6 Unique Ways to View Stowe Foliage: A Leaf Peeping Guide
September 12, 2018
by STOWE AREA ASSOCIATION
Fall is the most popular – and arguably most spectacular – time of the year to be in Stowe, but don’t just take our word for it: Stowe was named the “#1 Fall Foliage Destination in the U.S.” by TripAdvisor. And was recently called a “perfect place for foliage” by the Boston Herald. Whether you walk, hike, paddle, zip or drive through the Vermont countryside, there are many unique ways to experience fall foliage in a place that has it all–from the mountain to Main Street.
1) Scenic Drives
The beauty of scenic drives is that you can make them as long or short as you like by making stops for activities along the way. while covering a lot of ground with foliage. Traveling along the Green Mountain Byway between Waterbury and Stowe provides stunning views of open meadows, farmland, and forests, all with a spectacular mountain backdrop. The Auto Toll Road at Stowe Mountain Resort affords glorious views of Stowe from Mount Mansfield – Vermont’s tallest peak. Read our Scenic Driving Guide for recommended driving routes with directions.
2) Trail Adventures
With world-class trail options along with Stowe’s natural beauty, it’s no wonder hiking is one of Stowe’s most popular fall activities. Become one with nature in the remote Sterling Valley, or seek your peak at Stowe Pinnacle. Mountain biking is another way to experience foliage on the trail; or, take in views of majestic Mt. Mansfield from the Stowe Recreation Path. Create memories exploring the Percy Farm Corn Maze just off the flat, paved 5.3-mile trail.
3) On The Water
There are a few unique ways to experience the foliage from the water. Settled between two mountain ranges, the beautiful and serene Waterbury Reservoir offers extraordinary foliage views. Explore the colors along the reservoir on The Fly Rod Shop’s Fall Foliage Scenic Boat charter. Take a leisurely paddle on the reservoir or a slow-moving river. Fishing is also a relaxing activity. Ford a brook or stream for views of spectacular colors.
4) Soar Through The Trees
Soar through the trees for one of the most unique ways to view the foliage: zip lining. Take a scenic day drive to Smugglers’ Notch for a zip line canopy tour, treetop obstacle course or climbing adventure with ArborTrek Canopy Adventures. Or take the Gondola SkyRide at Stowe Mountain Resort up to near the summit of Mt. Mansfield – Vermont’s tallest peak – for a memorable experience while viewing Stowe’s legendary foliage. The ZipTour Adventure is considered the world’s fastest and most exhilarating zip line experience, and it’s right here in Stowe!
5) Guided Tours
Along with hiking and biking tours, there are several distinct guided tours available for the adventurous leaf peeper. History buffs will enjoy Stowe, At Night, Lantern Tours, which was named a “Top Ten Flickering Lights Tour” by USA Today. Ghost stories and history meet on this nighttime walking adventure through Stowe.
6) Festive Fall Events
There are a number of ways to celebrate the changing season. Many time-honored signature events take place as leaves show their vibrant autumn colors. British Invasion is the largest all-British motor car show in the U.S. Celebrate Vermont’s most colorful season, while enjoying fine art and craftwork from 200 juried fine artists and artisans at the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival. The 9th annual Trapp Family Lodge Annual Oktoberfest is a day of fun, food and good old Austrian music and hospitality. The Vermont Pumpkin Chuckin’ Festival celebrates the sport of “chuckin'” pumpkins for distance using a do-it-yourself constructed trebuchet or gravity-powered catapult.