A Day in Smugglers’ NotchJuly 23, 2018
by SCOTT WALTERS, ARBORTREK CANOPY ADVENTURES
Since 1921, when the State of Vermont improved Route 108 through Smugglers’ Notch to accommodate automobile traffic, visitors of Stowe have been making the pilgrimage through the Notch and its tight hairpin turns. The journey through the Notch is spectacular in and of itself with towering cliffs, gigantic boulders and lush vegetation. It is awe inspiring! Simply put, a drive through the Notch is a must do for any Stowe visitor.
However, don’t let the journey stop at the top. Discover a range of activities for adventurers of all ages on the other side of the Notch. If you are gearing up to smuggle like a local, you’re going to want to hit up these fan favorites:
Sterling Pond Trail Hike
Start your day by taking in the views at Vermont’s highest, stocked fishing pond. The hike presents enough challenge to delight the experienced hiker while remaining accessible to novice hikers and families traveling with young children. Leaving from the parking area at the top of the Notch, the 2.2 mile round trip takes around 1.5 to 2.0 hours to complete. Hikers who complete the stepped trail are rewarded by a ridgeline with expansive views of the region and a tree-lined pond for fishing and dipping.
Locals’ tip: Make the short trip to the top of the Sterling Chairlift and take in views of the Lamoille Valley.
ArborTrek Canopy Adventures
1239 Edwards Road, Jeffersonville
After your hike, head down the mountain and soar through the Green Mountains on ArborTrek’s award-winning zip line canopy tour, named one of the “Top 10 Zip Lines in the U.S.” by USA Today. If that’s not enough monkeying around, tackle ArborTrek’s Treetop Obstacle Course or test your climbing prowess and nerve on the Climbing Adventure. Little trekkers, as young as 4 years of age, can join the fun on the ArborTrek Junior course.
Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center
1239 Edwards Road, Jeffersonville, VT
Take a hike and toss some discs on the same grounds as the best in the world. Rated one of the Top 10 Disc Golf Destinations in the World, the Smugglers’ Notch Disc Golf Center has been selected to host the 2018 PDGA World Championships on September 2 – 9.
Boasting two 18-hole, championship courses (each with four tee boxes to accommodate varying levels of play and skill), Smugglers’ Notch provides the perfect place to start or to improve your game. Discs are available for purchase and rent at the Pro Shop, open daily during the summer from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits
64 Vermont Route 104, Cambridge
After a long day of hiking, zip lining and disc golfing, it’s time to rest and relax. Wrap up the day at Boyden Winery with a wine-tasting and cheese platter. Located just 12 minutes from Smugglers’ Notch along the Lamoille River, the family-run winery produces wines, ciders and spirits. The larger fourth-generation farm complex also produces sustainable beef, maple and liquor products and hosts weddings and large events.
Take a scenic, adventurous drive through Smugglers’ Notch in Stowe, Vermont and discover activities for all ages. From zip lining and obstacle courses, to wine tastings, disc golf and day activities for families – this is a day trip you won’t want to miss.
About the author:
Scott Walters is the Marketing Director & Course Manager for ArborTrek Canopy Adventures. ArborTrek offers year-round zip line eco-adventures ranging from the serene to the extreme. Escape the everyday rush and soar through the wilds of the Green Mountains of Northern Vermont. ArborTrek has been listed as one of the “10 Best Zipline Courses in the USA” by USA Today and as one of the “World’s Coolest Zip Lines” by Travel + Leisure.