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USA: Vermont; New England Tomfoolery Amidst the Fall Foliage.

Updated: Sep 13, 2023

I haven't forgotten about the fiddleheads. Originally posted October, 2018. Please note that the Stowe Mountain Lodge is now called Spruce Peak.


Holidays in New England, USA: If you're fortunate, you might have the opportunity to witness the enchanting transformation of foliage in New England. As the leaves shift from vibrant green to hues of orange, red, and purple, local farmer's markets brim with their autumn harvest, and hiking the mountains adopts a whole new significance. Despite these posts being dated, we felt it was worth revisiting them, if only this once, as Autumn arrives and the foliage begins its vibrant mid-life journey anew.


Autumnal Stowe Vermont

This is my year of doing weird stuff, and I have decided to take my family down. Taking my sisters to #Dick's in Boston's Long Wharf was not as fun with them as I expected, as both refused to wear their condom hats. But today would be a new day, and I am determined to infect them with my new-found lust for life.

We woke up to the splendour of the sunshine filling our beautiful suite at the Stowe Mountain Lodge. Feeling much like a movie star, or at least as grand as someone who reserves a suite at the #StoweMountainLodge, Phyl and I attended the exclusive Private Members Club breakfast buffet. We enjoyed a delightful meal, shared laughter over tea, and then our sophistication took a dip as we discreetly acquired a handful of croissants to bring back to the room for Marcia.

After breakfast, we spent gallery hopping in Stowe, which was fun but took less than an hour. Stowe is a small village. There is a lovely collection of art galleries and craft stores at the intersection of Mountain Road and Main Street.

#StoweCraftRemarkableThings is directly across from the covered bridge, and they have some lovely things.

Fans of The Sound Of Music will know that Julie Andrews and her family danced across the Austrian Alps to escape the Nazi Menace. But what they left out of the movie (other than the historical accuracy) was what happened next! Whatever happened to those curtain-wearing cuties?

What happened was that the von Trapp family ended up, somehow, in Stowe, Vermont, bought a farm and then turned that farm into a hotel. Located on 2600 acres, the Trapp Family Lodge offers European-style accommodation, two restaurants with farm-to-table dining, and the von Trapp Brewing Bierhall serving Austrian fare and von Trapp special brews.

They offer year-round activities, including skiing, hiking, mountain biking, yoga and tennis and beautiful vistas of the Green Mountains. They also have a beautiful little family garden cemetery where the von Trapp family are interred. They have spectacular views.

At precisely 2:30 in the afternoon, following our visit to the von Trapp Family Lodge, we had finally arrived at the moment I had been anticipating since I bought tickets two months prior. I was taking my two sisters ziplining. They had known that this time was coming and had plenty of time to prepare, but they were both still unhappy with me. Both fear heights nor were interested in strapping 50+ butts into harnesses and speeding down mountains on a wire.

We were lost for a while trying to find the entrance to the #ArborTrek Canopy Adventures in Smuggler's Notch, about five minutes from our hotel and not hard to find at all. I am certain Marcia was subliminally trying to miss our allotted time slot. We finally found the very well-marked entrance and proceeded to the gondola that would take us up Mount Mansfield. When we reached an elevation of about four feet, Marcia began to cry. I had underestimated her genuine fear, and perhaps that was not so cool.

mountain gondola stowe mountain lodge, vermont

Phyl's annoyance at my inability to read directions diverted her from her fear of heights. She is a smug navigator.

Now, positioned at a mid-point on the mountain, we commenced with a preliminary training session, only about four feet above the ground once more.

Marcia was still visibly upset. Training finished, we jumped on a second gondola that would take us to the jump-off point, 7664 feet (2336m) in elevation up Mount Mansfield.

There are three ziplining spans at the ArborTrek Canopy Adventures. The first is #Nosedive. At nearly 4500 feet in length, it is one of the longest in the USA. #Haselton is 2250 feet. It is the shortest span but also the fastest. The final span is called #PerryMerrill, not to be confused with Perry Ferrell, of Jane's Addiction, and is nearly 3,500 feet long.

#TheZipTour is a two-person run; they went together as comfort, and I rode solo after them. I missed seeing the joy (fear) on their faces as they flew through the air, but I knew they would forget about being frightened once they could take in the fall foliage. What better way to see the changing seasons than above the trees and at breakneck speeds?

Zip Tour over, we had just enough time to take the gondola back to the centre at the Stowe Mountain Lodge, unharness our butts, take the gondola back to the other centre so that we could collect our car and drive back over to the Stowe Mountain Lodge just in time for our scheduled massages at the Stowe Mountain Resort Spa and Wellness Centre. Please see my review in the Spa section of this website.

the spa at stowe mountain lodge

As a treat for conquering the ziplining adventure in the Green Mountains, we rewarded ourselves with a visit to the Stowe Mountain Resort Spa and Wellness Center, where we luxuriated in the highest level of pampering, which involved cider in some way.

Knackered from our day's adventures, we pj'd and gorged on cheese, crackers and salami from the hotel pantry store while watching a documentary about Jane Fonda and then Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett in Ocean's 8.

Following a day of facing our fears, a relaxing evening spent watching badass women kick butt was a great way to boost our sense of female empowerment.


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