Throughout my childhood, I counted the days of summer in corn. As soon as June rolled around, my friend and I would hop on our bikes and go to the local farm in our town, Stowe. There, we watched the tractor methodically plant the seedlings into the ground. They would reach about waist-high in July, and by the end of August, they would tower above us. That signaled the end of summer, and of course, the end of our freedom.
Although returning to math class wasn’t that thrilling, we still had many things to look forward to: The crisp fall wind after hot, laconic days; the warm, comforting tastes of hot chocolate; and, most of all, the beautiful change of leaves’ colors, from lush green to a visually pleasing palette of fiery colors. No matter how many years have passed by, all the trees looming in the neighborhood still turn the same striking hues each fall. Only when I went to college did I realize how lucky I was to grow up with this view.
Every year, tourists from across the country flock to this charming historic town to get lost in the fall foliage. If you are thinking of an autumn getaway, forget about the norm like San Francisco for a while and get to know Stowe, Vermont in the fall. Read on, and you will see why it is the best place to embrace this beautiful season!
When Is Peak Foliage In Stowe, Vermont?
Stowe, Vermont in the fall is a road-tripper paradise. Since three-quarters of Stowe is covered by forest, every landscape looks like a perfect postcard: Oaks and birches ensure a rich palette of brown, bronze, and honey tones, while maples and ash contribute to the brightest crimson and yellow shades. Together, they create a thrilling carpet of colors that blankets this dreamy New England village and makes it world-famous.
To enjoy this scenery at its most spectacular, though, you should plan your trip well in advance.
Based on averages from year to year, the foliage season begins as soon as you feel the crispness in the air. Red and sugar maples, which take up the majority of Stowe’s forests, often change colors early. By mid-September, the northern part of the town will be blazing with warm tints.
Full colors move progressively south next month, so the sweetest spot to celebrate the seasonal joy is from September through late October. Many experienced foliage viewers agree that late October is the most beautiful time in Stowe, but it’s also the busiest. If you don’t want to fight for a room, I would suggest coming during the last week of September, just after Labor Day.
Still, there is no fixed calendar for Mother Nature. The fall foliage peak might vary from year to year, depending on the temperature and amount of precipitation. My advice? Don’t forget to track the weather beforehand!
The Best Way To Experience Stowe, Vermont In The Fall
Driving down any backroad and capturing fall foliage with your camera is already a magical experience. Nonetheless, aside from beautiful scenery, Stowe also has everything one could ask for in a fun adventure.
Below, you and I will explore all the exciting fall activities in Vermont. Pack the binoculars, strap on the hiking boots, and get ready!
Hike Up Vermont’s Tallest Peak
Looking at Mount Mansfield from the east will remind you of a man’s face looking up at the sky, hence the name. Well, it might be a woman’s face, but Mount Womansfield doesn’t have the same ring, right?
This mountain, which rises to a height of 4,394 feet above sea level, is Vermont’s highest peak. It attracts more than 40,000 visitors each year, mainly because you can drive to the top via the Auto Toll Road. If hiking is not your cup of tea, this can be an exciting option. Still, nothing beats the sound of leaves under your hiking boots and the feeling of fresh autumn breezes on your face.
There are several trails that lead to the summit of Mount Mansfield, but the one I’d recommend taking is the Sunset Ridge Trail, which begins in Underhill State Park. The 3.3-mile hike can be challenging, but you will get 360-degree views in return. Many people choose to picnic on top and take in the fall splendor before making the descent. The mountain is a true gem and one of the best places to experience Stowe, Vermont in the fall.
If you are after the bird-eye view, another way to reach the top of Mount Mansfield is to simply board the Gondola Sky Ride. Sit back and marvel at the spectacular display of fall foliage unfolding below you!
Gondola Sky Ride Mount Mansfield, Stowe, Vermont
Sail Away On A Fall Foliage Boat Ride
Due to the high volume of “leaf peepers” visiting Stowe each fall, commute times can be longer than usual. Worry not, there is a better way to enjoy the breathtaking fall colors – going on a romantic boat ride!
Tucked away in the town is a beautiful lake named Waterbury Reservoir. Right here, you will experience the foliage in the most unique way. The boat excursion takes you through a tranquil, quiet lake, allowing you to escape the chaos of the roadways and fully immerse yourself in nature.
