Smugglers Notch State Park is located just a few miles outside of downtown Stowe. The park is named after the famous smugglers notch that runs through the Green Mountains. When President Thomas Jefferson passed a trade embargo with Canada and Great Britain in 1807, many Vermonters were forced to continue trading illegally with Montreal since they were their closest neighbors, carrying cattle and other goods through this notch.
Today, the park is known for its hiking, climbing, bouldering, biking, and camping. The park’s campground has spacious sites, plus restrooms with toilets, running water, and coin-operated showers. Most of the campsites are walk-in and cannot accommodate cars, so there are only a few spots for RV campers.
If you are not planning on staying overnight, the park also has a day-use area where you can stroll along a boardwalk through the wetlands or picnic near a stream. The park also has a few hikes include the popular Sterling Pond trail (a short 2-mile hike to the pond) and the more difficult Hellbrook Trail (a 1.5-mile hike straight up to the summit of Mt. Mansfield). The park also has access to some sightseeing locations, including the toll road to the top of Mt. Mansfield, Moss Glen Falls, and Bingham Falls.
Toll Road to Mt. Mansfield
The toll road is the easiest way to summit Mt. Mansfield. The road is open during the summer, weather permitting, and features stunning views of the Adirondack Mountains and Lake Champlain. The 4.5-mile drive takes about 20 minutes. Once you get to the top there is a 2.6-mile round trip hike to a viewpoint. Pets are allowed, but they must be on leashes at all times.
Moss Glen Falls
The Moss Glen Falls Trail is an easy hike to the Moss Glen Waterfall. You can either park at the trailhead for a 2.9-mile round trip hike or drive up to a parking lot by the falls which are about a 15-minute walk. From Stowe, head east on VT-100 N toward Depot St for three miles, then take a slight right on Randolph Rd, and a right onto Moss Glen Falls Rd.
Smugglers Notch State Park Stowe
Bingham Falls is another easily accessible waterfall right by Smugglers Notch State Park. If you are driving from Stowe, head north on VT-108 N for 6.4 miles. There is not a sign for the waterfall, but you will see a large group of cars parked on the side of the road. From the car, it is only about a 15-minute hike down the trail to the waterfall.
If you are looking for more recommendations on hikes near Stowe or would like directions to any of our parks and waterfalls, please contact us today! And after a day of hiking through the mountains of Vermont, you can Vermont to the fullest by staying one of our vacation rentals! Click here to book yours today!