On the other side of Mount Mansfield from Underhill State Park, lies Smugglers’ Notch State Park. Smugglers' Notch is a narrow pass through the mountain with spectacular 1,000 foot cliffs on either side that was once used as a smuggling route between Vermont and Canada. Today, it is a favorite haunt of nesting peregrine falcons, ice climbers and hikers.
The road is passable by vehicles only in summer and is very narrow and winding with many switchbacks and hairpin turns. The Notch is also a favorite of hikers.
The most popular trail up the mountain is the Long Trail, which can be accessed from the Notch. Heading north, the Long Trail leads past Elephant’s Head to Sterling Pond, a beautiful and serene mountain lake.
As its name implies, the Hell Brook Trail is a shorter, but much steeper route to the summit of Mount Mansfield.
Smugglers' Notch State Park has tent, RV and lean-to camping with hot showers, and is a favorite for those day hiking and backpacking the Long Trail or it’s side trails. The Park is located minutes from the Village of Stowe. Reservations may be made up to eleven months in advance through the central reservations call center at 1-888-409-7579 Monday – Friday 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM.