Last updated on October 2, 2022 by Wandering our World
Stowe, Vermont is home to some of the best trails in the state for hiking, biking, skiing, and enjoying nature. Like any outside adventurer, you might want to know what the best hiking trails in Stowe, VT, to hit according to what your schedule and personal fitness levels will allow. Well that’s where we’re here to help!
Whether you are looking for Stowe hiking trails based on skill rating, duration, or scenery, we share with you our favorite ones right here.
Most of these are dog friendly trails, so you can take your furry family member with you. Several can also be used in winter as ski and snowshoe treks.
Expect gorgeous panoramic views, woodland scenes, wildlife spotting and even wild swimming opportunities. If you read about one of the below trails and decide you want to do it, then click on the heading for each trail. That will then take you to a trail map and/or more information!
Hiking in Stowe, VT: Easy Rated Hikes
This is an out-and-back Stoke hiking trail that will take you on a half-mile trip overall. If you are looking for a quick and easy trip that will take anywhere from 30-60 minutes, and has gorgeous waterfall scenery, then this is it!
This is perfect trail to take your spouse, children, and dog (has to be kept on a leash) on a beautiful weekend day. The only thing to keep in mind while hiking this one is that the incline becomes steep as you start to approach the waterfall.
However due to its ease of difficulty and accessibility, Bingham Falls Trail can be a crowded trail during tourist seasons. It’s worth braving the crowds though as a swim in Bingham Falls is a special experience.
Duration: 30-60 Minutes
Distance: 0.5 miles
Start/End: Just outside of Stowe, VT on Highway 108. Ends at Bingham Falls.
A relaxing trail that will take you 3 miles into beautiful forestry. The woods themselves are a mix of tress from Spruce to Hemlock. The hiking trail is a loop that can be taken in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise direction once you’ve reached the trailhead itself.
Along the way, you will meet some trail-branching options if you wish to extend your hike time. This is rated as an easy trail for anyone of any age or skill to traverse, so is a good family friendly hike.
Dogs are welcome to join as long as they are leashed. The Wiessner Woods trail loop is also open all year long for those who enjoy snowshoeing in the winter.
Duration: 2 Hours
Distance: 2.8 miles
Start: Trailhead loop is located at Edson Hill Road, Stowe, VT 05672.
Sunset Rock is another out-and-back trail, but it’s quite a bit longer than the Bingham Falls trail. The hike itself has a distance of 1 mile to 1.6 miles depending on where you start.
Overall, it is a lovely hike that begins in Stowe’s historic downtown. You can easily transition a downtown stroll onto the Sunset Rock trail at the end of Sunset Street. The biggest problem you may face with this trail is the parking. Parking at the end of Sunset Street is not allowed, but you can park at the local Stowe Community Church and make your way to the trail from there. This trail will give you a beautiful backdrop of Stowe’s forests.
There is a bit of a steep climb to the trail but it will lead to a splendid view above Main Street and the surrounding region upon arriving at the Upper Overlook. Then when you return to downtown Stowe you can enjoy a well deserved drink!
Duration: 30-60 Minutes
Distance: 1-1.6 miles
Start: At the end of Sunset Street. Ends at Upper Overlook.
Marston Trail is on the longer duration end of the “easy-rated” hiking trails in Stowe, Vermont. The trail itself is just under 5 miles out-and-back, with more great views and forest scenery.
It is mostly used by people looking for a lengthy but easy hike, or trail running. For people that decide to traverse Marston Trail, it is advised to only use the trail from the months from May to October. Make sure to bring along proper footwear if you are hiking during wet weather as the trail can become muddy.
Before getting to the trailhead for Marston, you will need to go a short distance on Papa’s Trail and the Vast Trail, but the trails are well marked for your convenience and safety.
Duration: 1-3 Hours
Distance: 4.7 miles
Start: Marston Trailhead located a short distance into Papa’s Trail.
Hiking in Stowe, VT: Moderate Rated Hikes
If you are looking for a moderate challenge that loops back on itself, Adams Camp is a good choice. This Stowe hiking trail is another seasonal hike best done between the months of March and October. During these months, you can experience and take in all of the beautiful wildflowers and forestry along the loop.
If you have a furry friend you want to enjoy your hike with, you are most welcome to bring them as well, although make sure to have them on a leash at all times.
If you are looking for a great panoramic picture then Adams Camp doesn’t offer any overlook points. But if you’re looking for some time to clear your mind in the woods on a trail run, Adams Camp will be perfect.
Just make sure to keep a good eye out for markers as some hikers have found this trail difficult at times to navigate.
Duration: 2-3 Hours
Distance: 5.5 miles
Start/End: Adams Camp trailhead off of Haul Rd.
