Stowe Today

A back-road tour

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Posted: Wednesday, September 23, 2009 12:00 am | Updated: 12:25 pm, Wed Jul 10, 2013.

The Stowe area has many scenic foliage drives available.

Choosing your own route is easy, thanks to maps such as the Vermont Gazette, available at local gas stations. But sometimes the back roads can be tricky.

Here’s a local loop that you’ll love.

Start in the center of Stowe. Drive south on Route 100 to Waterbury Center. Pass the Cold Hollow Cider complex (or stop and get some delicious cider doughnuts for the road) and look for Hollow Road on the left.

Turn onto Hollow Road and, when you come to the stop sign, go left on Maple Street, heading north now; then make another quick right on Loomis Hill Road. Follow Loomis; it turns into Jack Sweets Road after bearing left.

It’s a narrow dirt road, but it brings you right along the foot of the Worcester Mountain Range, passing some beautiful sights.

The road will spit you out onto Stowe Hollow Road. Bear right, then follow the road to a four-way intersection. Straight ahead you’ll see Emily’s Bridge, rumored to be haunted. Get out and take a look around.

Continue right, then left at the next stop sign — you will end up right back in Stowe, where you started.

To continue, drive north on Route 108 — the Mountain Road — and make a right on Weeks Hill Road.

Drive up the hill until you reach a beautiful dairy farm, which overlooks the Worcester Range. Continue straight, and the road turns to dirt. This road will take you through Edson Hill.

After taking in a dramatic view of Mt. Mansfield on your right, look for the entrance to Wiessner Woods, which is a terrific place to stop and take a stroll on well-maintained trails.

Otherwise, continue to the bottom of the hill and you’ll intersect again with Route 108. Take a right to drive up through Smugglers’ Notch, or left to get back to Stowe village.

Keep in mind, the heart-healthy could complete this tour on a bike. There are some hills to contend with, but there’s no better way to see the Vermont countryside than on two wheels. Bike rentals are available at many shops up and down Mountain Road.

Suggested stops

Cold Hollow Cider Mill

See how cider is made the old-fashioned way. The cider mill is open year-round, seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

After you see cider made, wander through the large store and check out a slew of specialty foods. Bring your appetite, since you can sample plenty of jellies, mustards, applesauce, fudge and other goodies. Located on Route 100 in Waterbury Center.

Wiessner Woods

Thanks to the Stowe Land Trust, 79 acres of woodland are preserved for walkers and cross-country skiers to enjoy. The mellow terrain and nicely maintained trails are a welcome break from some of the area’s steeper terrain.

To get there along the tour route, look for the entrance off Edson Hill Road just before the Stowehof Inn on your left. Park in the Wiessner Woods parking lot (please do not park alongside the road) on the left and follow signs to the trailhead.

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