The notion of a building a recreational path in Stowe was conceived in 1964, when the Stowe Better Business Association voted in favor of creating a “walking path” around the Village. The concept went no further until 1977, when a kind and generous resident, Claire Lintilhac, commissioned the Vermont Highway Department to design a bicycling route. Once completed, the construction plans sat idle until 1981 when the Long Range Planning Committee (a group formed under the Stowe Area Association) requested that a Bike Path Coordinator be hired to oversee the project. That decision brought about the hiring of Anne Lusk, who developed volunteer fundraising committees and began working on legalities with local property owners.
By 1984, $300,000 had been raised for construction and 2.7 miles of the path had been built on 27 donated easements. Three years later, the townspeople voted to approve funding for an extension of the path, which would culminate in the 786th National Recreational Trail. Upon its completion in 1989, $680,000 had been invested and the Stowe Recreation Path extended 5.3 miles in and around the historic Stowe Village.
Many progressive minded landowners are to be applauded for their courage in bringing this vision to life. Today, this renowned recreation path project provides a community model that would benefit nearly any town. The Stowe Recreation Path has received recognition from politicians, Vermont citizens and tourists, and has environmentally and economically strengthened the town and surrounding areas.
The Stowe community has earned many awards for establishing the Stowe Recreation Path, including the Land and Water Conservation Fund Award, Take Pride in America Finalist Award, Rudy Bruner Finalist Award, 1000 Points of Light awarded by President Bush, the 786th National Recreation Trail status, and others. The Stowe Recreation Path attracts national visitors who enjoy all historic Stowe Village has to offer.
The Stowe Recreational Path offers spectacular views of the Green Mountain scenery and safe pedestrian access to Stowe Village merchants.