Bingham Falls, Smugglers Notch State Park, Stowe, NH (0.5 mile out and back, 157’ elevation). When tourists flocked to Stowe in the 1800s it was largely due to the efforts of one man. In 1857, William H. H. Bingham persuaded the town of Stowe to build the Toll Road up Mount Mansfield, where he built an inn known as the Summit House. Soon after, he built the Notch House at Big Spring, bringing many visitors to beautiful Bingham Falls. The cascade passes through beautifully carved rocks before falling 90’ into the gorge below.
Smugglers Cave, Smugglers Notch State Park, Stowe VT. Accessed by a trail to the left of the parking lot. This and other caves in the area were used to smuggle goods through the Notch over 200 years ago. The first acts of smuggling occurred in the early 1800’s after President Jefferson passed an embargo act forbidding trade with Canada. With Montreal was the closest trading port, the embargo put Vermonters in a tough situation. Potash was the main good smuggled through the Notch, produced by burning chestnut trees and used in the processing of wool. At the time most Vermonters were sheep farmers.
Barnes Camp Loop Boardwalk, Stowe VT (0.5 mile out and back). The entire hike is 1.3 miles, 354’ elevation. It sounds lovely but we have other plans for today. Instead we just walked the short boardwalk through very pretty wildflowers in a wetland to a lovely view through the notch.
Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm, Stowe, VT. This place is the real deal. The owners have been here since the 70s and make the syrup in a barn behind their home. It’s all self service. You walk in, there’s an area where you can sample light, medium and dark syrup, and peruse the products. I’m the back room is a tank and information and pictures for how they process the syrup. If you want to buy something you write it down on a chart and leave cash, check, credit card or ApplePay all in your own. There’s something very authentic about this place, very grassroots. It felt a little bit like we’d been invited into a moment of their everyday life. We bought the most delicious light colored maple syrup and 2 maple candles.
Moss Glen Falls, Stowe VT (0.25 mile out and back, 125’ elevation). A beautiful boardwalk to near the base where you can either go up to a viewing area or along the stream to the base of the 125’ high waterfall.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill, Waterbury Center, NH. The smell of delicious apples permeates the shop as soon as you walk in. They have all sorts of goodies for sale and you can watch them work in the bakery and cidery with a 100 year old press in the back. There’s also a restaurant in the building next door. We got apple cider caramel fudge with actual caramel apple pieces inside, maple flavored coffee and apple cider donuts. I regret not getting the maple sugar crumbles.
Ben & Jerry’s Original Factory, Waterbury, NH. A very popular stop, this place is busy. This is the only Ben & Jerry’s factory open to the public. Built in 1985, it continues to manufacture upwards of 350,000 pints per day. There are guided tours available but we aren’t in the mood. They say that the small Scoop shop, retail area and tour route have remain fairly unchanged over the years.