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Smugglers' Notch Resort, Vermont

Vermont in the Fall


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What we offer:
In the beautiful Green Mountains of Vermont,
Smugglers' Notch Resort welcomes active families
who enjoy soft adventures in the outdoors. During
the summer guides lead hiking, rock climbing,
fresh water kayaking and fishing outings while
children 6 weeks to 17 years enjoy the
award-winning all-day nature, game and activity
programs on site.

The winter focus is on skiing, snowboarding and
backcountry adventures on three mountains connected
by a network of 78 trails and open forrested terrain.
Smuggs main appeal is to families because of its
age-inclusivelessons, equipment rental and variety of
nature and adventure programs both winter and summer.

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ski vermont

Smugglers' Notch Resort, Vermont, USA Smugglers' Notch Resort offers a family vacation experience in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains Smugglers' Notch is a ski and summer Resort  tucked into the beautiful Green Mountains of northern Vermont, located 45 minutes east of Burlington and Lake Champlain.

The purpose-built Resort Village is comprised of several neighborhoods. Each features a community center with swimming facilities and gathering rooms and is connected to the Village Center by a free on-demand shuttle service that simplifies getting around the Resort. 

Smugglers' provides a dance card full of activities and programs, including specifically designed eco-friendly ones, that families may choose from to shape their own unique vacations. With Smugglers' emphasis on fun and learning, guests just orienting themselves to eco-friendly travel will find Smugglers' Notch a good place to begin, especially during the summer, winter and fall months.

Summer Hike, climb, kayak, fish, swim, and play all day in the mountains surrounding the Resort, then sleep tight all night in the comfortable lodgings of a purpose-built Resort Village. Each new day brings fresh mountain air and new tours of discovery that Smugglers' has prepared. Children find their own adventures in day-long kids programs that emphasize the options of Nature & Hiking, Adventure & Games, Arts & Crafts, or Sound & Stage and that also focus on water play at one of Smugglers' four water facilities - Bootleggers' Basin, Notchville Park, Courtside Pool or Mountainside Pool.

Smugglers' offers 20-plus weekly guided hikes, walks and wikes for a mix of physical abilities and interests. These range from a Family Ties River Walk that is rated easy on level terrain and takes about one hour to the Mt. Mansfield Summit Hike that is a six-hour strenuous climb. A sampling of other outings that are specifically eco-oriented demonstrate the diversity and style of Smugglers' various hiking adventures:

Where Does the Water Go? Walk.

What happens when rain becomes runoff, and how can it pose a threat to the environment? Smugglers' has a wide variety of natural storm water treatment systems throughout the resort, and this guided walk visits many of them as well as the Rain Garden. Led by Smuggs environmental staff, this 1 ½ hour walk is educational for both adults and kids.

The Living Machine Tour

Showcases a unique wastewater treatment solution. Plants, flowers and even a few critters make their homes in a specially built greenhouse where they purify effluent through their growth and consumption of grey water. Guests are guided through the Living Machine, a bright and odorless glass structure, by a knowledgeable operator who explains the process. The Living Machine Tour has been added to the Smuggs Village Intro Wike which explores the Village and surrounding area as well.

Nature and conservation

Nature and conservation are discussed by guides in many of Smugglers' daily hikes. For example, the story of Smugglers' efforts to protect bear habitat is part of the Bears & Berries Wike for families. During the River Walk guides discuss stream bank restoration and erosion controls that preserve water quality. In the Rum Runner's Wike and Bootleggers' Basin Wike environmental controls instituted to monitor snowmaking water usage and stream flow retention become part of the topical delivery.

For other activities guests may participate in woodland mini-golf, a disk golf course in the woods surrounding the Tennis Center, tennis lessons and round-robins, golf lessons and driving range, early evening entertainment for families in the form of Splash Parties and Marko's Magic Show, and nightly entertainment for adults-only after dark. All the options (many included in the vacation package and some fee-based) allow each family member to participate in the ways that speak to his or her preferences. Many of the events are appropriate for the whole family to enjoy together:

- The "Trash? Or No Trash?" event is a weekly series of play dates orchestrated to involve family members in a single activity. To participate in the Trash Sculpture families bring clean man-made materials to the presentation site and with Vermont's basic bonding materials of baling twine and duct tape add their "found" or recyclable items to the sculpture to see how art is created from throw-away items.

