Explore Trails to hike - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Trails to hike Map
2 months ago

took the fire tower trail up and 9/10 of the way up 2 ppl from our group turned around because it was very steep and icy. 4 of us made it past the ice. if your not the most experienced I recommend the ridge trail. the ridge trail also had better views. top of the fire tower was amazing.

Nice winter hike. Snowshoes are probably recommended.

Great trail with amazing views! Great camping!


Incredible views once you make it to the top! We hiked in the middle of December and would recommend crampons and/or walking poles. There was plenty of ice once you start climbing the ridge.

3 months ago

Just got off the mountain around 4pm today. We went up the Fire Tower Trail (steep/scramble only near the top). It had a fresh coat of powdered snow on top of the existing ice, so we needed our Yak Traks the whole way. Poles are a good idea on this loop, they came in very handy. We took the Ridge Trail down, which was a very adventurous trail through the woods. .

Incredible hike. Snowy, not much ice. Beautiful.

3 months ago

The trailhead is inside of Elmore State Park not the private drive that google routes you to.

Ice conditions especially the fire tower trail. Definitely recommend shoe spikes. Very hard without. Ridge trail is doable with normal shoes.

Pretty icy towards the top and above the tree line. Would have been easier with microspikes and poles. But if you’re willing to take your time and risk a few butt slides you’ll be fine. Views were incredible even with the clouds we had.

Everybit as breathtaking as the reviews suggest. Mid november there was considerable ice on the trail, and was glad to have brought some strap on spikes. The hike itself was pleasant enough, although not as difficult as it is rated. It has a few short sections where you need to be mindfull, but no real consequences to speak of.

The days started clear but was cloud covered when we summitted, so will trya nd make it back to spend some time on the long trail when visibility is better.

Highly recommend this hike. Its a real gem.

Ascended Laura Cowles and Descended Sunset Ridge in mid-November. There was considerable snow even at lower elevations. And a fair amount of ice once you get above about 3,000’. Definitely recommend spikes at a minimum due to the trail conditions. Poles would be helpful, too.

As far as rating difficulty level, I would say this is pretty much right in the middle of moderate on a scale of easy to difficult. Much less challenging than many of the New England 4,000’ers I’ve done. But would certainly be strenuous, though definitely doable, for someone in average physical condition who isn’t accustomed to alpine hikes. I would say this is a very good introductory test for someone looking to evaluate their fitness and interest in mountain hiking as a pass time. Once you get to the top and get that payoff in the way of awe-inspiring views, you will get the bug. No doubt.

Laura Cowles, with the fresh snow cover, was beautiful from start to finish. Some beautiful and interesting rock formations, as well as some very cool ice formations at various places along the way. Portions of the trail are actually a small stream. Like, you’re walking IN the stream. At least at this time of year. Maybe it’s intermittent. I can’t say for sure. But be sure to have proper footwear.

The summit is beautiful. We were fortunate to have done this hike on a crystal clear day with the added benefit of fresh snow cover on the surrounding area. It made for gorgeous views. Could clearly see Champlain, the Adirondacks, the Green Mountains, and the Whites, all from the rock bluffs at the summit.

I wish I could give it something between the 4 and 5 star rating. It is worthy of 5 stars, for sure. It is visually interesting, mildly challenging, and quite serene. I only give it 4 stars because comparatively speaking, having done some otherworldly trails in the Whites, this one falls just a bit short for me. Again, this is strictly comparatively speaking. It doesn’t fall short of being incredible by any measure. I will absolutely do it again. And I look forward to it. Highly recommend this as a visually beautiful and satisfying day hike that is very much doable in a relatively short day, as opposed to some of the longer trails in the Whites that make for a very long, but very gratifying, day in the trail.

So in summary, do it. It’s fantastic.

4 months ago

Sunrise hike was a bit nippy this morning. Icy on the top— added to the adventure!

4 months ago

Great hike. Did it with my 20 lb terrier a Saturday morning in October. The dog loves it and was able to ascend off leash as we didn't see any other hikers until just below the summit. Unfortunately can't speak for views as it was overcast when we went but the immediate views around the trail still pleasurable.

Also a Great less trafficked alternative to other area hikes

Awesome Hike! Views were amazing! Hike up Fire Tower was a bit difficult if u have a fear of heights but if u can power through it’s worth
It! I felt like I was on top of the world with the views. Hike had all the elements you look for!

We hiked up Laura Cowles trail and down Sunset. Laura was more brutal than I expected. Be prepared to stop periodically and let your heart slow down! Lots of stretches of wet rock staircases. Very windy at the top. Sunset was not difficult to get down.

Great trail! Great view!

Drove up from Cleveland for this. I am not an experienced hiker by any means, and this tested my mental and physical abilities. When I got to the top, it was all worth it. Amazing view.

A more challenging, moderate hike. The first portion is very steep, then it escalates into more technical footing, rock walking, and stream crossing. An interesting and beautiful hike. Give yourself a little more time to complete this than you may have thought for 2.8 miles.

Last hiked in 1990 and stayed at the youth camping area campground. Took Sunset Ridge Trail to Chin, and down Laura Cowles Trail. Took a group of teen and younger kids who enjoyed it.

Did this trail in the rain (which became snow as I got higher). There were no views whatsoever because of the weather. With that said, it was still an amazing hike. Solid workout. 360-degree view at the top. Can't wait to come back!!

Great hike!

5 months ago

Wonderful trail to the fire tower and along the Ridge trail descent. The perfect moderate trail with great views. Well maintained by the State Park (who gave great advice).

Wonderful trail from base of Stowe to upper ski runs. Would rate it more challenging than moderate. Narrow trail through the woods and crossing water several times on the way up - much nicer than climbing a ski slope. Continuing up the ski trails and connect to the Long Trail. Beautiful views along the ridge in both directions. Great hike.

Loved it.

5 months ago

Thank you for taking such good care of the trail!

5 months ago

This was one of my favorite hikes in the Stowe area. It has a little of everything, some long flowing sections, a few scrambles, a number of lookout views and a few places to haul up and eat your packed lunch.

I recommend doing the loop clockwise, which means ignoring the temptation to leave the fire road early and take the gentle climb up the loop train (or what is posted as the Ridge Trail in the park). Going clockwise means a steeper shorter climb, with the ladders and scrambles going up, and a gentler longer decent.

Perfect hike! Meandering trail. Lots of ponds, rivers, flowers, moss, trees. I was smiling the whole time. First 1/4 really easy trek, next 1/2 somewhat challenging uphill with rocks, then last 1/4 easy again. No real 'peak' with a view, but still an amazing hike. Would do again.

Not sure where on this trail is the waterfall. A little disappointed by that. But the view still is jaw dropping

5 months ago

We did the loop trail up and back because it was less crowded. Fun trail - lots of flatter parts, but a little bit of excitement with some ladders. Not a huge summit, but the walk was lovely. Dog was off leash the whole time and it was perfect for her. Great hike!

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