Forest Trails | Guided Mindful Runs | Gondola | Luxury Resort Lodge | Outdoor Yoga | Fall Colors
Tread on trails surrounding Stowe, Vermont, a destination almost as old as the United States itself. This level II retreat features guided, mindful trail runs of up to 9 – 10 miles along well-established forest trails aglow with the season’s brilliant orange, red and yellow hues. You’ll stay at The Lodge at Spruce Peak, a luxury lodge situated at the base of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield.
Your retreat leader will lead mindful running clinics on the trail to help you navigate the trails with ease and flow, while our professional running guides lead us on some of Stowe’s most scenic, yet less-trafficked trails that meander through thick golden forests, past historic cabins and picturesque waterfalls.
You can do this retreat even if you’re new to trail running, as long as you have the “base” fitness to run about 8 miles on the road. It’s OK if you’re not fast! This four-day women-only retreat is all about saving the time in nature, connecting to nature and ourselves while running a mix of technical singletrack and broad forest paths. With the support of our professional running guides, you can relax and enjoy the running without having to navigate or worry about logistics.
Each day we balance time on the trails with free time to explore Stowe’s historic downtown, the myriad of trails surrounding the lodge, or enjoy the diverse wellness and recreational opportunities on the property, such as spa, pool and golf.
4-Day, 3-Night Retreat Itinerary
Day 1 | Welcome Meeting + Shake Out Run
We recommend flying to Burlington International Airport, an hours’ drive from our retreat’s base at The Lodge at Spruce Peak in Stowe, Vermont, where you’ll meet your group and retreat leader for the Opening Meeting at 3:30 p.m.. Come dressed ready to run as we’ll depart for today’s shake out run soon after the meeting wraps. During the meeting, you’ll officially meet your fellow retreat participants and review the retreat intention and flow.
Today’s “shake out” trail run is designed to help you get grounded and burn off any nervous energy. Your retreat leader will present the key aspects of the Power Posture as a foundation for your mindful running practice in the days to come. These techniques will be especially valuable if you’re new to trail running. Then you’ll enjoy a relaxed run on the Ranch Valley Loop trail. After the run, we’ll return to the lodge, where you have plenty of free time to freshen up before we gather for dinner in the dining room. Near the end of dinner, your retreat leader will review important information for tomorrow’s run in terms of what to bring and what to wear for the conditions.
Time on trail (including stops and clinic): 90 minutes
Day 2 | Rolling Hills at Ranch Camp
This morning, you’ll help yourself to the breakfast buffet served at the lodge. At 9:30 a.m. meet your retreat leader and guides for the short drive to the Stowe Cross Country Ski Center at the base of Mount Mansfield. Starting at the base of Luce Hill, you head towards the Slayton Pasture Cabin, located on the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge. A long, gradual ascent for the next few miles takes us to Round Top. From the top of the mountain, enjoy a rollicking descent of the Oslo Trail, which provides for massive views and almost magical like spongy, mossy and forested terrain, then loop back down to Cross Country Ski Center. After lunch and some free time back at the lodge, enjoy a private group yoga class (designed specifically for runner!) on the grass outside. Tonight’s dinner is at one of downtown Stowe’s upscale eateries featuring local and seasonal dishes.
Time on trail (including stops): 3 – 4 hours
Day 3 | Mindful Running at Mount Mansfield
After buffet breakfast at the lodge, meet your retreat leader and guides for today’s adventure. Bring a day pack with a change of clothes when you depart the lodge for a 25-minute drive to Smuggler’s Notch trailhead. Today’s point-to-point run in Mount Mansfield State Forest starts at the Nebraska Notch/Trout Club trailhead near Lake Mansfield along a mile of gentle rolling forest trail. In preparation for today’s ascent to Nebraska Notch to the Long Trail (the oldest long distance trail in the United States), your retreat leader will teach you how mindful running can help you befriend the hills. Using these newly honed techniques, you’ll savor the views from the highpoint of today’s run, which offers stunning views of the Notch Cliffs and Lake Mansfield.
