I’d say this was one of Vermont’s best kept secrets, except I don’t think it’s exactly a secret. Even in October, the Park seemed full with visitors and Stowe was hopping! Leaf peepers were in full force and the grounds were absolutely spectacular- I really picked the perfect time of year to go. Nights got pretty brisk, but the foliage was breathtaking.
The Park, located along scenic Rte108, has about 20 tent sites and 14 lean-to’s well dispersed throughout the grounds. A couple spots were drive-in sites, accessible to those with disabilities; most had small pathways and/or stairwells leading to their platforms. There was not a bad site within the entire vicinity. All were fully shaded and extremely private. Although, I’d be curious about checking out Sites 1 or 16 next time around!
Bathrooms were clean and the main office sold firewood at the entrance. Facilities are also pet friendly. Plus, there are so many hiking trails and recreational opportunities in and around the Park-from Stowe Mountain Resort to the quaint shops in town and local craft breweries. And even with the Park seeming “full”, the grounds were perfectly quiet, without the incessant sound of generators you find at larger state parks.
Without a doubt, Smugglers Notch State Park is a favorite of mine!
We stayed in Lot 1 of Smugglers Notch ski resort. It's a big gravel parking lot used during the ski season and left virtually abandoned during the summer. Not sure it's technically a campground, but Vermont has liberal dispersed camping rules. No facilities or anything, but we just slept in our car, cooked on our stove, and drove somewhere else in the morning for bathrooms. Met a local who told us about a lake at the top of the slopes. Other than that, never saw anyone else. Apparently bears are nearby but we saw no signs. Second picture is looking up a ski slope a few paces from the lot
good flat sites. a little small but comfortable. rangers are very helpful. wood is a little hard to gather, but rangers have plenty for sale. shower area is nice and both restrooms were clean. all in all a very nice place with easy access to the whole mt. Mansfield and Stowe area.
we love hiking and this sweet campsite is the perfect spot to start or end a hike. it’s well kept, private, beautiful, and right in the mountains. nearby waterfalls are lovely! we highly recommend it!
I’ve never been to a campground that was so clean and organized yet private. The sites are exceptionally well spaced and secluded. The restroom facilities are the cleanest I’ve ever seen. Depending on your site, you’ll probably have a bit of a walk to the bathhouse and trash/recyclIng bins but I consider that well worth the cleanliness and minimal foot traffic through and around the campsites. Extra bonus: propane canister bin for my empty! Saved me a ton of hassle before I had to fly back home! Short drive to Sunset Ridge Trailhead.
Be aware that the showers are coin-fed, so bring quarters if you want to shower.
This campground is great. Nice and quiet. Campsites are well spaced. Some of the campsites on the outside ring you need to walk into (a very short distance), but it makes it feel very secluded and less like car camping. We go every spring!
They don't have all the usual amenities its more of a primitive set up. has great clean sites with multiple ways to access mount mansfields trail system which is the highest mountain in the state of Vermont. Staff are friendly and respectful of privacy. Great deal on wood.
Smuggler's Notch State Park has a small campground with 20 tent sites and 14 lean-tos. We almost always splurge on a lean-to so we can camp comfortably rain or shine. This year we stayed in Hemlock, and it was so secluded and quiet. The whole place has a real wilderness feel, but it is very close to lots of hiking and the attractions in Stowe. You can easily walk to Bingham Falls across the street, which I think is one of the most lovely waterfalls in the whole state. There's also easy access to lots of hiking trails, although I would suggest driving to the trailheads as route 108 is not fun to walk along.
A favorite Smuggler's Notch weekend in the summer would include a visit to Bingham Falls, hiking to Sterling Pond, and possibly up to the top of Mt. Mansfield. When we don't have time to hike up Mt. Mansfield, we splurge on a drive up the toll road. Then we can hike around on the summit. Lastly, we always stop at the Alchemist for a case or two of Heady Topper to bring home.
The Green Mountains of Vermont are amazing all year. Check with the local ski resorts for summer activities like gondola rides. The ranger programming was exceptional, as are the views and the nearby areas for hiking and backpacking. Relatively modern campsite but still a simple state park setup with one exception: true to northeast tradition many of the camp sites are lean-to style.