- Bird Gardens with comfortable seating lure Smugglers' guests to quiet observation of the winged creatures who visit the feeders, baths, and houses in these habitats. Binoculars on loan from the FunMeister's Clubhouse at the Resort enhance focus and identification. Also available for loan is a special Birds for Kids pack that includes a Stokes Beginner's Guide to Birds - Eastern Region and kid-sized binoculars. (For nature buffs, Smugglers' recommends the Birds and Bloomers Walk, an easy wander with a guide where adults and kids learn how to identify local birds and wildflowers.)

Children are Smugglers' special guests. In the summer the 10:00 am to 4:00 pm day camps lead kids ages 3 - 15 outdoors for swimming, hiking, and playing traditional and new games. Older teens up to age 17 may choose their own a la carte activities schedule that includes an overnight hike and cookout if they wish. Even six week old infants are welcomed and cuddled at Treasures child care center that also has play space for youngsters up to age three.

The FamilyFest Vacation package rates for the summer (2008) begin at $275 per night for a family of three for the complete program including resort condominium lodging, daily children's programs, adult adventures, daily guided hikes, teen centers, eight pools and four waterslides plus many many family activities. Details at http://www.smuggs.com/pages/summer/packages.php



In winter active families enjoy skiing and snowboarding on three interconnected mountains with a 2,610 ft. vertical rise and 78 trails. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and guided winter walking are also popular.

Groups and extended families are welcome to customize their vacations to add special adventures to the existing programs. For example, Boy Scouts may earn Merit Badge certification. A

All youngsters are invited to the weekly Science Show performed by the Wacky Winter Wizard and his assistant Professor Pinhead, and the Broadway-style Showtime Theatre that stars Smugglers' mascots Billy Bob Bear and Mogul Mouse. This madcap production teaches a mountain safety or nature lesson in a 'musical' and participatory format. Local artists offer classes in sculpting, colonial tin punching, and painting with acrylics.

Smugglers' also strives to offer families plenty of opportunities to play together in the snowy season with tube sliding on Sir Henry's Hill and the Airboard Family Fun Race. Here is a sampling of snowshoe treks appropriate for families:

- Our Forest Heritage offers insight into Vermont's local history with stops to see and learn about the sweet liquid of the Maple tree, to find signs of the black bear's favorite (beech) trees and discover signs of resident deer and moose.

- Where's the Bear? is a hunt on snowshoes to learn about one of the most magnificent and interesting yet elusive animals that makes its home in the Vermont forest. Visits to a variety of habitat the black bear might use during a yearly cycle and lessons on the types of plants and animals that support these seasonal activities are within a comfortable trek from the Nordic Center.

The Club Smugglers' Advantage Package rates for the winter (2007/2008) begin at $109 per night per adult and $95 per youth (17 and under). For each person this includes the Resort's fully-equipped condominium lodging, a daily ski pass to all three mountains, daily all-day ski or snowboard camp or lessons for ages 3-17, group lessons for beginning adults and an activities pass to the Nordic Center for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and winter walking.

An outdoor ice skating area, indoor swimming pools and the FunZone indoor family play center are other components of the package. A supervised teen center with a "no parents allowed" policy is open throughout the evening. A selection of family evening entertainment is included plus other fee-based activities are available such as massage and Airboarding.

More details at http://www.smuggs.com/pages/winter/packages.php


In the autumn Smugglers' offers an Eco-Adventure package (among others) that caters particularly to families with young children not constrained by school schedules. Children enjoy half-day and full-day programs with lunch at Treasures child care center which is fully certified by the state of Vermont to care for ages six weeks through six years. These programs are fun, learning and outdoor oriented and are included so parents may be free for their own outdoor excursions.

The components of this particular vacation package entitle guests to guided hikes and naturalist tours of the surrounding forest, a rental of the Segway personal transporter for self exploration on woodland trails, an evening guided wildlife watch canoe trip and additional hours of canoe or kayak use for exploration at will on local waterways. In the afternoons a program called Family Ties reconnects parents with their youngsters for different adventures such as The Nature Trek that explores forests and fields bordering the Resort Village.

