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Guides to Summer

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Spruce Life

Guides to Summer

There are countless exciting outdoor activities to experience around Stowe and greater north-central Vermont. Spruce Peak Outfitters is a dedicated service to connect adventure seekers with the perfect excursion. From rock climbing to horseback riding, we asked the team to share some of their favorite expeditions. 

Fly Rod Shop

Guided fly and spin fishing trips

“Stowe has very productive and pristine rivers, offering the trifecta of trout: brook, brown, and rainbow. We take people to beautiful, remote spots in the backcountry that are very rarely fished. Most of the small brooks and mountain streams we go to require a little adventure and hiking to reach, yet are within a 10-minute drive of downtown Stowe. You can gain total solitude in a place that’s surprisingly close by.” “When I’m fishing, I set my gear up on the riverbank and then sit back and just enjoy where I am. At my favorite spot, Dog’s Head Falls in Johnson, there’s a waterfall and a dramatic change in elevation that creates spectacular scenery of the water moving through the river. The canopy of trees hangs overhead, and on a really calm day, it reflects off the water, fresh limegreen blossoms quaking in the air.” “After you cast a line, the anticipation of the strike is part of the adventure. Then there’s the surprise when you actually accomplish it. There’s an intimacy in trying to land the fish by stripping (manually pulling) the line, rather than reeling it in. You are more connected to the fight, even if it’s a small fish. You will never forget the first time you hook that fish.”

- Bob Shannon, Owner and guide

Lajoie Stable

Horseback trail rides

“This may sound strange, but being on the back of a horse feels like a baby being rocked to sleep. There is something pure, simple, and relaxing about the rhythmic motion, the warmth of the horse’s body underneath you, the fresh air. It takes you back to what nature really is.” “Our 50 horses roam free on our 200-acre farm, and we have a menagerie of animals there: miniature donkeys, chickens, ducks, dogs. You’ll also encounter wonderful wildlife. Animals can’t smell you when you’re on a horse, so they feel comfortable and get really close. We see moose, bears, foxes, turkeys, pheasants, and deer. Once a huge eight-point buck followed us for the whole trail ride. It’s a magical experience.”

- Amanda Schwartz, Owner

4 Points VT

Mountain biking clinics and guides

“We have so many mountain bike trails here in Stowe—through woods, meadows, mountains—and just like ski trails, they’re a variety of levels, from beginner to advanced. People think of mountain biking as an extreme sport, but for 99 percent of riders, it’s not like that. It can be like going for a gentle walk in the woods. Still, even if it’s not a challenging trail, you get an adrenaline fix—and an intense workout.” “It’s also a great way to bond with family and friends. Road riders tend to put their head down and go. Mountain bikers stop much more often, so there is a social aspect.” “Mountain biking is a release, a getaway from the world. It evokes a flow state. You’re on a trail and there are wonderful banks and rolls, and your total attention is right there—there is no room in your mind for anything other than what you’re doing.”

- Rick Sokoloff, Owner and operator

Sunrise Mountain Guides

Rock-climbing and more

“There are a million people that drive through the Notch corridor. They get to the top, park, look around, and then hop back in and drive off. For climbing excursions, you will see a view that 99 percent of people who come through never have access to, down into the valley or north all the way up to Canada. We take climbers to pitches where there are no trails; you have to be on a rope to get there.” “When you climb, it gives you an opportunity to interact with nature in a very visceral way. You close your eyes, feel the rocks with your hands and feet, and everything else melts away.” “Then there’s the risk factor. We help people understand where their comfort zone is and then push it. Coaching someone through a difficult section and seeing them succeed is what it’s all about. People almost always climb even higher than they thought they could. They give us a high five and a big hug at the end, and some are even in tears.”

- Greg Speer, guide

 

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