Smugglers' Notch, Vermont: Rank 15 East, 1997


The chairs are ancient and slow and its location is remote, but nobody does a better job of taking care of families than Smugglers’. From daycare to instruction, the area’s kids’ programs and facilities are first-rate and innovative. At daycare check-in, a floor-level fish tank keeps children mesmerized while parents take care of business. Family activities include night tubing, fireworks displays and cozying up beside a bonfire. And Smugglers’ abundance of on-hill condos makes lodging convenient. Uniform package pricing means your condo can range from somewhat worn to brand new. The better units are rented first so book early, especially for busy times. (The Balsams and Trailside Executive units are among the newest.) If you are skiing with anyone below driving age, you can’t go wrong at Smugglers’; the Village is so compact that you can let kids run wild without fearing for their safety.

What Smugglers’ does well for families it does just as well for expert skiers: The area has outstanding terrain. Not too far from Stowe, it shares Mt. Mansfield’s steep and wily character. And you can count on reliable snow conditions: The snow flies strong and hard this far north, and Smugs’ has significantly improved its snowmaking in recent years.

What’s New A terrain park with halfpipe (pipe cutter, too) and more additions to an already great kids’ learning park, including a balance bar.
Medals Gold Family Programs, Challenge, Resort Service; Silver Snow Quality, Grooming, Terrain, Value, Lodging
High/Low Rank Family Programs (1); Accessibility (79)
Don’t Miss Skiing from Smugglers’ to Stowe on the interconnect program; feeding the goats and sheep in the petting zoo.
Reader Remarks “Just wonderful for families. Can I move there?” “Hard to get to and a poor lift system.”