Smugglers’ Notch Resort: Vermont’s Family Destination

Smugglers’ Notch Resort- or as the locals call it “Smuggs” is one of the best destinations year round. Whether you want some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the East, some summertime fun or even leaf peeping in the fall, Smugglers’ Notch Resort is the place to be.

Boasting 3 mountain peaks and over 1,000 skiable acres this place is the definition of the great outdoors. Read on to learn about the breakdown of all the Smugglers’ Notch mountain stats, lodging, trails and more

On the trails at Smuggler's Notch.
On the trails at Smuggler’s Notch. Photo Credit: Tracy Lee Carroll (Flickr CC)

Highlights of Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Smugglers’ Notch has 3 mountains to explore, with one central base area. This makes it easy to meet up after a great day of skiing or riding and gives everyone plenty of room to explore. Some of the other highlights of Smugglers’ Notch Resort are:

  • Morse, Madonna and Sterling mountains interconnected by lifts and trails
  • Over 1,000 acres of skiable terrain
  • 2,610 feet of vertical
  • Over 27 miles of trails
  • 78 trails
  • Average annual snowfall of 280 inches
  • Snowmaking on 62% of terrain
  • 6 terrain parks

Where is Smugglers’ Notch Resort?

Smugglers’ Notch is a windy pass that weaves between mountains and ridges with spectacular views and abundant wildlife. Right in the heart of this beautiful wilderness is Smugglers’ Notch Resort- tucked away in northern Vermont in the town of Jeffersonville. This is just an hour drive from Stowe Mountain Resort and just 41 miles from the hip city of Burlington.

Not to mention its proximity to Mt. Mansfield State Forest. Mt. Mansfield is the tallest peak in Vermont at 4,395 feet and is bound to excite any outdoor enthusiast. Although its “way up north” the beauty and the skiing and riding at Smuggs make up for the longer drive. Check out some distances below:

  • Boston, MA – 4 hours, 230 miles
  • New York, NY – 6.5 hours, 330 miles
  • Concord, NH – 2 hours and 45 minutes, 165 miles
  • Providence, RI – 4 hours and 40 minutes, 280 miles
  • Montreal, Canada – 2 hours, 150 km

Does Smugglers’ Notch Have Lodging?

Yes! You won’t be disappointed by the Smugglers’ Notch hotels. Smugglers’ Notch is home to 5 condominium communities spread throughout the 3 mountains. Each condo is complete with a fully equipped kitchen, bed linens, wifi, and cable TV. The condos range from one bedroom all the way to 5 bedrooms so no matter the size of your family or group you will find a comfortable option! Depending on the location, the condo communities either feature outdoor heated pools and hot tubs or an indoor recreation center.

In addition to Smugglers’ Notch Resort lodging there are also some great lodging options nearby like the Club Wyndham Smugglers’ Notch just a one minute drive from the mountain or the Sterling Ridge Log Cabin Resort located 4 miles and 9 minutes from Smugglers’ Notch Resort. In the town of Jeffersonville you can also find the Deer Run Motor Inn and the Smugglers’ Notch Inn.

If you like to stay in more homey like properties, don’t forget to look for Airbnb near Smugglers’ Notch as well! There are a wide range of prices, sizes and proximity to ski mountains and all the other attractions the region has to offer.

Does Smugglers’ Notch Resort Have Night Skiing?

At the top of Smuggler's Notch.
At the top of Smuggler’s Notch. Photo Credit: Tracy Lee Carroll (Flickr CC)

Smugglers’ Notch Resort does offer some night action. Their Night School for Jibbing is a great way to get into freestyle riding and skiing after hours. The Night School consists of a one hour instruction session followed by a one and a half hour practice session.

The Night School charges an extra fee and operates for the 2022 season Tuesday and Wednesday 4:30-7:00. The fee also includes rental equipment! Be sure to sign up before 3:30pm at the Smugglers’ Notch ticket office!

Other than the Night School for Jibbing, there is no night skiing. There is so much terrain to explore like glades, terrain parks and the Morse Highlands that you’ll definitely want to ski or ride Smugglers’ during the daylight hours.

The Best Time to Visit Smugglers’ Notch

There are so many activities year round to do at Smugglers’ Notch that there really isn’t a “best time” to visit. It depends on what your interests are! The best skiing and snowboarding is definitely between the months of December and March while the best mountain biking can be done in the summer months or even in the fall.

Does Smugglers’ Have a Ski Shop?

There are a few ski shops at Smugglers! 3 Mountain Outfitters located in the Resort Village is where you can find the best quality outerwear and apparel such as base layers, casual wear, helmets, gloves, sunglasses and kids’ outerwear! There is also a satellite store at the base of Madonna/Sterling also offers cold weather gear as well as discounted outerwear.

Located at the base of Morse Mountain is 3 Mountain Equipment- your one stop shop to buy used or new gear as well as for Smugglers’ Notch equipment rental. Be sure to stop here for the latest in ski and snowboard gear such as name brand skis, poles, boots and boards. This is also the demo center where every Tuesday for a small fee you can demo the year’s top skis and snowboards. 3 Mountain Equipment also offers tuning and repairs as well as daily rentals.

