Warm Weather Outdoor Activities

Highland Lodge & Cabins is resplendent on 136 acres of protected forest and wetlands. With lake access and the longest private beach on Lake Caspian, guests come to Zen out for weeks on end in the warmer months. Should you decide to venture out onto your own adventure, check out any number of the amazing outdoor opportunities that lay await at your fingertips, given our perfect location for bouncing around.  While we tend to enjoy gravel biking & mountain biking, there is something for everyone up here with the sprawling Green Mountains and the views they offer after a long and rewarding hike. Or perhaps you would like to check out a handful of the glacial lakes and hidden waterfalls of nearby rivers and streams? Please do not hesitate to ask the staff for more information if you are looking for recommendations further than the list below. Our goal is to share the gem of our corner of the green Vermont region with you.

Barr Hill Nature Reserve Trail

At barely more than 2,100 feet, Barr Hill does not loom large in Vermont's montane landscape.  What it lacks in height is more than compensated by the extensive vistas offered. At various points in the 0.8-mile trail extending along the hill's sloping summit, visitors can spy Jay Peak to the north, New Hampshire's Mount Washington to the southeast and even Killington, some 75 miles to the south. The base of the trail starts right past our very own Wolf Cabin on Smith Road. In the Summer, most of the trail is shaded and cool, with a few exceptions. In the Winter, folks enjoy strapping into their snow shoes or micro spikes and heading out into the crisp mountain air. After a short but sweet hike up to Barr Hill, you can meander down to our House Bar for a Bee's Knees cocktail- made with the namesake Barr Hill Gin from Caledonia Spirits.

Read more about our beloved Barr Hill Trail in this Seven Days Publishing.

Craftsbury Outdoor Center Bike Trails

You may know CoC for their awesome Nordic ski trails, but did you know they also have wicked good mountain bike trails just a stone's throw away from the lodge? Head over to the Outdoor Center and enjoy a mellow ride on beautiful, hilly terrain. Great for beginners looking to spend the afternoon refining their skill set or not looking to commit to a full day of biking. Composed of a network of single-track trails, mixing machine-built flow with hand-built technical challenges, these trails are seriously fun to explore for all skill levels.

Kingdom Trails Mountain Biking (East Burke)

Arguably some of the best world-class mountain biking and fat biking east of the Rockies.... This one massive trail network is home to over 100 miles of the most popular trails in the state of Vermont. There are berms and flow a-plenty to be found here, but there are some more challenging sections as well. Although rather far north, the fun doesn’t stop in the winter: Kingdom Trails grooms many miles of fat bike singletrack during the cold, snowy months. Take advantage of partial lift access at the Burke Mountain Bike Park on weekends.  WE also recommend  for great drinks/ lunch optionst Mike's Tiki Bar- an incredible spot in downtown East Burke and a local favorite for grabbing great grub after a long ride, just chilling, listening to live music, and possibly enjoying a cold brew and good conversation at one of the picnic tables.

Trapp Family Lodge Mountain Bike Trails

One of the best ways to explore the Vermont countryside is to get out and ride! Situated right in the heart of Stowe, the Trapp Family Lodge's 2,600 acres feature an extensive mountain bike trail network with two skills’ parks. Ride 8 miles of expert and intermediate single track, or more than 20 miles of double track through mountains, fields and forests. Ride Hop Over or Lager Lane to the von Trapp Brewery Bierhall... the best trailhead ever! Great for all riding levels, replete with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.  Plan to pit stop and take a gander at their Highland Cattle or stop and pet the pesky goats on site. 

Their Rental Shop offers high-quality bike rentals through Giant Bicycles, as well as repair services and riding lessons. Purchase your Mountain Biking Season Pass  here.

Owls Head Hike

About 45 minutes from Highland lodge you will find Owlshead Mountain Trail situated in the picturesque and diverse Groton State Forest... a quick & easy 3.2 mile, moderately trafficked trail located near Peacham featuring beautiful wild flowers and good for all skill levels. The trail offers several activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail, although required kept on leash. A relatively easy hike, with two different approaches ending in stunning views of both Lake Groton and Kettle Pond, in Groton, Vermont. We love to pack a lunch, and perhaps a few cold brews and enjoy the stunning views.

Length: 3.2 mi                Elevation gain: 475 ft                   Route type: Out & back

Lake Willoughby

This glacial masterpiece is at the base of The Willoughby State Forest- surrounded on either side by Mount Pisgah and Mount Hor, collectively known as the "Willougby Gap." Enjoy a hike up Mt. Pisgah (rated moderately difficult on trail finder) to work up a sweat before diving into this cold reprieve. There is a trail parking area located on the west side of Vermont Route 5A at the south end of Lake Willoughby. The trailhead is marked by a sign on the opposite side of the road. 

Willoughby Lake has a public beach that stretches 0.4 kilometers (0.25 mi) on the north shore of the lake, or in the zone of the lake outlet. Another public beach is located at the bottom of the South Bay of the Lake. Be forewarned, (or not!), should you venture too far off the beaten path, you will end up at a nudist beach!

Mount Mansfield- Hellbrook Trail

A relatively short, but rather strenuous hike, suited best for experienced hikers...this lovingly named trail is located near Stowe, VT.  Worth the views but plan to pack your water bottles, as you will be venturing in and out of streams, up rocky ravines, and scrambling over rocks. Plan to be gone for the whole day!

Length: 3.7 mi                 Elevation gain:2,683 ft                 Route type:Loop

Cady Hill Trails: Fat Biking & Mountain Biking (Stowe)

Cady Hill Forest is Stowe’s flagship trail network; its diverse terrain, great views, easy access from Town and the Stowe Rec Path, and trails that cater to just about any level of rider make it one of the most ridden trail networks in the northeast. Available in warm weather months or prepped for fat biking in the winter, these trails rule!  Bring your own mountain bikes or rent some demos from Ranch Camp which is conveniently situated at the base of the trail system for easy parking and riding. Make it a priority to stop by this bike shop/ trendy cafe for brews & bar eats after a long day of riding;  we promise, you will not regret it. And while you are there, tell them we say hi!

Mountain View Country Club

Located right up the road from us, Mountain View Country Club is a family friendly club founded in 1898 in beautiful Greensboro. They are a non-profit social and recreational club offering guest and visitor playing privileges while also welcoming new members. The club features 7 clay tennis courts that are among the finest in the area, as well as a challenging par 35, 2,816-yard, nine-hole golf course hugging the contours of our hillside location and offering spectacular views of Mount Mansfield and Caspian Lake. Our guests enjoy special rates and packages through their organization, please ask us for more information!

(802) 533-7477