On a sparkling day, the Skimeister and I enjoyed a ski tour in the Sterling Forest of Stowe, Vermont. This town-owned land has a network of backcountry skiing and snowshoe trails. It is also crossed by the Catamount Trail and a VAST snowmobile trail.
We parked near the Sterling Falls Gorge, picked up a map, and crossed an open meadow before heading into the woods on the Marston Trail. We enjoyed skiing on this trail and on a mellow section of the Catamount Trail — the 300-mile-long ski trail that runs the length of the state of Vermont.
Up here you are miles from the busy village and highways. It's quiet and beautiful as you ski in the midst of many hardwood trees and frozen streams. And the ski trails are above 1,600 feet in elevation so there is more snow here than down closer to the village.
The trails are well-marked, thanks to the Catamount Trail Association and groups such as the Sterling Falls Gorge Natural Area Trust. This scenic land was conserved in 1995 through the teamwork of the seven different groups and the voters of Stowe. Good thinking, everyone -- now residents and visitors can enjoy this wooded area into the future.
<link http: www.stowelandtrust.org conserved properties maple-run external-link-new-window land>Visit this page of the Stowe Land Trust website to see a Sterling Forest Winter Trail Map. You can also pick up a photocopied map at the Sterling Gorge trailhead.
It's yet another beautiful place to explore in Stowe!
FYI: For our blog post about the southern part of the trail network, including the Billings Road, Maple Run, Lauren's Run and Peak a View trails, <link http: www.skimaven.com post cold-scenic-ski-tour-in-the-woods-in-stowe-vermont _top external-link-new-window>follow this link.
After our ski tour, we checked out the burgers at the Blue Donkey on the Mountain Road in Stowe. They were good, but perhaps a bit overpriced. It's a casual burger joint; you order at a counter and dine on paper goods. In the mid-afternoon they offered two beers on tap and several kinds of bottled beers. And you pay extra for fries, which are mighty tasty.