Stowe-Area Hiking: Nebraska Notch/Lake Mansfield Trail
- Skill Level: Moderate
- View Trail Map
- Type: Half-day hike
- Distance: 3.2 miles
- Time: 2.5 hours
- Climb: 650’
- Trailhead Location: 4400 Nebraska Valley Rd, Stowe, VT 05672. From the historic village, take route 100 South about 2.5 miles. Turn right onto Moscow Road, continuing for 2.0 miles bearing right onto Nebraska Valley Road to the Lake Mansfield Trout Club. As you drive in, you will see signs indicating this is a private road for Lake Mansfield Trout Club Members. Proceed further and enter the Lake Mansfield Trout Club and park in the public hiking section of the parking lot on the right-hand side. At the trailhead there is a great view of a large glacial cirque (a rounded, scooped-out valley).
About the Hike
The Lake Mansfield Trail, also known as the Nebraska Notch Trail, is a great family hike that has something for everyone—sweeping valley views, a crystal-clear glacial pond, vibrant tree-covered hills, and even a small waterfall.
While less well-known than some of Stowe’s more-popular intermediate trails, the Lake Mansfield Trail offers exceptional beauty in a secluded, serene setting. Cell service will be limited even before you arrive at the trailhead, so be sure to bring or download a trail map to your phone beforehand.
As you head out from the Lake Mansfield Trout Club trailhead, you will first hike along a sloped wooded area next to Lake Mansfield, offering beautiful views into it’s crystal clear waters as you weave between large boulders on the hillside. Please be courteous and observe all posted signs indicating which trails are open to the public and stay off private trails. As you continue along, the trail will gradually increase in elevation and you will soon pass by a small waterfall. Continue further and you will arrive at an open valley featuring breathtaking views of a forested hillside, and large sections of exposed rock face. Although this area is beautiful year-round, it is especially magnificent in the fall as the hillside ignites with red, orange and yellow hues.
Soon after this, make your way along a ridge to arrive at the Taylor Lodge and a scenic vista looking out onto the rolling hillside. The Taylor Lodge is an overnight lodge used by many backpackers hiking for extended periods of time on the Long Trail.