Stowe ski resort
One of the world’s most famous ski destinations, Stowe ski resort combines a classic ski area and a quaint New England village featuring wood-clad architecture and friendly locals. What’s more, this village is packed full of great accommodation, dining and shopping options.
With skiing on Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, Stowe is often listed alongside other early winter sports meccas such as Aspen, St Anton, St Moritz or Chamonix. The resort has a ‘European feel’ with many of the local hoteliers originating from Europe (including the real-life Von Trapp family from Austria) and skiing beginning in the area with the arrival of one Sepp Ruschp from Linz in Austria.
In recent years, Stowe has spent hundreds of millions of dollars in a huge renaissance programme at the base of the slopes, which has left it with a state-of-the-art, 21st-century ski area equipped with 100% high-speed lift access.
These improvements have helped to make the most of Stowe’s natural assets, which include Vermont’s highest mountain, some of the steepest and longest runs in New England, and plenty of great beginner and intermediate terrain.
Stowe is located in Vermont’s Green Mountains, within the New England region of the USA.
On the slopes
Stowe’s famous ski area is located on two mountains, Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield, and has a season that lasts from mid-November to mid-April.
There’s been massive investment over the past decade or so in a complete overhaul of resort facilities, both on and off the mountain. Beginner and intermediate terrain for example is now world-class, with particularly good nursery slopes at Spruce Peak and a reliable and fast lift network to access them.
But despite these impressive modernisations, where Stowe excels – as it always has done – is with the length of its classic New England trails. It has more runs than any other ski area in the region, as well as the longest, Toll Road.
Advanced skiers should make a beeline for the famed ‘Front Four’ double black diamond trails at the top of the Four Runner Quad. These are named Starr, National, Goat and Liftline.
Freestylers of all ability levels will enjoy the choice of beginner, advanced and intermediate terrain parks, and there’s also a halfpipe for those looking to get some air.
Cross-country skiers also have 45km (28 miles) of marked trails and 30km (19 miles) of backcountry terrain, with options to suit all ability levels.
The best way to get to know Stowe’s slopes upon arrival is by joining a free guided mountain tour. These meet at weekends and in holiday periods outside the Stowe Toys Demo Center at the base of the Four Runner quad chairlift (in front of the giant trail map).