6 Fall Activities in Stowe for Leaf Peeping

August 28, 2019


While Stowe is a year-round destination, people around the world escape to this distinctive corner of Vermont in the fall to view the spectacular foliage. With views of Vermont’s renowned Green Mountains and rolling hills at every turn, seeing fall’s colors in this area is unlike any other. There are many ways for “leaf peepers” to experience fall in Stowe, named by TripAdvisor as the “#1 Fall Foliage Destination in the U.S.” Discover these 6 fall activities you can do while viewing Stowe’s legendary foliage:

Scenic Drives

It’s beautiful driving anywhere in and around Stowe, especially in the fall. With the fresh mountain air, picturesque scenes and colorful leaves all around, you’ll forget your worries and relax on a scenic drive in the Vermont countryside. Drive along VT Route 100 between Waterbury and Stowe, also known as the Green Mountain Byway, for stunning views of open meadows, farmland and forests – all with an impressive mountain backdrop. Take impromptu excursions at historic sites along the way. Another unique drive is the Auto Toll Road at Stowe Mountain Resort. Reach new heights and scale Mt. Mansfield – Vermont’s tallest peak. The beauty of scenic drives is that you can make them as long or short as you like with the foliage all around you. Read our Stowe Scenic Drives Guide for suggested driving routes with directions.

Guided Tours

While you can expand your horizons on a guided tour in Stowe any time of year, guided tours during foliage season are extraordinary. If you love a local craft beverage, be escorted around area breweries, cideries and distilleries with foliage in view from the tour vehicle. Cruise the reservoir on a scenic boat charter. Be sure to take plenty of pictures! The outdoor adventurer will enjoy hiking and biking tours, while history buffs will appreciate an award-winning nighttime walking adventure throughout the historic Stowe Village.

Stowe Foliage Arts Festival
Festive Events

Celebrate the changing season at one of Stowe’s time-honored signature events. British Invasion, the largest all-British motor car show in the U.S., kicks off when the leaves first start to show their colors. Browse through fine art and craftwork from fine artists and artisans at the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival. Experience Austrian music, food, brews and hospitality at the Trapp Family Lodge Annual Oktobefest. Another seasonal classic is the Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival where home-grown DIY-constructed trebuchets, or gravity-powered catapults, are competing to see which chucks pumpkins the farthest. Who knew there’s a sport of “chuckin’” pumpkins for distance?

On the Trail

Stowe’s world-class trail network and natural beauty make it a popular destination for hiking, and with autumn foliage, the hikes are all the more spectacular. Stowe Pinnacle affords grand views of the Stowe valley, while you can “get lost” more in the remote Sterling Valley. Another way to experience foliage is on bike – whether you’re climbing Cady Hill on a mountain bike or taking in views of majestic Mt. Mansfield from the Stowe Rec Path. Explore a section of the flat, paved 5.3-mile trail by the Percy Farm Corn Maze for a fun family adventure!

On the Water

Viewing foliage on the water is pure magic in the Stowe area. Nestled between the Worcester range and the Green Mountains, the Waterbury Reservoir is an excellent choice for a catching beautiful scenes and foliage. Rent a canoe, kayak or SUP and take a leisurely paddle with family or friends there, or on the Lamoille or Winooski Rivers nearby. Fishing is also a relaxing fall activity. Always wanted to try fishing? Take a free casting clinic before the water.

In the Air

Feel like you’re flying through the air at a zip line adventure! Spend a day in Smugglers’ Notch for a thrilling a zip line canopy tour through the colorful trees or a treetop obstacle course or climbing adventure with ArborTrek Canopy Adventures. For a more relaxing pace, take the Gondola SkyRide to near the summit of Mt. Mansfield – Vermont’s tallest peak – for a memorable adventure all while viewing Stowe’s legendary foliage.

Whether you walk, hike, paddle, zip or drive through the Vermont countryside, there are many unique ways to celebrate Vermont’s most colorful season in Stowe.

Featured image courtesy of Grant Wieler Photography. Photos courtesy of: Mark Vandenberg, Sunrise Mountain Guides, Grant Wieler Photography, ArborTrek Canopy Adventures and Craft Producers.

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