With the full development of the Spruce Peak area as the main learning center it is very convenient for a whole family of skiers. Toddlers to novices to budding intermediates and advancing skiers can get a good learning experience in an on-mountain environment without the fast pace of adventure skiers seeking the blacks and double blacks.
The Spruce Peak area has day parking and is accessible from day parking across the road by the Over Easy Gondola. The Spruce Camp Base Lodge is the center of skier services with ski rentals and repair shops, lift tickets, lesson center, retail shops, restaurants, bar and lounge and popular indoor and outdoor fireplaces.
Whether you are a day skier driving in or taking the shuttle from town a quick stop at the Spruce Camp Base area seems a natural starting point, get your gear in order and head up Sunny Spruce Quad for some loops off the sensation Quad before heading over to the Mt. Mansfield blue/black playground.
The Stowe Mountain Resort boundary line bumps right up to wild parts of Mount Mansfield. Mt. Mansfield summit is at 4395' and the highest skiing elevation is up to 3,625' of this, giving you a vertical of 2,360' on some of most classic New England trails. The term classic New England trail can be overworked and most young skiers really don't have any past to compare it to so let me say - ski Stowe and your skiing on steeps, trees, moguls, twists and turns, narrows and wide open slopes and long, yes, classic New England cruisers.
Ski the top of Mt Mansfield and be sure bring your best game if you head down the legendary Front Four. Off the Forerunner Quad and from skier left down you have Goat, Liftline, National and Starr, all double black designated and divided into upper and lower, but don't trust lower to mean you are out of the rough.
I said these are double black on the map, but throw in some classic New England, hardpack, a little ice some low light and you are having the time of your life. I suggest ski them first with an instructor or someone who knows the ins and outs of the trails.
The Toll Road
The longest trail at Stowe is the green designated Toll Road which winds out for 3.7 miles and is a nice beginner cruiser. However it does has some excitement on it - at least once a year when they run a cross country race down the upper part. I can just imagine trying to navigate the twist and turns on skinny skis. Respect is the optimum word for that race.
Wait for the Weather
Again, call it classic New England, but if you don't like the weather give it a couple of hours and it will most likely change - weather you like the change or not is another story. When I was there one day in December it started out foggy, snow came mid-morning and after lunch we went back and forth from blue sky to clouds. Remember, nobody gets snow out of bluebird skies but in a season you'll get plenty of both at Stowe.
One thing you will find no matter what the weather or what the season - Stowe is a big time four season resort - and people young and old love Stowe. It's a community of people who may live there full time, may come every weekend and may come only once a year, but come they do because they love skiing the mountain and being a part of the Stowe community.
It may still take a lot of generations to be accepted as a real Vermonter but visit Stowe, stay a while and you'll see why people come from all over the world to Stowe.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary amenities and lift tickets for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.