It doesn’t get much better than a paddle down the Lamoille River, a country landscape of mountain-framed farms. Umiak Outdoor Outfitters (849 S. Main St., Stowe, 802/253-2317, www.umiak.com ) rents kayaks and canoes and leads guided trips down the Lamoille and Winooksi Rivers.
A quiet country resort on the edge of Stowe , Edson Hill Manor (1500 Edson Hill Rd., Stowe, 802/253-7371, www.edsonhillmanor.com ) has riding stables with horses and ponies available for backcountry trots. The resort also offers sleigh rides through the surrounding woodland—including romantic sleigh-and-dine packages.
On the flanks of Mount Mansfield just before the Stowe Mountain Resort , the small Smuggler’s Notch State Park (6443 Mountain Rd., Stowe, 802/253-4014, www.vtstateparks.com/htm/smugglers.cfm ) offers some 20 tent sites and 14 roomy lean-tos for overnight camping. The sites are quite close together, though several “prime sites” offer more privacy and nice views from the cliffs flanking Mountain Road. The campsite has a restroom employing alternative energy, as well as a hot showers and a trash station.