Smugglers Notch State Park

Stowe, Vermont

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Ever wonder where the “smugglers” in Smugglers Notch comes from? Me too. Apparently, when President Thomas Jefferson passed an embargo forbidding trade with Great Britain and Canada in 1807, it was especially hard on the folks living in northern Vermont. Most of those industrious, independent Vermonters kept right on trading with Montreal, moving cattle and other goods up through the narrow passage between the towering 1,000-foot cliffs. They established a grand tradition of smuggling that continued with abolitionists helping slaves head north to seek liberation in Canada and rumrunners bringing liquor south into the country from Canada during Prohibition. These days, things are a bit quieter in the notch. The campground at Smugglers Notch State Park is across the road from part of Stowe Mountain Resort ski area, so you get glimpses of the towering mountain through the trees. You’re also surrounded by Mount Mansfield State Forest, so the hiking opportunities are virtually limitless. The campground is in a mixed, mostly deciduous forest, with an open field in the center. It’s very quiet, especially at night, and even during the warmest periods of summer, the air is crisp and cool this high up in the Green Mountains.
Best Tent Camping: New England

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Tent Camping: New England

by Lafe Low (Menasha Ridge Press)

Ever wonder where the “smugglers” in Smugglers Notch comes from? Me too. Apparently, when President Thomas Jefferson passed an embargo forbidding trade with Great Britain and Canada in 1807, it was especially hard on the folks living in northern Vermont. Most of those industrious, independent Vermonters kept right on trading with Montreal, moving cattle and other goods up through the narrow passage between the towering 1,000-foot cliffs. They established a grand tradition of smuggling that continued with abolitionists helping slaves head north to seek liberation in Canada and rumrunners bringing liquor south into the country from Canada during Prohibition.

These days, things are a bit quieter in the notch. The campground at Smugglers Notch State Park is across the road from part of Stowe Mountain Resort ski area, so you get glimpses of the towering mountain through the trees. You’re also surrounded by Mount Mansfield State Forest, so the hiking opportunities are virtually limitless. The campground is in a mixed, mostly deciduous forest, with an open field in the center. It’s very quiet, especially at night, and even during the warmest periods of summer, the air is crisp and cool this high up in the Green Mountains.

© 2012 Lafe Low/Menasha Ridge Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Campgrounds
Nearby City: Stowe
Campsites: 34
Season: Mid-May–mid-Oct.
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Maps: Smugglers Notch State Park
Facilities: Hot showers, flush toilets
Driving Directions: Directions to Smugglers Notch State Park

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Apr 2018