Into the Belly of the Best

trappe family lodge
The Sound of the Mountains: A sunrise view from Trappe Family Lodge (Gretchen Greenhalgh)
The Future of Spruce Peak
If you find the slope-side facilities at Stowe lacking, just wait. After years of careful negotiation, the ground was broken in 2003 on a new 35-acre expansion at the base of Spruce Peak, transforming the currently modest facilities into a full-on mountain community with restaurants, taverns, hotels, time-share condos, spa services, a mountain golf course, an ice-skating pond, and a gondola that'll link Spruce to the Mansfield base. But banish the images of a slope-side strip mall; in keeping with Vermont's environmental sensitivity, the design works with the mountain, not in conflict with it. And this will be the only expansion ever executed, leaving the rest of the 2,000 surrounding acres as pristine as they've always been. For additional information on the expansion, visit

Until the expansive Spruce Peak renovation is executed (see box), mountainside lodging is limited to the aptly named Inn at the Mountain and Condos (1.800-253.4754;, which puts the Mansfield base a lazy green run away. Cross-country skiing is complimentary for all guests. Space is limited as there's only 33 rooms and suites, so unless you're ahead of the game, you'll likely end up staying at one of the lodges, hotels, B&Bs, or inns in Stowe proper.

There is one other slope-side option, however. The Stone Hut, owned and operated by Vermont State Parks (, sits atop Mount Mansfield and offers no-frills year-round lodging. Originally built as a warming hut in 1936 by the Civilian Conservation Corps (the same folks who cut some of Stowe's first runs), the Stone Hut sleeps 12 and is heated only by a wood-burning stove (lumber provided). Reservations are required, awarded on a random lottery system based on length of stay. Call 802.253.4014 for pre-season reservations, and 802.253.4010 for winter reservations.

In town, there are loads of accommodations. But perhaps the most famous—and historical—is the Trappe Family Lodge (802.253.8511; As the name indicates, this Euro-style resort stands in the place where the Von Trappe family (of The Sound of Music fame) relocated after leaving Europe. The 2,700-acre resort overlooks the town, affording sweeping views of the Green Mountains. Guests get free access to the property's cross-country-skiing trails, and there's a wealth of on-site children's activities, a tavern and dining room, and a workout and fitness center.

Driving along Mountain Road, Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa (1.800.253.2232; looks deceptively small. The property may have started out as a family-owned 16-room inn, but in three generations it's become an attraction in its own right, from its expansive conference facilities and 120 spa services to its wealth of guest rooms and amenities. The two restaurants—Charlie B's Pub and Winfield's Bistro—also offer some of the best cuisine in town.

The Golden Eagle Resort (802.253.4811; takes a more rustic approach, offering access to over two miles of primitive trails across 80 landscaped acres. The family-run resort has a total of 94 rooms and suites, and also offers full spa treatments, an on-site exercise room, and an indoor swimming pool.

For additional information on lodging to fit all budgets, contact Go Stowe (1.800.GO.STOWE;, the official visitor's information resource.

Nathan Borchelt is the lead editor for

Published: 3 Mar 2005 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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