Few people visit the reservoir in the fall, so you can have the lake all to yourself. That lends the experience a more intimate touch, especially for couples. Some even got engaged on the boat!
Go Back In Time At The Grist Mill Covered Bridge
Fall, more than any other season, evokes a strong sense of nostalgia. Along with the vibrant shades and crisp evening air, the smell of leaves burning is a wonderful seasonal fragrance that reminds us of all the happy memories of the past.
At the Grist Mill Covered Bridge, you can embrace your bittersweet sentimentality. Constructed in the 19th century, the bridge has been providing visitors’ shelters and helping with livestock transportation for decades. The engineer behind the construction is unknown, and all the myths surrounding this bridge make it a mysterious attraction in the area.
When autumn arrives, the historic bridge is buried under the foliage. This is an endless inspiration for photographers and artists alike. Strolling down the brook, you will feel like you are walking back in time.
Get Lost In One Of Stowe’s Amazing Corn Mazes
As the leaves turn shades, Halloween is just around the corner. Here in Stowe, we treat this holiday seriously! Whether you are seeking fun family adventures or just want to challenge yourself, our amazing corn mazes will blow your mind.
Percy Farm Corn Maze is the most extensive corn maze in the area, and it’s truly one-of-a-kind. Each year, a new unique path is designed to be thrilling for everyone. That’s not even the best part: The corn maze also comes with a set of clues that fit into the year’s theme, so you will need some brainpower to solve the riddles that will help you find the way out.
Working together to get out of the maze, laughing at spontaneous jokes, and celebrating together as you reach the end can help strengthen the family’s bond. Along the way, visitors might bump into cute goats and calves. Don’t miss out on this chance to feed these little friends and introduce your kids to farm animals!
Have Fun At The Stowe Foliage Art Festival
Autumn is the festive time, we celebrate the most colorful season with the Stowe Foliage Art Festival. This 3-day event kicks off on October 7 – the height of the fall foliage.
During these days, if you are lucky enough to be in downtown Stowe, you can enjoy exquisite art and crafts from fine artists and artisans while surrounding yourself with autumnal perfection. Marvel at the artwork and take home some unique souvenirs that will remind you of the trip!
Additionally, there will be great food, specialties, craft beer, and live music. Make sure you arrive on time for this festival – it’s a precious opportunity to experience the classic New England autumn!
Stowe Foliage Art Festival
Visit The Famous Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Without stopping by Cold Hollow for some freshly made apple cider doughnuts, your trip to Stowe, Vermont in the fall would be incomplete.
Even if you don’t have a sweet tooth, you will be lured in by the warm, luscious aroma. This charming spot has been making its world-class doughnuts for the past two decades. Their recipe remains a secret, so you can’t find them anywhere else! Have them hot with fresh Vermont coffee or hot cider.
Indulge In A Spa Day
After a day of adventures, unwind with a massage and other spa treatments. Even better, idle away for an entire spa day. The Stowe Mountain Resort features fantastic spa facilities, boasting a space of 35,000 square feet and a wide variety of services.
Wellness seekers can easily spend blissful hours here, taking advantage of the sauna, steam rooms, mineral baths, jacuzzi, and total serenity. The show’s star is the Aqua Solarium, which features a waterfall fool inspired by the famous Bingham Falls. It serves as a therapeutic massage for your sore neck and shoulders.
The Stowe Mountain Resort also offers special treatments for couples. A side-by-side massage is a romantic option, or you can meet your loved one at the Aqua Solarium. After the service, the staff will bring you a cup of Stowe Cider. Find a comfortable lounge chair, cover yourself in a cozy blanket, and enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountains as you sip on your refreshing drink. That’s the best fall indulgence!
Come Alive In The Fall Time!
Summer is ending soon, and many folks out there still can’t get over breezy slip dresses, beach vacations, and sunshine on the shoulders yet. But hey, it doesn’t mean the end of your travels! Stowe’s slope-side locations and amazing findings will mesmerize you with dazzling seasonal colors that need to be seen to be believed.
The beauty of Stowe, Vermont in the fall has been sustaining me through long and cold winters, and I’m sure you will fall in love with it, too. Whether you are looking for a family vacation or a romantic getaway, Enjoyfuntrip’s guide will help you get the most out of the town’s quintessential foliage season. Happy Leaf-Peeping!