Microhikes and Microbrews: Sterling Pond and Crop Bistro and Brewery

By: Erin & Evan Meenan

Welcome to the final installment of Microhikes and Microbrews. To celebrate the official end of summer, we visited Stowe to hike up to Sterling Pond through Smuggler's Notch State Park. This is among our favorite hikes because it combines one of the most unique (and at times scary) drives in Vermont and certainly one of the best hikes under 3 miles round trip.  

You can reach the trail head from either side of the Notch on Route 108. The signage is clear, there is an information booth, and usually plenty of parking despite this hike's popularity. The is a more strenuous hike than those from our previous posts because it involves some steep stone staircases and, depending on the season, it can be a little slick. That said, the views make it worthwhile. When you first reach the top, you will arrive at a serene, picturesque pond. If you continue your hike on the Long Trail North (marked in blue), you will come to the Top of the Notch ski lift where you will see a beautiful view of the mountains. Then if  you keep hiking past the Sterling Pond shelter you reach several other vista points that look our over the pond, which is surprisingly vast.

After our hike, we drove back towards the center of Stowe and grabbed lunch at Crop Bistro and Brewery.They brew all of their own beer. We sampled three different varieties and loved each. Best part, all the beers are only $5 and there is great outside seating near the bike path. Finally, we would be remiss if we didn't mention their fried pickles. They're the best we've ever had!


  1. This sounds fabulous for my next saunter into VT!


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