Recently, a friend and I decided to go for a hike near Stowe. Since there are so many hiking opportunities in the area, we had to sift through our choices. We didn’t want anything too hard or involved; just something that would get us out of the house for little bit, provide some exercise, and let us look at some trees. Our decision to check out the Wiessner Woods couldn’t have been better.
A very brief history of the woods: The Wiessner Woods get their name from their previous owners, Muriel and Fritz Wiessner. The Wiessners wanted to conserve their beautiful property for future generations to enjoy. That dream was made possible with the help of the Stowe Land Trust. You can learn about the Stowe area and read about the Woods and the Land Trust here.
The woods are easy to find—they’re not too off from the Mountain Rd (which is the same road that leads to the ski area). There is a small parking area just a short stroll from the trail head While there were several cars there, we only encountered other hikers at the very beginning and end of our trek, which made it feel like we had the area to ourselves. The map available at the trail head marks out several trails of various lengths. The trails are well maintained and easy enough for families with small children. The trails do butt up against private property, so they ask to please be respectful of the neighbors.
We followed the Meadow trail and then connected onto Sugar Shack Lane. We took a quick peek into the Sugar House as we passed by out of curiosity. This looks like it is used for warming up cross country skiers and snowshoers during the winter (there’s a wood stove & plenty of firewood outside) and maybe hosting special events. It felt very cozy and I can imagine curling up there in front of the stove, talking with others who are also out for a winter jaunt.
We also crossed several bridges and caught some pictures of fish lazing in a sunny patch of the brook (unfortunately, I’m terrible with a camera, so you couldn’t really see the fish in the photo). However, I did get a decent shot of this guy enjoying the sun outside the Gnome Home.
Finally, after a lovely afternoon of listening to the sounds of birds and small creatures scurrying beneath the leaves (and retracing our steps to find my sunglasses which fell out of my pocket as we were going along), it was time to go home. Like the best of hikes, afterwards we felt ready to face the real world again.