Smugglers’ Notch State Park
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Introduction

Smugglers' Notch State Park is a park and campground located outside of Stowe, Vermont. The so-named Smugglers' Notch is a narrow pass through the Green Mountains that was only large enough for a footpath and trail for horses to pass through during the early days. Goods were smuggled to Canada, and fleeing slaves also took to the path to escape to freedom through the notch. There is plenty of history to learn about when you visit the park in your rig.

Smugglers' Notch State Park was relocated to its current location in 2003, and all of the original buildings built by the Civilian Conservation Corps were relocated and restored. You will find plenty of activities in the area to enjoy, from nearby fishing to hiking. During the winter months, you can also explore the park via snowshoes or cross-country skis. Many people also come to the area for its views and wildlife.

Smugglers' Notch State Park has a small campground, with 20 tent sites and 14 lean-to sites. Only a very few sites are able to accommodate an RV. The park has no hookups but it does have a sanitary dump station, and the majority of sites are not vehicle accessible; you have to walk to them. The park does have modern restrooms and coin-operated hot showers.

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Transportation in Smugglers’ Notch State Park

Driving

Smugglers' Notch State Park is located in Vermont, and you can reach the park by traveling northwest from the town of Stowe, down Highway 108. For most of the campsites, once you get to the park, you'll need to park and walk to your campsite, unless you have one of the six sites that accommodates a small camping trailer or RV.

When driving to the state park in your RV, you will want to exercise extreme caution. Highway 108 near the park is very narrow and difficult to drive down with a larger vehicle. In addition, the area can be treacherous during the winter months when snow and ice cover the road, so you may want to avoid pulling your trailer here if you come to the park during the off-season when it is only open to day-use visitors.

When you come to Smugglers' Notch State Park, you will need to be careful to avoid all of the park's hikers who are walking through the area, since the trails run near the campground. There is no main parking lot and instead you will find parking spaces scattered near the campsites for you to park at.

Parking

Public Transport

Campgrounds and parking in Smugglers’ Notch State Park

Campsites in Smugglers’ Notch State Park

Reservations camping

Smugglers' Notch State Park Campground

Smugglers' Notch State Park campground is largely filled with sites for tent campers. The park has 20 tent and RV campsites, of which only six are large enough for a small camping trailer or RV to park at. There are also 14 lean-to sites in the park. The campsites surround one camping loop, and there are no hookups, although there is a sanitary dumping station for people who come with their RV. The campground also has modern restrooms that include coin-operated showers with hot water, so you can shower after a day of hiking or rock climbing. These restroom facilities incorporate alternative energies to power it.

There are several sites where you can enjoy a picnic in the park. While the park is closed during the winter months for camping, it is open to day-use visitors who want to partake in outdoor sports. Campers have easy access to fishing and trails that allow them to ascent Mount Mansfield.

First-come first-served

Alternate camping

Seasonal activities in Smugglers’ Notch State Park

In-Season

Winter Sports

Smugglers' Notch State Park is open for day-use visitors during the winter months, and you can take advantage of that to take part in outdoor sports. Why not enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing as a different way to explore the park? Nearby, you will also find downhill skiing resorts and mountains a short distance from the park. You will want to be very careful, as there are no facilities open during this time of year.

Rock Climbing

You can enjoy the opportunity to go rock climbing during the summer months at Smugglers' Notch State Park and take advantage of the beautiful surroundings. During the winter months, you can also go ice climbing, if you feel so inclined. The park does not sponsor any climbing activities, but several companies offer courses and outings in the area. Because of this, you don't necessarily need to bring your own gear in your camping trailer to go climbing here.

Fishing

Camping at Smugglers' Notch State Park offers a variety of fishing opportunities. You can go fishing for several trout species, including rainbow trout, brook trout, and brown trout, as well as salmon, perch, northern pike, and large mouth bass, to name a few species. You can fish in the nearby Lamoille River, Sterling Pond, and Waterbury Reservoir. Make sure you bring your fishing gear with you in your campervan as the park does not participate in the state's Reel Fun fishing program.

Off-Season

Viewing Wildlife

Visitors to Smugglers' Notch state Park can relax and enjoy bird watching, as well as the opportunity to see many forms of wildlife in their native environment. Among the birds that she will have the opportunity to see our peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, and alder flycatchers. Larger animals that live in the park include beavers, black bears, coyotes, as well as white-tailed deer. Bring your binoculars in your camper to enjoy the view.

Picnicking

At Smugglers' Notch State Park, you will have ample opportunities to go picnicking, so make sure that you pack some food in your RV that you would like to enjoy on a picnic table. You can take your gear and hike to the summit of Mount Mansfield and enjoy picnicking with a view. The park also features a picnic area with individual picnicking spots, that includes picnic tables, as well as grills. Bring the whole family to share a meal.

Hiking

Make sure that you bring your hiking gear in your RV or camping trailer, as you will have access to a variety of trails around Smugglers' Notch State Park. The park is a trailhead for different trails that extend into Mount Mansfield State Forest. Several of these trails ascend the highest peak in Vermont, Mount Mansfield. The Sterling Pond trail starts to the north of the campground and rises up to Sterling Pond, where you can go fishing.

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