Examiner.com - Daniel Couture
October 10, 2010

During the day through Sunday you may attend the 28th Annual Foliage Arts Festival. On Saturday evening you may attend the Chicken Pie Supper at the Community Church or take in the last performance of the Stowe Theatre Guild's production of the Broadway musical “The Light in the Piazza”. Of course, you can just keep it basic, too. By that I mean browse in the village shops when you are not driving up and down the hills in the area doing some leaf peeping. Then, find a pub like the Grey Fox Inn and join the crowd downing brewskies and singing along to live music.

One of my lasting memories of Stowe occurred back in the 80's watching my two young daughters frolicking in the fields up at theTrapp Family Lodge. They were doing their best imitation of “The Sound of Music” and, as parents, my wife and I were thoroughly entertained. The lodge is a destination any time of year and during the summer the same field mentioned above is used for Sunday evening concerts. But you can find plenty to do there from wine tasting to mountain biking, even this month. Then again, if you simply want to unwind, do nothing but soak up the natural beauty and relaxing amenities that surround you.

Some of the sights in Stowe and the vicinity have significant reputations. Mount Mansfield, for example, is the tallest peak in Vermont and is where you will find the Stowe Ski Resort and a gondola ride to the summit. This is a popular stop for many European travelers. Smugglers Notch Ski Resort is spread out over three other mountains north of Stowe. Most tourists approach the area from the south and pass through the town of Waterbury. As you head towards Stowe you will pass by Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory and then, three miles beyond that, the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. A little further east after a more remote country ride, you will be able to find the home of Cabot Creamery, most known for its cheddar cheeses.

If easy hiking and waterfalls are to your liking you have multiple choices. Off Route 108 south of Stowe is Bingham Falls, five drops totaling 90 feet with the largest one at the bottom being a 25-foot drop. The trail is steep but not too long. Moss Glen Falls north of Stowe is a much easier hike. It is located off of Randolph Road which is an easterly turn off of Route 100. Finally, Sterling Falls Gorge is on the east slope of one of the foothills leading up to Smugglers Notch. It's more off the beaten path but once you reach the end of Sterling Valley Road the parking lot is only yards from the top of the gorge which has seven waterfalls.

No matter what your preferences are for relaxation, Stowe is a must see and a terrific place to visit all four seasons of the year.

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