In addition to the resort shops, the surrounding area is full of quaint and quirky shops where you can find groceries, specialty foods, beer and wine, apparel and much more!

Terrain Parks at Smugglers’ Notch

Riding the chairlifts at Smuggler's Notch.
Riding the chairlifts at Smuggler’s Notch. Photo Credit: Tracy Lee Carroll (Flickr CC)

Looking to get a little freestyle action in? You’ll be sure to find some fun features at one of the Smugglers’ Notch Terrain Parks (there are 6 to be exact)! Ranging from the Burton Treehouse Riglet Park for the smallest riders (3-5 years old) to The Zone which is Smuggs’ biggest park showcasing large features for those expert freestylers. See below for more park info:

Log Jam: A beginner friendly park located on the Log Jam trail in the Morse Highlands area, serviced by its own lift. Here you can find small rails, a box and rollers.

Birch Run: An intermediate park with small to medium features at the base of Sterling Mountain. This park is designed to be a flow park meaning that you can find your line and hit more than one feature in one run!

Flowground: Located on Madonna Mountain, Flowground is a park that’s bound to make anyone smile! This park is on intermediate terrain and is full of rollers, berms, banks and bowls. There are no jumps here or classic park features, its truly one of a kind. Don’t miss this one!

Knight’s Revenge: This is a natural feature park located in an intermediate – advanced gladed area. Here you’ll find log slides, rails, bank turns, rock jumps and even a quarter pipe at the end. Check for the hidden features located “off the beaten path”.

The Zone: Located on Sterling Mountain this is Smuggs’ most challenging park. This park is accessible from the Sterling T-bar and is full of big jumps, rails with curves and kinks as well as urban style take-offs. This park is definitely for the experienced freestyle rider or skier!

Is Smugglers’ Notch a Good Mountain for Beginners?

Absolutely! Smugglers’ Notch is a perfect mountain for beginners! Not only do they have a wide variety of beginner and intermediate terrain, they also have a great ski and ride school! In addition to their regular group and private lessons for adults and kids, they also have the Night School for Jibbing where you can learn the ins and outs of freestyle riding!

For the first-timers, the learning center is also equipped with Smugglers’ Notch magic carpet so you can get the hang of being on snow without having to get on the chairlift just yet.

Does Smugglers’ Notch Make Snow?

Yes! Smuggs makes snow on 62% of their terrain. This 62% of terrain is divided between its 3 mountain peaks and includes mostly beginner and intermediate terrain. The more advanced terrain is usually left to mother nature.

Trails – Some of the Favorites

Trails at Smuggler's Notch.
Trails at Smuggler’s Notch. Photo Credit: Rudi Riet (Flickr CC)

Smugglers’ Notch boasts 78 trails spread over 27 trail miles. That’s a lot of terrain to shred! For the runs you absolutely can’t miss check out the list below, organized by skill level.


  • Midway
  • Curley’s Cutback
  • Lower Morse Liftline


  • Upper Chilcoot
  • Upper Roadrunner
  • Moonshiner’s Glades


  • The Black Hole (the only triple black diamond in the East).
  • Snakebite
  • Upper Liftline

Pro Tip: In addition to alpine skiing and snowboarding, Smugglers Notch also has some excellent cross country ski trails and snowshoe trails!

Breweries near Smugglers’ Notch

After a long day on the slopes, there’s nothing more refreshing than a cold craft beer. And one of the things Vermont is known for is its spectacular and famous craft breweries. So when in Vermont, its almost a requirement to visit one. Luckily there are many breweries near Smugglers’ Notch that are just a quick drive away.

Brewster River Pub and Brewery is right next to Smuggs (just a quarter of a mile). A bit further in Jeffersonville you can also find the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery as well as Red Leaf Gluten-Free Brewing.

In Morrisville, VT about half an hour from Smugglers’ Notch Resort there are a myriad of cool and funky breweries like Rock Art Brewery, Lost Nation Brewery and Soulmate Brewing Company to name a few. Closer to Stowe there are also many more craft breweries to explore.

Summer Activities

In the summer months, Smugglers’ Notch is just as exciting as during the winter. Some of the highlighted activities in the summer include: canoeing and kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and zip-line canopy. there’s also a disc golf course as well as a waterpark!

Finally, the Smugglers’ Notch area of Vermont if full of natural water reservoirs and excellent hiking trails! The Long Trail passes over Mt. Mansfield and is one of the most historic hiking trails in the country!


Smugglers’ Notch Resort has something for everyone- every month of the year! Certainly, you won’t be disappointed by the great skiing terrain and wide variety of activities to get moving and get outdoors. Smugglers’ Notch is truly a four season family resort! So go check it out!

What are your favorite ski trails at Smuggs? Let us know in the comments below!

Please share this post:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Send this to a friend