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Stowe, Vermont is a quaint little village nestled between the Green and Worcester Mountains and home to the state’s highest point- Mt. Mansfield at 4,393 ft. We drove straight from the base of Mt. Washington to Stowe and it rained on us the entire way. Although Mansfield is a relatively short hike of 4.71 mi (but who’s counting), I really didn’t want to hike in thunderstorms so we found a place to hole up for the day so we could hike to the summit the next.
Greg was feeling very generous I guess because he suggested we get a hotel (a Christmas miracle!) for the night. We stayed just down the road from Mansfield at the Innsbruck Inn and spent the day reading books and eating kettle corn in comfy chairs, enjoying their complimentary afternoon tea, going for a stroll between rain showers, and steaming in the sauna and soaking in the hot tubs. The staff was very nice and accommodating and we’d like to go back to stay again in winter. Anyone interested in renting their chalet with us?
The Long Trail up Mansfield started like all the other northeast trails we’d been on recently- straight up a rocky stream bed. I think all these trails must’ve been established before switchbacks were invented and these Northeasterners are just too stubborn to reroute the trails. Still, it was very fun, albeit a bit muddy.
The summit was chilly and you could see all of Stowe, the mountain resort, and the auto road we could’ve paid to drive up. While we were enjoying our picnic lunch a larper showed up in full gear, which Greg loved. He wanted to offer the guy some pistachios for showing such courage.
Stowe is also home to the Trapp Family Lodge, of the Von Trapp family, of The Sound of Music fame. We walked in like we owned the place and wandered around at our leisure. I tried telling G the story of the Von Trapps but I just kept tearing up and by the time I got to them walking across the Alps into Switzerland I was audibly crying in public. Trapp Family Lodge: CHECK.
Stowe is utterly charming and a trip up Mansfield a must-do if you’re in the area. If you’re feeling especially spry you can even do it in winter! Snowshoe up a mountain, followed by afternoon tea, sauna, and a soak. Is this heaven? No, it’s Vermont.