Cotton Brook is a Stowe hiking trail that is probably on the longer end when it comes to moderate hikes. As the trail circles and loops back around to where it begins, it is just under 10 miles in length, if you choose to do the entire loop that is.
This hike offers beautiful forestry scenery as do most of the trails on our list. However, this trek sits nicely alongside a lake for the beginning portion of the trail. So, after you’ve done the majority of the 9.6-mile hike around the Cotton Brook loop, you can veer off path for a little bit to enjoy a refreshing lakeside view. Or even a quick dip in this natural swimming pool!
This trail is best used as a seasonal trail from May to November, and dogs are welcome as long as they are on a leash. It is frequented by hikers, runners, and mountain bikers.
Duration: 1-3 Hours
Distance: 9.6 miles
Start/End: Cotton Brook trailhead near Little River, off of Cottonbrook Rd.
Catamount XC Trail is an out-and-back moderate trail located within the Mount Mansfield State Forest near Stowe. Make sure you know where you are going and keep an eye out for the markers as some hikers have had difficulty in the past at even finding this trail to begin with. There’s a reason for that though – this trail isn’t very well known. So you’re guaranteed a peaceful hike with few people around.
It’s an enjoyable trail to hike, with beautiful scenery of nature, small waterfalls, and signs of wildlife like moose tracks if you’re lucky. This trail is accessible all year long, so perfect for those looking to do some winter snowshoeing as well. As with the others, dogs are welcome but must be leashed.
Duration: 2-3 Hours
Distance: 6-8 miles
Start/End: Start at the trailhead just off of Nebraska Valley Rd near Miller Brook, and ends near the Bolton-Nebraska notch trail.
Stowe Pinnacle is a well-traversed moderate hike just outside of Stowe. Its gorgeous scenery has made this particular trail become one of the most photographed regions within the state of Vermont. It is rated as a moderate due to some sections of rock where climbing up and maneuvering is necessary to progress further. So there are some steep areas to negotiate.
However, once you have made it through these areas and made the final steep climb to the Pinnacle, the view that awaits you is well worth the hike.
Relax and take a deep breath as you take in the views of rolling hills, forestry, and mountain ranges. The colors during Fall, in particular, are breathtaking. Then once you’re ready and have gotten all the social media pics to document your trip, enjoy the trail back.
Duration: 2-3 Hours
Distance: 2.5-3.6 miles depending on starting point
Start/End: Upper Hollow Rd (3.6 miles) or Pinnacle Heights Rd (2.6 miles), end at Stowe Pinnacle.
Hiking in Stowe, VT: Hard Rated Hikes
If you aren’t in good enough physical shape to tackle this one, it may very well have you shouting profanities by the end! While it isn’t too long of a distance, it is a difficult hike. Especially towards the end when it transitions from a hike into more of a rock-climbing adventure.
If you are set on doing this final portion of the hike, make sure you are wearing sturdy hiking boots that can provide excellent grip which will allow you to maneuver and climb up rocks. Dogs can accompany you along the way, though you might have to forego the rock climbing section unless you have a safe way to get your dog up the rocks with you. Maybe a dog carrier backpack?
Duration: 2-3 hours
Distance: 4.9 miles
Start/End: Trailhead just off of Mountain Rd.
Teardrop Trail is an out-and-back trek that doesn’t see much traffic, but it is a Stowe hiking trail only recommended for experienced and skillful hikers. While it is technically accessible all year long, it is highly advised to only use this trail during the winter as a ski/snowshoe trail because it is not maintained or marked during the warmer seasons.
If you can find the trail and expertly and safely traverse it, the scenery and views are well worth it though.
Duration: 3-5 hours
Distance: 3.5 miles
Start/End: Trailhead just off of Mountain Rd, ends at scenery outlook near teardrop trail and long trail intersection.
Sterling Pond and Long Trail is a looping trail with a turned corner situated around a lake. It consists of steep and strenuous portions of hiking stairs and is a long and rough hike. But in our opinion it’s well worth it.
This hike is made even more difficult if traversed during the winter seasons, as the steep climbs become wet and slippery making it easy to fall and trip. So do be careful. Plan your hiking attire and gear accordingly for which seasons you wish to hike this trail in.
Duration: 2-4 hours
Distance: 5.6 miles
Start/End: Sterling Pond Trailhead
Stowe Mountain is a trail loop that sees a decent amount of traffic year long. It is used mostly by hikers in the warm seasons and skiers during the snowy winter season.
If you decide to visit Stowe Mountain during the skiing season, make sure to check in with local road conditions as the road on Smuggler’s Notch Pass can experience seasonal closures.
It is marked with a hard difficulty due to the constant steep uphill climb. Although, if your quads can handle it, you will have beautiful mountain scenery to enjoy on the way up, and down.
Duration: 2-5 hours
Distance: 2.4 miles
Start/End: Midway Base Lodge