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Waterbury Stowe Mountain Bike Tour

Northern Region, Vermont

Directions & Trail Description

Locations: Waterbury Center and Stowe, VT

Length/Configuration: 22.2 mile loop

Terrain/Surface: Half of bike tour travels on paved road, rest on well-maintained dirt roads.

Technical Difficulty: Stretches of easy, level biking (particularly on the Stowe Recreation Path). Some fairly rugged climbs and exhilarating downhills make the rest of this bike ride more moderate.

Elevation Change: No major elevation change, but there are some steep climbs and descents.

Caution: Tour uses paved and dirt roads with vehicular traffic. be careful in the towns of Waterbury Center and Stowe. The Recreation Path will have other users; hikers and rollerbladers.

Note: This trail map is a graphical representation designed for general reference purposes only. Read Full Disclaimer.


Take I-89, exit 10 at Waterbury. Travel north on Route 100 to Waterbury Center. Park along the road at the Waterbury Center Village green, east off Route 100.

General Description

This combination of paved bike paths and unpaved roads that wind by and through historic communities, small farms and the picturesque countryside of Northern Vermont can provide days of scenic Vermont backroads cycling and mountain biking.

For about half of the bike tour, you'll travel on paved surfaces, including 2.7 miles of the 5.3 mile Stowe Recreation Path, and the remainder on fairly wide, well-maintained dirt roads. Be prepared for a few steep, rugged climbs, however... 'What Goes Up, Must Come Down!' and there are nice stretches of easy, flat pedaling in between.

Variety is the nature of this 22.2 mile loop ride. The route winds past awesome mountain views, small scenic farms, woods and pastures bursting with wildflowers. You'll cycle along and over several pretty small rivers and streams into bike-friendly Stowe, Vermont's best known resort village and even ride under a "haunted" covered bridge. "Boo!" In the fall, Vermont's spectacular foliage adds the finishing touch to your ride.


The Bike Route: Waterbury Stowe Bike Tour

Start from the Waterbury Village Green. Make two quick left turns to Maple Street. After a mile or two on paved, level ground, begin the climb up Barnes Hill. The road becomes dirt and at the top of Barnes Hill there are awesome views of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak.

Around 3.7 miles, bear left at 3-way intersection. Here, Barnes Road becomes known as Stowe Hollow Road. After a short ascent, it's a fun 2 mile, swift descent.

At 5.6 miles, ride through a 4-way intersection with a stop sign and the "haunted" (see historical note) covered bridge. Then bear left back onto Stowe Hollow Road. It's another swift descent into the Village of Stowe. You'll be on Main Street - Route 100, opposite Community Church, Stowe's most famous landmark.

Cross Main Street into the church driveway and go behind the building to the Stowe Recreation Path, a popular trail with road bikers and walkers. This level, paved path intertwines with SR 108 and winds through woodlands, passing Stowe Village shops, churches and several bridges which span the Waterbury River.

This bike tour, uses a 2.7 mile section of the 5.3 mile Stowe Recreation Trail. After the 2.5 mile point which is marked on the pavement, the path crosses under a bridge. Immediately after the bridge, a parking area/access point will appear to the left. Get off here and turn right, out of the parking lot onto Luce Hill Road (paved; 10.3 miles).

After a short, flat stretch begin a long, steep climb. Proceed straight, passing Barrows Road on the left. Near what seems to be the top of the hill, the road turns sharply to the left and climbs more gradually for another 1/2 mile to the Trapp Family Lodge. The views to the left of the Worcester Range, and further up the road to the right of Nebraska Notch, are unparalleled.

After passing the Lodge complex, the road turns to dirt and begins a very beautiful, steep descent into the Village of the Little River. Be sure your brakes are in good working order!

At the bottom of the hill (14.2 miles), make a left onto Moscow Road (paved). Travel along the river and through the little Village of Moscow to the road's intersection with Rte 100 (16.4 miles).

Turn right onto Rte. 100 South. Although this is a heavily traveled route, it has wide shoulders and you will only be on it for a short distance (less than a mile).

Route 100 will make a gradual climb up Shutesville Hill. Near the top, across from a display of chainsaw carvings, turn right onto Gregg Hill Road (17.4 miles).

Gregg Hill Road (dirt) will loop back to Rte. 100 after 3.9 very pleasant miles of cruising (21.3 miles).

Turn right (south) onto Rte. 100. Turn left onto Hollow Road just after passing the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, one of Vermont's most popular tourist attractions. Continue back to the Village Green.


Historical Note

"Haunted" Covered Bridge

According to local lore, the covered bridge on this route is haunted by a young woman named Emily who hung herself from the rafters after being spurned by her lover.

The Trapp Family Lodge

The Trapps, of the Sound of Music fame, settled here and built this establishment after fleeing the Nazi's in the late 1930's. This hilltop location reminded them of their native Austria.


More information

Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission
226 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

Phone: (802)-229-0389


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