This popular state park, located in Vermont, is a narrow passage that leads through the Green Mountains. In 2003, the park was relocated to allow room for expansions, including an updated campground and sites featuring alternative energy. Despite this, great care was taken to relocate and restore the original structures that were built there by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The site originally housed the many young men looking for work during the Depression era, so it was important for their work to be preserved as much as possible.
Visitors report satisfaction with the new renovations, as the new campground has sites that allow for much more room than before, and ample thought was given to the facilities operating on alternative energy. Campers can now enjoy hot showers, firewood and ice for sale, as well as a new location that provides easy access to Bingham Falls.
Before planning a stay at the park, travelers should be aware that most sites in the park are first come first serve, and not easily accessible by vehicle. Because of the limited space and narrow geography, there are only a small number of sites that can accommodate a trailer or RV. Animal lovers are welcome to bring their furry pals for a visit to the park as well.
Day use of the park consists of a variety of recreation and fun. There's a wetlands boardwalk near what's called the Barnes Camp Visitor Center. Bouldering and cave exploring commonly take place here as well, and when the weather allows it, some try their hand at ice climbing. Day use of the park comes with an entrance fee of $4 for adults, $2 for kids 12 and younger, and children ages 0-3 enter the park free of charge.
A group of us went here 2 years back and loved the facilities. Clean showers, camp sites where beautiful and maintained. Could not say enough about the beauty of the place and where it is situated in reference to trails and other outdoor activities. The one downside is they police the quiet time. My friend and I where chatting around the fire, not loudly mind you and where told that we needed to keep it down. Would have given this a five star for sure if it wasn’t for having to go to bed early because we couldn’t talk around the fire.
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.