We will then connect to a historic section of the Long Trail that traverses around the base of Dewey Mountain. Throughout this section of trail we will be immersed in the forest of Mount Mansfield State Forest. Connecting to the Overland Trail we will make our descent back down to the Lodge at Spruce Peak.
After the run, we drive into historic downtown Stowe for lunch at the Green Goddess Cafe, followed by free time to shop and explore the town. After returning to the lodge, you’ll have some free time to freshen up before taking the Sky Ride Gondola to the top of Mount Mansfield for a special fine dining experience at the Cliff House Restaurant.
Time on trail (including stops): 3 -4 hours
Day 4 | Sterling Pond + Retreat Closing
After a buffet breakfast at the lodge, you’ll head out a bit earlier this morning to make the most of our final day. We will be heading out directly from the lodge up to Sterling Pond (the state’s highest lake) via the Elephant’s Head Trail. We will stop at the Big Spruce Overlook that provides massive views of the lake and Mount Mansfield, then make your way back to the lodge via the Long Trail.
Upon returning to the lodge, you’ll have time to freshen up and check out of your room before meeting your retreat leader for the farewell lunch and the official retreat closing on the Mansfield Terrace. The final circle serves a powerful final sharing opportunity to reflect on what this experience revealed to you and what’ll take away and continue applying to your running at home.
This afternoon, we offer airport transfers to the Birmingham Airport (for an additional fee) to get you to your flight on time for your travels home.
Time on trail: 1 – 2 hours
The total distance for this retreat will be between approximately 25 and 32 miles. Each day’s run in this itinerary is represented by time spent on the trail rather than miles run because the mileage covered will depend on your pace and other considerations. The run times listed here include breaks to enjoy the views, take photos, eat and drink. The precise route and trails run may change due to changes to trail modifications, weather conditions, guide recommendations and other safety considerations.
Start Planning Your RetreatFall Colors of Vermont Trail Running + Wellness Retreat (Level II)
• Three nights at the Lodge at Spruce Peak (Stowe Mountain Resort)
• Rountrip on The Gondola Skyride
• Three gourmet dinners
• Three casual lunches (cafe or picnic)
• Access to lodge pool, hot tub, fitness center
• Three breakfast buffets at the lodge
• Daily trail runs with professional guides
• Private outdoor yoga class
• Lodge outdoor hot tubs, heated pool and fitness facilities
• Dedicated Retreat Leader
• Mindful Running Clinics
• Trail snacks/energy food and drinks
• Run Wild Retreats gift bag
⚠️ Covid Health + Safety Protocols are in place. Read about them here.
Balance Payment Deadline: August 16, 2021
Max Group Size: 14 women
Shared Room Package (per person): $2,995
Private Room Package (per person): $3,445
*Shared room packages have two beds. Solo travelers may choose this option and will be paired with another retreat participant.
If traveling with a friend, you may list your friend as your preferred roommate on your Retreat Participant Intake Form.
You may customize your retreat package with various add-on services by registering on one of the Trip Pages to the right.
😊 The Flexible Booking Policy is in effect, which you can read about here.
This retreat is rated Level II
- Daily runs range from roughly 5 miles to 10 miles on singletrack and doubletrack trails.
- You should be comfortable being on your feet for up to 3 – 4 hours at a time.
- We recommend that you be comfortable running at least 8 miles on roads.
- One or two guides accompany the group to support the different pace groups, so there’s no pressure to run faster than you’re comfortable.
- Trail running experience isn’t necessary. Your retreat leader provides trail-running tips for running in this terrain.
- You’ll encounter trails with loose rocks, rooty terrain and brief exposure to heights. You can walk/hike trail sections as you need.
- Trail running shoes and a hydration pack are required.
- Learn more about how we manage run pacing here: https://runwildretreats.com/about-the-run-wild-retreat-experience/levels/