About Stowe Mountain Resort


Want to make conversation on a chairlift? See how many of these questions your partner can answer.
Gondola over the mountain during winter in Stowe, VT.

Who Owns Mount Mansfield?

The land that Stowe Mountain Resort operates on, and the adjacent land on Mount Mansfield — at 4,393 feet the highest in Vermont — is largely owned by the state of Vermont and leased to the resort for recreational use. However, the University of Vermont owns much of the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield, an area that is used for scientific studies. Most of the nearly 400 acres is above treeline and above 4,000 feet of elevation. It provides an arctic-alpine tundra that’s home to many rare plants. If you hike to the summit Mount Mansfield, be careful to stay on the trail to avoid damaging the delicate fauna.

How Old Are the Green Mountains?

Formed over 400 million years ago as part of the Appalachian chain that runs from Newfoundland to Georgia, Vermont’s Green Mountains are some of the oldest in the world. It’s hard to imagine now, but at one point millions of years ago, Vermont and New Hampshire were separated by a sea and both New Hampshire’s White Mountains and New York’s Adirondacks were formed separately from the Greens. Here’s another fun fact about Vermont: Vermont got its name from the French words for green (vert) and mountain (mont).

What Animals Might You See in the Green Mountains?

In the winter after a fresh snowfall, it’s not unusual to see animal tracks crisscrossing the trails. Snowshoe hares leave unmistakable prints (two big feet in back), but others are harder to identify. Cat-like tracks may belong to bobcat or the eastern lynx, the only two wild cats that have been documented in Vermont. Coyote and fox also live in the Green Mountains. Fishers, a relative of wolverines, are rarer but also have big paw prints. Their smaller relatives include pine martens, mink, weasels and ermine — which turn white in the winter. Raccoons are also prevalent. Come spring, it’s not unusual to see black bear cubs rolling in the snow on the trails or the occasional moose lumbering out of the woods. Remember to keep at a safe distance when viewing wildlife.

Why Are There Statues of Whale Tails Along I-89?

Just 13,000 years ago Lake Champlain was a part of what is now the St. Lawrence seaway, an arm of the Atlantic Ocean. If you drive to Burlington, a statue of two whales tales stands alongside I-89, a tribute to fossils of the behemoths that have been found in the rich farmland of the Lake Champlain basin that was created when the ocean receded.

Why Are There No Billboards in Vermont?

Once you cross the border into Vermont you will never see a billboard advertising Vermont’s ski mountains — or anything else. Though billboards were prominent around the state, opposition to them arose as early as the 1930s. In 1969, after many years of legislative lobbying on both sides, Vermont became the first state in the union to ban billboards.

What Are Some of Vermont’s Other Legislative Firsts?

Founded in 1791 as the 14th state, Vermont was the first state in the nation to abolish slavery, which it did so under its constitution. It was also the first to legally recognize gay couples when it created civil unions, and it was the first state to pass marriage equality through the legislature, which it did in 2009.

Is It True a Highway Was Once Planned Across the Green Mountains?

In 1934, a proposal was introduced to build a 260-mile highway along the spine of the Green Mountains. The Green Mountain Parkway was modeled after the Blue Ridge Parkway in the South. It passed the legislature but was later repealed before construction even started. Vermont is also the first state to have a long-distance hiking trail — the Long Trail, which runs for nearly 300 miles along the spine of the Green Mountains from Canada to Massachusetts.

Does Vermont Have the Oldest Hiking Trail?

The Long Trail, which runs from the Massachusetts border all the way to Canada along the spine of the Green Mountains is the oldest known long-distance hiking trail in America. It was started in 1910 and completed by the Green Mountain Club in 1930. It runs 273 miles, crossing both Spruce Peak and the ridgeline of Mount Mansfield. The Green Mountain Club maintains the trail and many of the huts and shelters that have been built for hikers along the way.

Is Vermont Really the Healthiest State?

According to the United Health Foundation and the Vermont Department of Health, Vermont is consistently ranked one of the healthiest states. Vermont ranked first in the nation for health behaviors, such as physical activity, nutrition and sleep, in the 2020 and 2021 reports. Vermont also prioritizes public health funding and has one of the highest ratios of primary care physicians to people.

Why Do So Many Winter Olympians Come from Vermont?

Vermont has perennially turned out a disproportionate share of Winter Olympians, with tiny Norwich, Vermont, near the New Hampshire border, producing 11. At the 2022 Beijing Olympics, more than 18 competitors had called Vermont home. At those Games, Richmond, Vermont, native and former Mount Mansfield Ski Club racer Ryan Cochran-Siegle took home a silver in the Super G alpine race while Lindsey Jacobellis, who grew up skiing in southern Vermont and went to Stratton Mountain School, won gold in the snowboard cross. One reason Vermont produces so many top athletes is that the state is home to a number of top-rated ski academies, including Stowe’s Mount Mansfield Ski Academy.

Produced in partnership with Vermont Ski + Ride Magazine.