Guided day tours to See Vermont Foliage, to a local vineyard for a Wine & Cheese Tasting, or to try one's luck at Fly Fishing keep driving to a minimum for guests in search of an outing and a chance to find the brightest red and gold colored hillside along the journey. There are many local harvest festivals to enjoy as well as orchards offering pick-your-own apples. The rural landscape of Vermont is particularly picturesque in the fall when the green fields and meadows frame the characteristic white clapboard villages against a backdrop of the mountains in their fall-colored splendor.

From September 1 - October 13, 2008, the rates are the lowest of the year. The AutumnFest package begins at $330 for two nights (four people). More details at http://www.smuggs.com/pages/fall/promotions/Fall_Packages.php


Smugglers' Notch Resort and Village

Smugglers' is a self-contained Resort comprised of 650 condominium homes in four neighborhoods. In the center of the village there is a welcome and check-in center, several restaurants and lounges, sports and rental shops, a grocery and deli, post office, Nordic and tennis center, and Treasures child care center. During the winter months two base lodges, eight lifts, 78 trails on 310 acres, plus over 750 acres of woods available between trails make up the ski and snowboard terrain and network. Twenty-three kilometers of machine tracked trails out of 30 are open for cross-country skiing and ski skating. Additionally there are 24 km of dedicated snowshoe trails. The average annual snowfall is 312 inches.

The Resort took its name from the nearby rocky mountain pass (Vermont Route 108, now a scenic byway) that was a secret foot trail for smugglers in the early 1800s and a hiding place for contraband in the 1920s during Prohibition. What began as a ski hill for the tiny local community of Jeffersonville fifty years ago has evolved into a full service winter and summer Resort with award-winning family activities and programs.

Awards and Accolades

Smugglers' has received many awards for its unrivaled attention to family fun including a ten year run as #1 in North America for Family Programs as voted by subscribers of SKI magazine. The Resort has also been recognized as one of the "Top Ten Getaways for Tiny Travelers" by the Family Travel Forum, as the Best Ski Area in Vermont by the local Seven Days Weekly Newspaper Readers' Pick, for the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in the Carbon Footprint Reduction category by Vermont Governor James Douglas.

Smugglers' is one of only two companies in Vermont to receive the Environmental Leader designation The Environmental Leader designation recognizes an exemplary environmental management program focused on compliance and minimization of environmental impacts by the Vermont Agency for Natural Resources. Smugglers' is also considered a Gold Crown Resort in the Resorts Condominium International (RCI) exchange system.

EcoTourism Policies

Smugglers' policy of environmental stewardship pervades all of the Resort's activities. The development and maintenance programs are guided by principles of land, water and energy conservation, by forest and wildlife habitat preservation, and by maintaining Vermont's water quality and aesthetic beauty. The Resort seeks to raise the environmental awareness of guests and employees, and to broaden their knowledge and appreciation through educational programs along with the active and passive use of the land for year-round recreation.

Some of the efforts initiated over the last twenty-two years:

*Recycling program for guests and employees throughout the Resort; recycling materials from deconstructed buildings, recycling vehicle tires and computers

*Water conservation practiced by installing flow restrictors in toilets and faucets, thermal pool covers, water-saving clothes and dishwaters, and by recycling water from pools on to clay tennis courts

*All building construction is completed with a 5-star energy rating; leftover new building materials are used in other projects

*Study of black bear habitat and preservation of bear corridors

*Banned herbicide use

*Reduced vehicle traffic within Resort with shuttle service

*Implemented a No Idling Policy

*Ski Cool - a program for skiing guests to offset energy expenses related to skiing such as travel to Resort and lift operations.

*Endorsed an Environmentally Preferred Products Purchasing Policy

*Offer educational nature programs that inform guests of local ecosystems and human impact on the environment; foster appreciation of natural surroundings through hikes (summer) and snowshoe outings (winter), inform guests and employees about environmental initiatives through articles in weekly employee newsletter and monthly online newsletter to guests.

*Participate in Vermont's annual Green-Up Day (May), Resort Green-Up Day, Lamoille River Clean Up. Teamed with the Nature Conservancy of Vermont to eliminate invasive plants from Resort grounds

*Smugglers' is a corporate member of the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, the Green Mountain Club, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, the Vermont Business for Social Responsibility, and the Vermont Nature Conservancy.

Smugglers' Environmental Policy Statement and additional information on Smugglers' various initiatives may be found at: http://www.smuggs.com/pages/universal/environment/index.php

A list of Environmental Awards and Resort Awards may be found at http://www.smuggs.com/pages/universal/press/awards.php

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