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Visitor's Guide to the Stowe Rec Path

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On the way out to get their bikes, our customers are always asking what they shouldn’t miss when they’re on a cruise down the Stowe Rec Path. Everyone is different and what they’re in to follows suit. However, the truth of the matter is that there is something for just about everyone whether you’re looking to get cooled off in the West Branch or day drink a few of our local microbrews.

Kids/Family

Just north of Thompson Park, close to Bridge 8, you can find goat kids and calves in small pens just off the rec path. Bales of hay sit behind the pens and candy machines are stocked with grain to feed these friendly animals. By late summer, the legendary corn maze will be in operation and is a must. Just south of there, on the other side of bridge 7 at the end of the wood line, is a great local swimming spot if you’re looking to get wet and cool off.

On Sundays the Stowe Farmer’s market is at the intersection where the Rec Path crosses route 108 (Mountain Rd.). Lots of finger food and crafts are available for kids. Next to the farmer’s market are a couple of great shops for kids, the Yellow Turtle and Once Upon a Time Toys.

In the village, at the end of the path, there are some great ice cream spots. Stowe Ice Cream is just across Main St. from Stowe Public House. On a warm summer afternoon you can’t miss all of the people on the lawn racing the sun for their ice cream. If you’re looking for a meal and ice cream then cruise down Depot St. a block and you’ll find the Malt Shop and a classic diner experience.

Pub Crawl

There is no shortage of local watering holes along the Rec Path, both literally and figuratively. For those looking to experience some of the great local beers while on the trail, here are a couple of places to get you started. Just south of bridge 6 you’ll find a couple of great spots to stop for a beer. Piecasso is a pizza place with a lively bar. Next door is Idletyme Brewing Company, a brew pub with a solid menu and the best outdoor seating area in town. Those willing to ride about 200 yards on the road can take a left out of either of these two parking lots and then make a right on Cottage Club road to make their pilgrimage to the Alchemist brewery for samples, beer sales and a great gift shop. In the village, just at the end of the trail along Main St. on the left, is Tap 25. This is a little gem that offers a great beer menu along with good food.

Food

While I’ve mentioned Tap 25, Idletyme, Piecasso and the farmer’s market (Sundays Only) which are all good options for the hungry cyclist, there are some other places that should also be mentioned. The Blue Donkey is located at the intersection of Mountain Rd and the Rec Path. They’re known for their excellent burgers, fries and chicken fingers. Also close to the path is McCarthy’s, a legendary breakfast spot that can be accessed by a steep but short climb on the right about 200 yards south of where the path crosses Weeks Hill Rd. At the top of the climb make a right and cruise around the building where you’ll find the entrance.

What’s best about the Stowe Rec Path is that it can be both the journey and the destination. While there is a lot to do along the path, just riding it and enjoying the sights and sounds have been enough to keep locals and visitors riding, running, skating and skiing it for years. 

Enjoy your ride!

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