7 Beautiful Snowshoe Hikes In Stowe, VT

Posted on Sept. 16, 2022

Explore Stowe by snowshoe, and you’ll be rewarded with some of the most beautiful views in the region.

Couple enjoys a snowshoe adventure in Stowe, VT.
Long before there were skis, people traveled across the snow-covered landscape using snowshoes. The earliest ones were believed to have been slabs of wood that were strapped to the feet to keep from sinking into the deep snow. In the 6,000 years or more since, snowshoes have evolved to be light, easy to use and highly effective ways to trek in the winter.

Today’s models range from recreational snowshoes from companies such as Tubbs or Atlas to those made for running or racing, such as those made by Vermont-based snowshoe company Dion. All feature a metal frame, leather or synthetic webbing and steel cleats that allow you to bite into the snow as you climb up steeper terrain.

In Stowe, you can rent snowshoes at most of the outdoor retailers, trailheads at the Stowe Cross Country Center or the Trapp Family Lodge, and at the Spa at Spruce Peak — where you can also join a guided tour. Umiak, the outdoor adventure company based on Route 100 in Stowe, also offers guided snowshoe hikes, including moonlight tours that stop at either a cabin for hot mulled cider and cheese or at a restaurant for fondue.

But for most snowshoe hikes in Stowe, you don’t need a guide, and most of these are free. Here’s are seven of the most beautiful places to snowshoe in Stowe.

Smugglers’ Notch

If you parked at Stowe Mountain Resort to ski, you won’t even need to move your car to do this bucket-list snowshoe hike. In the summer, Route 108 runs from the village of Stowe up to Stowe Mountain Resort and then winds up through the gap in the mountains known as Smugglers’ Notch. In the winter, just past Stowe Mountain Resort, the mountainous road is closed to cars. Once the snow falls, the route becomes popular with backcountry skiers, dog walkers and, of course, snowshoers. If you are new to snowshoeing, this is a perfect place to get started as the surface is usually packed. Strap on snowshoes at the Barnes Camp parking area and you can hike up the Notch Road. It’s about a 4-mile hike one way up and over the Notch to Smuggler’s Notch Resort, but you can turn around at any point. Along the way, you’ll pass spectacular ice falls, and you may see ice climbers ascending them. The first few miles are relatively flat but after the Stowe town line, the road begins to climb and switchback up and the cliffs of the Notch rise hundreds of feet on either side.

Spruce Peak

Another easy snowshoe starts at Spruce Peak’s The Cottage and then follows mapped routes along the resort’s golf course. Three routes offer big views of the trails on Mount Mansfield. The easiest is the half-mile Old Camp Ramble, which should take about a half hour to complete. The Three Bridge Run is slightly shorter but has some elevation gain. The bonus is you cross three pedestrian bridges. For a longer loop, the three-quarter-mile Mountain Course loop cuts off from the Old Camp Ramble. You’ll find fewer people on these loops and be rewarded with open snow-covered fields and great views.

Stowe Cross Country Center

For a beautiful snowshoe through the woods, check in at the Stowe Cross Country Center, just off Route 108 about a mile and a half before you come to Stowe Mountain Resort’s Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak base areas. While most of the trails there are for Nordic skiing, there are 8 miles of designated snowshoe trails that weave through the woods between the groomed Nordic trails, which are off-limits to snowshoes as they ruin the surface for skiers. The trails are moderately difficult with some ups and downs and views of Ranch Brook. You can rent snowshoes and see a map at the yurt, located at the parking lot and trailhead.

Weissner Woods

Just off Edson Hill Road (make a right on Route 108 about 3.5 miles north of the village of Stowe), Weissner Woods is one of Stowe Land Trust’s gems. Once a farm, the forested 79-acre property has trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. A 2.8-mile loop starts at the parking area off Edson Hill Road and weaves through towering pines and passes a meadow overlook with views to Mount Mansfield.

Stowe Recreation Path

One of the prettiest snowshoe hikes is also one of the easiest. The Stowe Recreation Path starts in the village of Stowe off a small parking lot just behind the Stowe Community Church. The path then follows the West Branch of the Little River, crossing it on numerous footbridges. The path runs for 5.3 miles, paralleling Route 108. After the path crosses Route 108 near the Stoweflake Resort, it comes to open farm fields with magnificent views of the ski trails at Stowe Mountain Resort. There are also numerous parking spots along Route 108 so you can make the trek as long or as short as you want. Additionally, Green Mountain Transit’s buses follow Route 108 so if want to do a one-way hike, you can hop a ride back to the village.

Trapp Family Lodge

The Trapp Family Lodge may be best-known for its history: It was founded by the von Trapp family that was made famous in the movie, “The Sound of Music.” But for anyone who loves to be outdoors, the Trapp Family Lodge is known for its extensive network of trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. The von Trapp property spans 2,500 acres, with stunning views of Stowe and the surrounding mountains. Buy a trail pass, and if you are feeling adventurous you can hike 3 miles uphill to the rustic Slayton Pasture Cabin, which usually has a fire roaring in the fireplace and hot soup on the stove. For an easier hike, head from the Trapp Outdoor Center to the Kaffeehouse for a sandwich or Bavarian-style pastry or to the Bierhall, where von Trapp Brewing produces a variety of ales and the attached restaurant serves up Austrian specialties such as schnitzels, bratwurst and spaetzle. You will need to buy a trail pass at the Lodge’s Outdoor Center, where you can also rent snowshoes.


Pinnacle is not an easy snowshoe, but once you climb the 1,604 feet of vertical you’ll be rewarded with postcard views of Mount Mansfield, the Green Mountains to the west and the valley of Stowe below. The trailhead is off Upper Hollow Road, just east of Stowe village. The hike is 3.7 miles, round-trip and steep in places. But it’s a popular route for locals, so it’s likely you won’t be breaking trail.

Produced in partnership with Vermont Ski + Ride Magazine.