Embrace Rich Vermont Traditions: The Stowe Derby and Sugaring Season

Embrace Rich Vermont Traditions: The Stowe Derby and Sugaring Season 

Nestled amidst the picturesque landscape of Stowe, Vermont, Topnotch Resort invites you to immerse yourself in the timeless traditions that define this charming community. As the snow-capped peaks of the Green Mountains provide a breathtaking backdrop, two local customs take center stage this month: the renowned Stowe Derby and sugaring season!


The Stowe Derby: A Test of Skill and Endurance 

The Stowe Derby stands as one of the oldest and most revered ski races in North America. What started as a bet between two ski enthusiasts back in 1945 has turned into an annual race for the young and young at heart. Each February, adrenaline-fueled skiers gather to tackle the challenging course from the top of Mt. Mansfield’s Toll Road before crossing the finish line in the heart of town. The full course spans both groomed trails and backcountry terrain, though there’s also a short course for those looking for a more relaxed experience. What sets the Stowe Derby apart is its unique format, which combines both Nordic and alpine disciplines. Participants competing on the long course begin with a heart-pounding downhill descent on the famed Mount Mansfield before a grueling 20-kilometer cross-country ski leg.

While alpine trails and gear are included during the race, modern Nordic equipment is most widely used. This year, fat bikes are also allowed! If you are interested in participating but need the gear, Mountain Ops at the base of the Topnotch driveway will have everything you need. From skis to maps for your excursion, you’ll be ready for the Derby or just a day exploring trails. Stowe boasts one of the largest cross-country ski trail systems in the United States so everyone will find a trail for their level.


 Sugaring Season: A Sweet Celebration of Vermont's Heritage 

As winter gradually gives way to spring, another cherished tradition takes center stage in Stowe: sugaring season. Vermont's maple syrup industry holds a special place in the state's cultural heritage, and the arrival of warmer days and cooler nights marks the beginning of the annual maple sugaring season. From late-February to early April, local sugarhouses come to life as maple trees are tapped, and sap is collected to produce the liquid gold that is pure maple syrup.

While up-and-coming producers are introducing larger scales and newer equipment, classic sugarhouses still feel like a throwback in time. During Vermont Maple Open House Weekend, many of these traditional operators open their old wooden doors to welcome guests seeking the experience and flavors of a beloved tradition. Be sure to visit Vermont March 23-24 to visit some of these sugarhouses!


Experience the Timeless Charm of Stowe at Topnotch Resort 

Whether you're seeking exhilarating outdoor adventures of the Stowe Derby or moments of tranquility in a sweet sugar shack, Topnotch Resort offers the perfect retreat for experiencing the rich traditions of Stowe. With our high-end, world-class amenities, and personalized service, we ensure that every moment of your stay is filled with unforgettable experiences.

As you plan your next getaway, consider immersing yourself in the vibrant tapestry of Stowe's local traditions by joining us for the Stowe Derby or savoring the delights of sugaring season. At Topnotch Resort, we look forward to welcoming you with open arms and helping you create memories that will last a lifetime.

Set up your basecamp for these activities at Topnotch Resort as we celebrate the timeless traditions of Stowe, Vermont. Whether you're carving down the course during the Stowe Derby or savoring the sweetness of sugaring season, our resort provides the perfect backdrop for immersing yourself in the rich cultural heritage of this charming mountain town. Come experience the magic of Stowe with us and create memories that will last a lifetime.