Let’s HikeVT! This week we’re featuring moderate winter hikes throughout the state that can help you continue to get comfortable with winter hiking. Read up on proper layering, footwear, fuel, equipment, and safety planning with our everything winter hiking guide before you go.
- Lake Mansfield Trail, Stowe
- Beaver Meadow, Morristown
- Silent Cliff, Hancock
- Styles Peak, Peru
Lake Mansfield Trail, Stowe – Moderate
» 4.6 mi round trip, approx. 750 ft elevation gain
This approach to Taylor Lodge begins by traveling parallel to the plowed road leading to the Trout Club, which is closed in winter. The Trout Club is private property and hikers should stay on the trail, which skirts the Trout Club’s buildings and follows the north shore of the lake. The trail is nearly level at first and passes by a grove of towering white pines which provides a majestic setting. After crossing a small stream, it begins a gradual climb. Near the top of the rise, the trail takes a sharp right turn and enters a small gorge then climbs gently past a beaver meadow, with views of the north wall of Nebraska Notch, then on to Taylor Lodge.
Driving Directions from Stowe:
From Vt. 100, 2.5 mi. south of Stowe village, take Moscow Rd. west toward the hamlet of Moscow. At 0.4 mi., bear left at the Y. At 2.0 mi., bear right onto Nebraska Valley Rd. After the pavement ends at 4.0 mi., continue up Nebraska Valley Rd. until an intersection with County Rd. at 5.9 mi. Turn right onto County Rd. and take the first left into the winter parking area. The parking lot is plowed and there is usually space for 6-8 cars.
Beaver Meadow Trail, Morristown – Moderate
» 4.6 mi round trip, approx. 900 ft elevation gain
The trail to the lodge follows an old road to a high basin surrounded by mountains on three sides and makes an excellent family snowshoe hike. On a clear day, it is possible to see Whiteface Mountain to the north. At the junction with the Whiteface Trail, bear left onto the Beaver Meadow Bypass Trail to Beaver Meadow Lodge and the Chilkoot Trail. Beaver Meadow Lodge is one of two shelters within the Long Trail System with a woodstove making it an excellent winter overnight spot.
Driving Directions from Stowe:
From Stowe Village, follow Vt. 100 north to Old Stagecoach Rd. Turn left and follow Old Stagecoach Rd. for 4.5 mi. to a stop sign at Morristown Corners. Turn left on Walton Rd., passing Cote Hill Rd. on the right and Cole Hill Rd. on the left. At the next junction, turn left on Mud City Loop Rd. and follow it 1.8 mi. to a left turn on Rooney Rd. After passing Bryan Pond Rd., turn right onto Beaver Meadow Rd. and follow it 0.7 mi. to the end where there is ample winter parking.
Silent Cliff, Hancock – Moderate
» 1.6 mi round trip, approx. 520 ft elevation gain
The route begins on the white-blazed Long Trail north then at 0.4 mi. follow the blue-blazed Silent Cliff Trail to the right. Silent Cliff has views south over Monastery Gap, the Middlebury College Snow Bowl and the Green Mountains; and to the west, on a clear day, the Champlain Valley with the Adirondacks beyond. As the cliffs are located in the Breadloaf Wilderness, the blue blazes of the Silent Cliff Trail are few and far between.
Follow Vt. 125 east, 10.1 mi. from uS 7 in east Middlebury, or west, 6.2 mi. from Vt. 100 in Hancock. Parking is on the south side of Vt. 125 at the crest of Middlebury Gap.
Spruce Peak, Winhall – Moderate
» 4.8 mi round trip, approx. 980 ft elevation gain
Follow the LT south over relatively gradual grades, passing under a power line and crossing a small brook at around 2 miles. After 2.4 miles, you reach the summit where a spur trail leads to views of Manchester and the Taconic Mountains. If you are ready for longer adventure or maybe looking for a winter camping experience, continue on the Long Trail for another 0.4 miles to Spruce Peak Shelter, which is the other shelter with a wood stove within the Long Trail System.
The Long Trail parking lot is located 5.9 mi. east of Vt. 7A in Manchester Center, 4.5 mi. east of the U.S. 7, exit 4 onto Vt. 11/30, and 0.5 mi. west of the junction of Vt. 11 and 30. This is a large paved and plowed parking lot on the north side of the road. There is no sign. The parking lot is shared with Vermont Association of Snow Travellers (VAST) users, so you may see a large number of snowmobile trailers there as well.
Places to rent snowshoes:
- Umiak Outdoor Outfitters, Stowe
- Outdoor Gear Exchange, Burlington
- First Stop Board Barn, Killington
- The Mountain Goat, Manchester
- VT Libraries with Snowshoes through Rise VT
Questions? Our visitor center staff is here to assist you. Call (802) 244-7037 or email [email protected].