Smugglers' Notch Review
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Editor’s Review of Smugglers' Notch
On the back side of Stowe's Spruce Peak, Vermont's Smugglers' Notch Resort was designed solely with the family in mind. Indeed, heading here without children would be like honeymooning in Legoland. Their fully-equipped condos cater exclusively to families and their line-up of activities for children is longer than a kid's wish list for Santa. They have three of their own Green Mountains to ski on including a magic learning trail where young children ski up to exhibit panels and learn about winter animals. Then there are indoor pools, outdoor skating rinks, a lighted tube-sliding hill, 34 km of cross-country trails, and nightly family entertainment. Junior won't get bored here, nor will his parents.
With instructors who ... more specialize in teaching young children the sport of skiing, Smugglers' Notch is often rated by Ski and Skiing publications as one of the best skiing resorts in the country for families. We certainly rate it high on our list after they taught our youngest to ski here at the age of two. I'll always remember skiing with Melanie inside my wedge as she did her snow plows on a snowy winter day. We also used ropes and stood behind her, guiding her to the left and to the right. Fortunately, we videotaped all of it, including watching her race with her 4-year-old brother.
The three-mountain ski area caters to all levels. Morse is gentle, Sterling's trails are good for intermediates, while Madonna Mountain is for experts only (Madonna's always had a complex personality). The view of Mount Mansfield atop Madonna is staggering. But Smuggs is more than mere skiing. Summer and fall are sublime times to hike in the notch, where the wall of rock drops down dramatically, grab a canoe and paddle through farmland where cows linger by shoreline, and bike on lonely backcountry roads with mountains always in view. With little distraction except unadulterated fun, rural Vermont is the perfect place to unwind with the family and spend quality time together. less
- Consistently great family skiing
- Eight heated pools and four waterslides
- Separate teen center
- Water Sports
- Children's Program
- DVD Player
- Family Room 5+
- Game Room
- Kids' Pool
- Laundry Service
- Onsite Dining
Most visitors to Smuggs will be traveling through Stowe to get here, especially in the summer when the notch is open. Just ... Get more Planning and Tips
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On our last jaunt to Smuggs, we chose a two-bedroom condo in the West Hill Community, with an easy ski or walk down to the Village Center and the Village Lift. The rooms came with a large kitchen, refrigerator, dishwasher, and all cooking utensils, glasses, and dishes. There was a dining area for eating and each of the bedrooms feature a television. The units also had their own exercise room and game room, which offered a degree of ... more entertainment if we didn't feel like moving. This can happen after a day of skiing. less