Picture a quiet scene where a few sailboats ride gentle breezes on a large blue lake snuggled between a country lodge, forest and mountains. Then add a deep woods hike of moderate difficulty, a picturesque waterfall and high-elevation beaver pond.

This is Stowe’s Nebraska Valley area, and the way to see it all is to hike the Lake Mansfield Trail. Your destination on this trail is Taylor Lodge, a rustic cabin located just above Nebraska Notch.

The lodge marks the point where the Lake Mansfield Trail connects with the 265-mile Long Trail, which crosses all of Vermont.

The trail starts in a parking lot next to the members-only Lake Mansfield Trout Club. Follow the trail markers and remember to stay off any roads, trails and property of the privately owned club.

At a fairly leisurely pace, the hike to Taylor Lodge takes about 90 minutes.

The hike’s first 45 minutes involves climbs of only a modest elevation, and although rocky and uneven, the trail is pretty easy to manage. Bring plenty of water.

The hike’s second half becomes moderately difficult, as the elevation increases more rapidly, and the trail becomes wet and rocky at points. But your effort here is greatly rewarded, as a deep woods waterfall suddenly appears on your left.

A short spur trail allows you to follow the waterfall for part of its descent. And just a few minutes past the waterfall is a large beaver pond, which marks your entry through Nebraska Notch. A short hike past the beaver pond on this easily identifiable trail brings you to Taylor Lodge.

Named after the creator of the Long Trail, the lodge is a resting and snack stop for many Long Trail hikers. Eating a packed lunch on the lodge’s front porch while viewing distant mountains and the deep, quiet forest is a pleasant way to rest before heading back down the trail.

Return to the parking area via the same trail. The entire trip is easily accomplished in half a day.

Reliable news and information is vitally important. Local advertising has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis but the Vermont Community Newspaper Group remains committed to its responsibility to serve its communities. Your communities. With some assistance from loyal readers, community organizations, foundations and other funders, we hope to keep reporters on the job keeping you informed. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to our local journalism fund. Thank you for your support.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexual language.
Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be proactive. Use the "Report" link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.