Little Black Book

Ursa Major's Guide to Wintering in Stowe

by Emily Doyle and Oliver Sweatman
Stowe, Stowe Mountain in January. Photo courtesy of Ursa Major.

The duo behind Ursa Major, one of our favorite natural skin care lines, works and plays at the foot of Vermont's highest peak, Mt. Mansfield. Emily Doyle and Oliver Sweatman share their favorite places to eat, drink, and hit the slopes during ski season in Stowe.

STOWE, Vermont – Over five years ago, we moved to Stowe from New York City to spend more time outdoors and to live in a smaller community where we could launch our natural skincare line, Ursa Major. The town is low-key and the people are friendly, so it's easy to incorporate outdoor activities, like a morning ski run, into our daily routine. We love when friends come to stay. Playing host gives us a good excuse to visit favorite haunts and experience them through new eyes. These are the spots, new and old, that we look forward to revisiting each winter.

Clayton Pasture Cabin and Cross Country Skiing in Stowe, Vermont

From left: cross country skiing; Slayton Pasture Cabin. Photos courtesy of Ursa Major.


Slayton Pasture Cabin
Snowshoe or cross country ski to a rustic cabin deep in the woods. From the ski center at Trapp Family Lodge it's a three-mile journey. Order a hot cider or soup before zooming back down for a cold Trapps beer at Von Trapp Brewery.

Stowe Derby
5281 Mountain Rd.; +1-802-253-7704 ext. 22
If you're in town in late February, don't miss the epic, mostly downhill race. It's the oldest of its kind in North America — 20km. from start to finish. Winners usually finish at a speedy pace of around 45 minutes.

Bruce Trail to The Matterhorn
Mount Mansfield
Two thousand vertical feet of semi off-piste rollicking fun — if you're up for it. Finish at The Matterhorn for pizza and beer.

Sterling Valley
Sterling Gorge Rd.; +1-802-253-7221
Head to SV if you want to get away from it all ... either on backcountry skis or snowshoes. Look for the Sterling Forest Trail Network.

Perry Merrill
7416 Mountain Rd.; +1-802-253-3000
Our favorite cruiser run at Stowe Mountain Resort. It catches the sun all day long and the gondola keeps the crew warm on really cold days.

Chin Clip, Hayride, and Nosedive
7416 Mountain Rd.; +1-802-253-3000
Our favorite expert trails at Stowe Mountain Resort. Hit all three if your legs can take it. From there, move to Stowe's (in)famous Front Four: Liftline, National, Goat, and Star.

Shaw's General Store - Stowe, Vermont

Stowe's best souvenir shop. Photo courtesy of Shaw's General Store.


Topnotch Spa
4000 Mountain Rd.; +1-802-253-6463
Who doesn't like a great Swedish massage in the winter? This is the place to go if you want to chill outdoors in a hot tub and get a rub down.

Shaw's General Store
54 Main St.; +1-802-253-4040
Family-owned since well before you were born. When cabin fever sets in, stop by for souvenirs like maple syrup or Stetson hats.

The Swimming Hole
75 Weeks Hill Rd.; +1-802-253-9229
This might be the nicest indoor lap pool in Vermont. Plus, there's a gym if you're into lifting or spinning.

Plate - Stowe, Vermont

The dining room at Plate. Photo courtesy of Plate.


91 Main St.; +1-802-253-2691
Our top pick for dinner in town. Local Vermont flavors meet healthy, California-style cuisine. The welcome newcomer caters to locals and visitors alike.

Commodities Market
512 Mountain Rd.; +1-802-253-4464
From bulk almonds to Ursa Major products and espresso, stop in to load up on healthy snacks, our nautral skin products, and other supplies for the car or cabin.

Lost Nation
87 Old Creamery Rd.; +1-802-851-8041
Head north ten miles and leave the Stowe hubbub for Morrisville, and a delicious Belgian-style beer and a mean burger.

35 School St.; +1-802-760-6143
A wine bar with a focus on natural wines and tasty bites for lunch and dinner. It's a fun place to discover new flavors — if you find something you love, buy a bottle to bring home.


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We make every effort to ensure the information in our articles is accurate at the time of publication. But the world moves fast, and even we double-check important details before hitting the road.