevation in that distance. Pair it with other trails like the Hell Brook trail or the Haselton trail to create a nice looping hike.