Our Most Adventurous State Park

Smugglers' Cave
Recently, the Travel Channel asked us to name our most adventurous state park. We had a hard time because there is plenty of adventure to be found in Vermont's 55+ state parks.

Should we pick Mt. Ascutney for it's hang gliding? Jamacia for its whitewater paddling? Or Green River Reservoir or Woods Island for its remote paddle-in camping?

The Appalachian Trail runs through Gifford Woods State Park, there is gold panning at Camp Plymouth State Park. Branbury has rockclimbing cliffs,  And the list goes on.

We were only allowed to choose one, so we settled on Smugglers' Notch State Park.

Named after an infamous route used to smuggle illegal goods across the US-Canada border, Smugglers Notch State Park has an adventurous past and present. Located at the base of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, the park is part of the much larger Mt. Mansfield State Forest.
Photo: Summer Wuerthner

The Long Trail, a trail that runs the length of Vermont is located within the park, making Smugglers’ Notch popular with both day and through hikers. The summit provides unparalleled view of Lake Champlain and the surrounding Green & Adirondack mountains.

Photo: Megan Davin
The park is also popular for rock climbing and bouldering in the summer and ice climbing in the winter. This mountain park is also a favorite for challenging backcountry skiing on the mountain and cross country skiing on the notch road, which closes to vehicles in the winter.
Photo: Oliva Wolf

For wildlife watchers, moose, bear and peregrine falcons make the notch their home.

Bingham Falls provides beautiful pools and waterfalls and is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot summer’s day.
Photo: Jesse Keck

Nearby ski resorts, Stowe and Smugglers' Notch offer summertime zip line canopy tours, off road Segway tours and more in addition to world class skiing in the winter months.

At the end of the day, you can enjoy a hot shower and quiet campsite at Smugglers Notch State Park. Tell Ranger Aaron we sent you.

Photo: Jesse Keck


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