History of the Stowe Recreation Path
Due to the traffic on the Mountain Road, in 1964 the Stowe Better Business Association voted in favor of creating a "walking path" but the decision went no further than that business meeting. In 1977, a kind and generous woman named Claire Lintilhac, who lived at the end of the Mountain Road, commissioned the Vermont Highway Department to design a bike route. The completed plans sat idle until 1981 when the Long Range Planning Committee (a group formed under the Stowe Area Association) requested that Bike Path Coordinator be hired for two years at the salary of $5000 for each year. Anne Lusk was hired and started work with no land and no money for construction. Working with volunteer committees and property owners, new plans were prepared, funds raised, designs formulated, articles written, permits received, land acquired, bids opened and construction supervised. By 1984, 2.7 miles of path had been built on 27 donated easements with $300,000 raised for construction. Three years later, the townspeople voted to approve funding for a path extension, and when the Town Moderator "asked if anyone had any thing to say against extending the path, the audience laughed."
Completed in 1989, the total 5.3 miles of path cost $680,000. The funding came from a variety of sources which included $178,000 Land and Water Conservation Funds, $62,000 Revenue Sharing Funds, $120,000 Town Taxes, $134,000 Lintilhac Foundation and $186,000 privately raised by selling pieces of the path at $2 per inch, $15 per foot, $45 per yard, and on through chains, rods, and links.
In 1987, The Report of the Presidents Commission on Americans Outdoor identified the desirability of these greenways. Stowe's community created greenway prompted one magazine to comment, "Walk the Village and ask any resident or merchant for an example of civic pride and invariably the reply is the Stowe Recreation Path."
In June 2010, a group of enthusiastic citizens presented a proposal which was approved by the Selectboard and included grooming of the Path for winter recreational activities.
Stowe has retained a strong sense of small town community which was especially evident during the creation of the Recreation Path. The residents combined with second homeowners and tourists to plan, design, and fund the 5.3 mile long path.
The following are among the list of honors:
Land and Water Conservation Fund Award
"The Town of Stowe is to be commended both for this highly successful project as well as for their leadership in helping other communities develop similar greenways."
Take Pride in America Finalist Award
"Out of 540 nominations from 48 states 208 finalists were chosen by the Blue Ribbon Panel of Judges. Stowe was one of two to receive this National honor for Vermont."
Rudy Bruner Finalist Award
"The project was truly a community effort: the Town of Stowe was the developer; the property owners were the planners; townspeople and visitors were members of the advisory committee."
1000 Points of Light by President Bush"
"The President today named the community of Stowe, Vermont as the one hundrednineteenth 'Daily Point of Light.' The Stowe Community united to preserve and enhance its environment by creating the Stowe Recreation Path and Town Greenway."
786th National Recreation Trail"initiated at home, supported by State and Federal programs, and winner of numerous awards, the Stowe Recration Path helps visitors and residents alike enjoy one of New England's - and the Nation's - most beautiful valleys."
Rec Path Rules
1. NO MOTORIZED VEHICLES are permitted on the Path, except for emergency response & authorized Town maintenance and enforcement vehicles.
2. OBEY all traffic rules and signs. Ride on right side, single file. Slow at all intersections and stop at all stop signs. Use proper hand signals.
3. LOOK out of pedestrians, joggers and children at play and yield to them.
4. WALK you bike across intersections and bridges.
5. WARN other of your intentions by calling out "PASSING ON YOUR LEFT" or other appropriate warning.
6. DO NOT LITTER. Use the trash containers along the path.
7. ALL DOGS must be on leash.
8. DOG droppings must be removed from the path or the path right of way by the person responsible for the dog.
9. STAY to the far right when jogging, running or walking and keep in single file.
PLEASE REMEMBER, the Recreation Path must be shared by many different users. There is no substitute for common COURTESY and ETIQUETTE.
For further information on the Stowe Recreation Path, please contact the Town Administrator's Office at 253-7350.