STOWE, Vermont ??вЂќ After the snow melts, summer at Vermont’s highest peak is a time and place that possess unique beauty and fun activities for everyone. Stowe is Vermont’s largest playground, and as they say around town; “There’s nothing off about our off-season.”
Stowe’s alpine slide is an exhilarating 2,300 foot ride down Spruce Mountain on luge-style tracks. You control the speed, depending on your own comfort level. The alpine slide is scheduled to open June 24 with daily service from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. through September 4. The slides will then be open on weekends through October 17. Adult one-ride tickets are $15, and junior tickets (6-12 years) are $12. Three-ride packs are also available for $32 (adult) or $26 (junior).
Euro Bungy is the brand name for an activity often referred to as “Bungee Trampoline.” This attraction consists of a support structure with elevated steel arms, bungee cords, and a series of trampolines. The rider is strapped into a harness, which is suspended between 2 of the arms by bungee cords. The rider then jumps on the trampoline, and with the aid of the bungee cords can jump extremely high, and even flip forwards and backwards. The Stowe Bungee Tramp will feature 3 jumping stations. The Bungee Tramp is scheduled to open June 24 with daily service from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. through September 4. The Tramps will then be open on weekends through October 17. Adult one-ride tickets are $8, and junior tickets (6-12 years) are $7. Three-ride packs are also available for $20 (adult) or $15 (junior).
AUTO TOLL ROAD
The Mt. Mansfield Auto Toll Road is over 150 years old. The 4.5-mile unpaved road begins next to the Inn at the Mountain and climbs to the location of the old Summit House, elevation 3,850 feet. The road ends at a parking lot next to the Mt. Mansfield Summit Station. The Toll Road is open daily from 9 am to 4 pm, June 2 through October 17. Tolls are $19 per car ($4 per person over six people). Bikes and motorcycles are not allowed. The road’s upper terminus presents spectacular 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. All hikers should bear in mind four key facts:
1. Temperatures drop by about 3 to 5 degrees for every 1,000 feet of elevation gained;
2. The weather atop Mt. Mansfield can be unpredictable;
3. It is often cooler and breezy atop Mt. Mansfield. Dress and plan accordingly.
4. The top of Mt. Mansfield is a unique ecosystem, with rare arctic flora and fauna. Visitors should stay on hiking trails, avoid picking any plants, and keep pets on a leash. For more information on Mt. Mansfield’s natural features, stop by the Visitor’s Center at the top of the Toll Road.
An equally spectacular mountain ascent is provided by the Gondola Skyride, which opens on June 24. The comfortable, eight-passenger gondolas depart from the Gondola Barn, which is served by its own access road and parking lot approximately ?вЂљ?? mile north of the historic Mt. Mansfield Base Lodge. The gondola is open 10am – 5 pm daily June 24 through October 17. Tickets are $18 for adults (round trip), $10 for juniors (ages 6-12), $12 for seniors, $12 for a one-way adult ride, $9 one-way junior, and $55 for a five-ride pack. While the Auto Toll Road ends at the Nose, the gondola terminates at Stowe Mountain Resort’s newly renovated Cliff House restaurant, about a mile farther north along Mansfield’s summit ridge at an elevation of 3,500 feet. From there, the Cliff Trail and Long Trail both provide short hikes to the Chin and Mansfield’s true summit.
One popular route to the summit of Mt. Mansfield is the Cliff Trail. It’s worth noting that this is a pretty gnarly trail and some people have been known to get in over their heads. If you’re not ready for a difficult hike, then you should consider other routes.
At an elevation of 4,395 feet, the summit of Mt. Mansfield is the high point of Vermont, affording views of three states, two countries, and America’s “sixth Great Lake” (Champlain) from its summit. Standing at the top offers a perspective usually found only from an airplane.
A number of popular routes are easily accessed with trail maps available at the mountain. For those who choose to drive the toll road to near the summit, easy hikes are available along the ridgeline. The above-timberline summit ridge stretches more than three miles. Crisscrossed by trails, dotted with fascinating geological features, and offering Stowe Mountain Resort amenities on its northeast side, Mt. Mansfield is truly a peak worth exploring.
A FOUR SEASON RESORT
Stowe Mountain Resort in an internationally renowned ski town and four-season destination. Stowe and majestic Mt. Mansfield are filled with activities for every season; golf, hiking, skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, shopping, spas and much more. Stowe’s historic village combined with Vermont’s highest peak creates the quintessential New England getaway.
For more information visit www.stowe.com or call 800-253-4754.