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Fall Colors, Autumn Activities Lure Families to Stowe

by Felicity Long

Oct 19, 2019

Stowe Mountain Resort

Destinations / North America

Leaf peeping in New England is a time-honored tradition in the fall, and this year Stowe, considered one of Vermont’s top-rated foliage destinations, is looking to lure families with special events and adventure activities that make the most of the season.


Head to the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center for the Stowe Mountain Film Festival Oct. 26 for a series of documentary short films. Topics range from adventure and sports to the environment and culture, all reflecting the interests of the Stowe community spirit and curated from the Mountainfilm festival in Telluride, Colorado. Screenings are at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m., and a presenter will be on hand to guide the audience through the program, providing insight on the films, filmmakers and subjects.


Special event aside, Stowe offers plenty of other fall activities that should keep various members of your family happy.

Fall treetop adventure. Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe’s Treetop Adventure, for example, offers six different levels of courses consisting of aerial tree-to-tree connections with 68 various challenge/game elements. Everyone receives lessons in how to use the state-of- the-art safety cable system, and courses are designed to progressively build confidence as you head through the experience. The adventure is suitable for most ages.


The Stowe Zip Tour Adventure allows you to soar from near the summit of Vermont’s highest peak on a series of zip lines, and, with two side-by-side lines on each zip span, you can experience it all with a family member by your side. Zip lines range from the Demo Trainer at 150 feet long and 10 feet high to the Nosedive Zip at 4,462 feet long and 180 feet high.


Zip Line in Stowe. Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort


If all this sounds a little too high-energy, how about seeing the fall colors from the 150-year-old Mount Mansfield Auto Toll Road? The 4.5-mile unpaved road begins next to the Inn at the Mountain and climbs to an elevation of 3,850 feet, then ends at a parking lot next to the Mount Mansfield Summit Station. Bikes and motorcycles are not allowed, but the road’s upper terminus offers scenic hiking options. To the north, the Cliff Trail, Long Trail and Canyon Trail — all about 1.5 miles long and climbing about 550 feet — offer three routes to Mansfield’s “Chin.” Southerly trail options include the Lakeview Trail, Forehead Bypass and Long Trail to the Forehead.


Hikers should stop into the Green Mountain Club prior to hiking for an orientation; hiking maps are distributed upon arrival.


Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

Or see the scenery from Mount Mansfield Gondola, a comfortable, eight-passenger gondola that departs from Gondola Barn, about a quarter mile north of the historic Mount Mansfield Base Lodge. The gondola terminates at Stowe Mountain Resort’s newly renovated Cliff House restaurant, open daily for lunch.


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