Some of the most gorgeous scenery can be seen just outside of Stowe, Vermont, allowing easy access when you stay at the luxury cabins offered by Stowe Country Homes. One of such areas is the Smugglers Notch, Vermont, a winding pass down at the base of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain peak. This state park is seen as a winding road, Route 108 to be exact, one of just two scenic highways in the state of Vermont. This majestic beauty features some of the best skiing areas during the winter (the bypass does close with the first major snowfall, though), spectacular views of the mountains, and color changing foliage during the autumn season.
History of Smugglers Notch, Vermont
Before an official road was completed, the Smugglers Notch pass consisted of only a footpath for hikers and horses. President Thomas Jefferson passed an embargo in 1807, making it illegal for Americans to trade with Canada just across the border. Montreal was closer than most U.S. cities, so northern Vermonters would make the trek and carry out illegal trade. The pass was even used to smuggle in liquor from Canada once an improved road was finally laid down in 1922. Nowadays, the Smugglers Notch in Stowe, VT is a popular favorite among tourists and locals alike. Make sure to explore the beautiful terrain of Northern Vermont and explore its rich history.
Exploring the Park
Since 2003, Smugglers Notch State Park has been preserving the original work of pioneering conservationists and added a new campground that features a new restroom facility with running water and hot showers. The campground is only available by trail and is not accessible directly by vehicles. Visitors who are traveling by RV should be aware that there are very few spots in this narrow park that can accommodate their vehicle.
When not staying at the campground, visitors can start at the Barnes Camp Visitor Center and explore the 3.5 miles of winding roads that showcase beautiful vistas and recreational areas. Additional trails are available, including the Long Trail to further explore the area and a beautiful stream.
Other popular trails include the Hellbrook Trail that should only be considered by skilled hikers, and the Sterling Pond Trail. Finally, the park can also be enjoyed by outdoor sporting activities such as bouldering, cave exploring, biking, and ice climbing. This beautiful park may not be the largest but has so much to explore right in front of you. Take your family to the beautiful and sprawling grounds of the Smugglers Notch in Vermont during your next Stowe vacation getaway!
(Image by Michelle Maria [CC BY 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons)