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Smugglers Notch

rjlafferty

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I am considering booking a vacation for next year at Smugglers Notch. I will be traveling with a 17 year old, a 20 year old and a 22 year old. We are looking for quiet, family time with perhaps one activity a day. We are low key. We enjoy, cycling, hiking, canoeing, reading and relaxing. Kids want to do Ben and Jerrys and perhaps touring the covered bridges.

I am confused as to booking through Wyndham. There are many non wyndham managed units available but I do not know which building I should consider. Any help would be appreciated.
 

WinniWoman

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I am considering booking a vacation for next year at Smugglers Notch. I will be traveling with a 17 year old, a 20 year old and a 22 year old. We are looking for quiet, family time with perhaps one activity a day. We are low key. We enjoy, cycling, hiking, canoeing, reading and relaxing. Kids want to do Ben and Jerrys and perhaps touring the covered bridges.

I am confused as to booking through Wyndham. There are many non wyndham managed units available but I do not know which building I should consider. Any help would be appreciated.
I have owned there since 1999. I am not a Wyndham owner, however. I have stuck with my fixed weeks.

If I were you, I would look into units in North Hill, Highland Hill or West Hill, which have their own pools and small gyms. The pools are more quiet at these buildings- less small children as most of them are at the so called
public pools with the water slides and so forth. Also, staying in those areas in quiet compared to the village where there is more activity going on.

A benefit to being in the village in the older units (and many of them are very nice, btw) is the convenience to the village, though the resort has very good free shuttle service or you can rent a golf cart to get around. Of course, you can also walk, but know that Vermont ain't flat! The village has a couple of restaurants, and ice cream and pizza shop, a coffee shop, a convenience store, a clothing shop. In summer they have a comedy club and hypnosis show at night. There is also a small bar/lounge called Bootleggers, with a band and karaoke some nights.

The resort has lots of fee based activities that you could all take part in, though often you can do these activities on your own for less money. I recommend driving up the toll road up Mt. Mansfield and then hiking to the summit- on a clear day. Very awesome. This is Vermont"s highest peak. Or- if you have the skills and energy, you can hike it from the bottom up. Underhill State Park is a good spot for that- or the resort will have a guided hike to take you up in a group. They also have many other guided hikes.

There is Arbor Trek Zip lining nearby and also flyboarding at Bootleggers Basin.

Take the Meadowlark Trail up from alongside the West Hill community up to Rum Runners Hideaway (a small reservoir with some water activities)- great views up there.

Walk up the Notchville Park Path past the water park to the other resort reservoir.

Definitely go into the Notch (prepare for a very interesting drive) and explore. You can hike up to Sterling Pond from there- beautiful. Very steep in the beginning. The resort has a hiking map to give you ideas.

For canoeing/Kayaking you can go onto the Lamoille River- the resort has some guided tours for that- or just do it on your own. You can rent canoes or kayaks right in Jeffersonville by the river. Also- Waterbury Reservoir is great for that. You can rent the boats in Stowe. I persoanlly prefer Waterbury reservoir because it has more water (the Lamoille tends to be low) and it is more scenic. But it is a drive- out past Ben and Jerry's.

There is lots of mountain biking around, or if you want to do a flat, paved and beautiful scenic trail, I recommend the Stowe Bike Path. elove it and ride it every year. You can rent bikes right at Mountain Ops at the start of the trail, or several other places further down. It takes you right into Stowe where you can all have something to eat and stroll the shops and so on.

BTW- visit the Trapp Family Lodge. They give a tour there also.

Also in Jeffersonville is the Lamoille Rail trail. And- if you like you can rent Electric Bikes in Morrisville and start the trail from there. A lot of fun.

If you don't mind driving, I recommend going into Burlington. Tons to do and see there. Lake Champlain is awesome. Take a ride on the Spirit of Ethan Allen ship. They have a lovely tour of the Lake- my favorite spot in Vermont. BTW- there is an awesome bike path along the lake. It starts in Burlington (you can rent bikes right there) and takes you out towards the islands via the Colchester Causeway- which juts out right into the lake with views of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains- and then ends at an opening that allows the boats to go through. There you can take a free, 2 minute bike ferry across the water to South Hero Island and continue or turn around before the ferry and head back to Burlington.

If you are going to eat out at all, I recommend 158 Main street in Jeffersonville ( a great local place) or The Family Table, also in Jeffersonville. In Stowe there are lots of great restaurants. We always eat at Harrisons (reservations- small place) before attending the Stowe Theatre, which puts on several plays seasonally.

BTW- there are movie theaters in Stowe and in Essex Junction and Morrisvlle.

And- we come up from Hudson valley NY via the Northway and Ferry across the lake. We do food shopping in Essex Junction (Hannafords). There is also a Price Chopper there and a health food store. There is a Shaws in Stowe and a Hannafords in Morrisville.

For food shopping a bit closer there is Hanleys General Store right in Jeffersonville and the Cambridge Market General Store in Cambridge. Also in Jericho there is a general store.

The week will go fast. If you need any other recommendations, feel free to ask.

What time of year are you visiting?
 
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chapjim

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I would add:
The granite quarry at Barre and one of the many maple farms (we visited Goodrich). The hike to the summit of Mt. Mansfield is rigorous -- a lot of climbing up and over rock (not rocks, not boulders -- rock).

We wanted to do (by "do," I mean drive) Mt. Washington but we drove up to the parking lot at Mt. Mansfield on our first full day there and that turned out to be the only day that it wasn't raining. Mt. Washington would have been in clouds.
 
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WinniWoman

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I would add:
The granite quarry at Barre and one of the many maple farms (we visited Goodrich). The hike to the summit of Mt. Mansfield is rigorous -- a lot of climbing up and over rock (not rocks, not boulders -- rock).

We wanted to do Mt. Washington but we did Mt. Mansfield on our first full day there and that turned out to be the only day that it wasn't raining. Mt. Washington would have been in clouds.
Yes- there is so much to see and do in Vermont. I belong to the VT 251 club and have visited almost 200 towns so I am very familiar with lots of the sights. I could give suggestions for all over the state but they are only there for a week. And the OP said they want a low key vacation. LOL!

The granite quarry and Barre cemetery are interesting, but Barre is quite a ride form Smuggs.

I hiked Mt. Mansfiled from Underhill back when i was 42 years old. It's a tough one for sure. Even had to jump over a few crevices. That is why I suggest driving up the toll road and then hiking along the flat, rocky outcroppings to the summit or as far as you feel like it. Great open views. It is not hard at all. Just make sure to take jackets, hats, even gloves possibly. And water. You don't have to walk to the summit if you get tired. You can just walk back to your car.

You could take the gondola up as well- there is a restaurant up there and nice view. But that is not the summit. Also, I think it is more of an adventure driving up the mountain-they give you a CD to listen to as you drive up- great views and stops along the way.

(As for Mt Washington in NH- I would never attempt that- especially now at my age. We did take the steam COG train up on a beautiful clear early summer morning once and it was very awesome! Still, there were clouds up at the top- but they kept moving- so windy. Also some ice around in spots. Loved the whole experience. Beautiful country we live in.)

Maple sugaring only occurs in the early spring- March/April. But interesting to learn about the process. I believe the resort offers a guided walk regarding sugaring. You will notice all the blue sugaring lines tapped into the maple trees in the woods on the resort grounds on your way up to Notchville Park.
 
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bluehende

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When you say cycling I assume you mean road bike. Many of the local roads are great and like others have said the Stowe Bike trail is a paved gem. There us also great mountain biking in the stowe area. Others too but I am familiar with the stowe area . Let me know if you want more info on this.

Hiking is great. The pond hike is great as it is strenuous without being too brutal. Mansfield is not to be taken lightly. The long trail is fairly easy and long. The hells brook trail is challenging to say the least. We climb hells and come down the long trail.

Mt Washington is a tough one. I have a goal to climb it every 10 yrs on the even ones. Did it at 40,50,and 60. We will see about 70.
 

chapjim

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Yes- there is so much to see and do in Vermont. I belong to the VT 251 club and have visited almost 200 towns so I am very familiar with lots of the sights. I could give suggestions for all over the state but they are only there for a week. And the OP said they want a low key vacation. LOL!

The granite quarry and Barre cemetery are interesting, but Barre is quite a ride form Smuggs.

I hiked Mt. Mansfiled from Underhill back when i was 42 years old. It's a tough one for sure. Even had to jump over a few crevices. That is why I suggest driving up the toll road and then hiking along the flat, rocky outcroppings to the summit or as far as you feel like it. Great open views. It is not hard at all. Just make sure to take jackets, hats, even gloves possibly. And water. You don't have to walk to the summit if you get tired. You can just walk back to your car.

You could take the gondola up as well- there is a restaurant up there and nice view. But that is not the summit. Also, I think it is more of an adventure driving up the mountain-they give you a CD to listen to as you drive up- great views and stops along the way.

(As for Mt Washington in NH- I would never attempt that- especially now at my age. We did take the steam COG train up on a beautiful clear early summer morning once and it was very awesome! Still, there were clouds up at the top- but they kept moving- so windy. Also some ice around in spots. Loved the whole experience. Beautiful country we live in.)

Maple sugaring only occurs in the early spring- March/April. But interesting to learn about the process. I believe the resort offers a guided walk regarding sugaring. You will notice all the blue sugaring lines tapped into the maple trees in the woods on the resort grounds on your way up to Notchville Park.
I posted a clarification to my entry. No way I would do Mt. Washington if that means hiking. My 73-year old arthritic hips barely get me out of the parking lot!

BTW, we're trying to exchange into Pollard Brook next August so we can "do" Mt. Washington, the Notches, etc., places I went camping with my parents when I was a kid.
 

WinniWoman

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Lincoln is a great location for exploring the Notches and environs. We own week 31 at Pollard Brook in addition to our week 30 at Smuggs. Even taking a trip from Lincoln down to the Lakes Region is nice.

Good luck with your exchange!
 

chapjim

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Lincoln is a great location for exploring the Notches and environs. We own week 31 at Pollard Brook in addition to our week 30 at Smuggs. Even taking a trip from Lincoln down to the Lakes Region is nice.

Good luck with your exchange!
It's funny. My wife is Chilean and her idea of mountains is the Andes. Still, she appreciates the softer beauty of the mountains in the northeast US and the Smokies in NC and TN. She absolutely loved the Adirondacks on a trip to Lake Placid.
 

missyrcrews

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My family loves Smuggs. It can be as busy or as relaxing as you want it to be. We have done both kinds of vacations there, depending on what we need at the time. I like to be out of the village...but my kids would disagree. Their favorite unit we've had was in Evergreen. It was older, only 2 BR as opposed to the 3 we'd often get...but they could walk to everything. We purchase the Smuggs pass, as my kids are a little younger than yours (14 yr old twins and a 12 yr old) and they really enjoy the pools. Good luck with your decision!
 

WinniWoman

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My family loves Smuggs. It can be as busy or as relaxing as you want it to be. We have done both kinds of vacations there, depending on what we need at the time. I like to be out of the village...but my kids would disagree. Their favorite unit we've had was in Evergreen. It was older, only 2 BR as opposed to the 3 we'd often get...but they could walk to everything. We purchase the Smuggs pass, as my kids are a little younger than yours (14 yr old twins and a 12 yr old) and they really enjoy the pools. Good luck with your decision!

I could be wrong because the whole "benefits' thing is so convoluted, but I don't believe Wyndham owners or exchangers have to purchase a pass to use the public facilities, except for the kids camps and skiing.
 

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RCi exchangers can use the Court pool and possibly the pool associated with their condo (if they are in a newer section). RCI must purchase the Smuggs pass to do acitivities such as fitness classes, guided hikes, etc. I was told you need the pass to access the lake/swim area (no first hand knowledge). I confirmed this a few months ago before we exchanged in for next summer again.
In the past, some pay activities, like disc golf could be paid for a la carte without the pass. RCI can also do the vendor based activities for a fee--such as Llama walk, fly fishing lessons, fly fishing excursion. RCI can rent equipment--bikes, etc.
We are going next summer and do not plan to get the pass. Our older teens will do DIY creek walks, mountain hikes, the zipline-ropes course nearby but not asociated with Smuggs, Montreal for the day, and maybe use the Court pool/hottub in the evening.
The campfires and evening entertainment (someone singing, etc.) are outside and they don't check passes, so everyone can go as well as the "county fair" night where outside vendors come and sell food/drink/crafts, and they had some entertainment.
For older teens, unless they are going to use the extra pools with slides (including one with a raft) or the lake area, I don't see the Smuggs pass necessary at all.
Above is for RCI--no info on Wyndham.
 
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mbh

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RCi exchangers can use the Court pool and possibly the pool associated with their condo (if they are in a newer section). RCI must purchase the Smuggs pass to do acitivities such as fitness classes, guided hikes, etc. I was told you need the pass to access the lake/swim area (no first hand knowledge). I confirmed this a few months ago before we exchanged in for next summer again.
In the past, some pay activities, like disc golf could be paid for a la carte without the pass. RCI can also do the vendor based activities for a fee--such as Llama walk, fly fishing lessons, fly fishing excursion. RCI can rent equipment--bikes, etc.
We are going next summer and do not plan to get the pass. Our older teens will do DIY creek walks, mountain hikes, the zipline-ropes course nearby but not asociated with Smuggs, Montreal for the day, and maybe use the Court pool/hottub in the evening.
The campfires and evening entertainment (someone singing, etc.) are outside and they don't check passes, so everyone can go as well as the "county fair" night where outside vendors come and sell food/drink/crafts, and they had some entertainment.
For older teens, unless they are going to use the extra pools with slides (including one with a raft) or the lake area, I don't see the Smuggs pass necessary at all.
Above is for RCI--no info on Wyndham.
The Courtside Pool is not accessible without a Smuggs Pass.
 

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Per smuggs website Rci exchanger summer 2019 benefits include use of courtside pool slide and hot tub, but Smuggs pass is needed to access other pools.
 

WinniWoman

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The Courtside Pool is not accessible without a Smuggs Pass.

For owners and renters. Again, the whole thing is convoluted.
 

tschwa2

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RCi exchangers can use the Courtside pool and possibly the pool associated with their condo (if they are in a newer section).
When I was there a few years back RCI exchangers could use the Courtside Pool if you did not have a pool associated with your area. You wouldn't get the Courtside pool plus the area pool. In addition without the Smuggs pass you could not access the slide that was part of the Courtside pool, it was pool only.
 

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I'd hate to be the lifeguard checking people in: which are you--owner, traded back in via Wyndham, RCI exchanger, renter, here on Smuggs promo? My teens don't even like pools anymore--good thing I guess!
 

WinniWoman

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I'd hate to be the lifeguard checking people in: which are you--owner, traded back in via Wyndham, RCI exchanger, renter, here on Smuggs promo? My teens don't even like pools anymore--good thing I guess!
Exactly. It is all so stupid. You can imagine how the owners in the buildings without pools feel. They have to buy a pass or renew their benefits package just to use a pool. even if they use nothing else. yet when they bought, they were told they would always have use of the Courtside pool and hot tubs.

Then add the public use of the pools- local camps from outside the resort (which can at times crowd the 3 "public" pools- Mountainside, Notchville and Courtside) and the day passes for locals.
 

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is anyone aware of a promo package (that includes the sales tour) for a stay at Smuggs? If yes, how can I get it?
 

WinniWoman

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is anyone aware of a promo package (that includes the sales tour) for a stay at Smuggs? If yes, how can I get it?
You have to call them and tell them when you are interested in coming and see what they can offer.
 

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I have owned there since 1999. I am not a Wyndham owner, however. I have stuck with my fixed weeks.

If I were you, I would look into units in North Hill, Highland Hill or West Hill, which have their own pools and small gyms. The pools are more quiet at these buildings- less small children as most of them are at the so called
public pools with the water slides and so forth. Also, staying in those areas in quiet compared to the village where there is more activity going on.

A benefit to being in the village in the older units (and many of them are very nice, btw) is the convenience to the village, though the resort has very good free shuttle service or you can rent a golf cart to get around. Of course, you can also walk, but know that Vermont ain't flat! The village has a couple of restaurants, and ice cream and pizza shop, a coffee shop, a convenience store, a clothing shop. In summer they have a comedy club and hypnosis show at night. There is also a small bar/lounge called Bootleggers, with a band and karaoke some nights.

The resort has lots of fee based activities that you could all take part in, though often you can do these activities on your own for less money. I recommend driving up the toll road up Mt. Mansfield and then hiking to the summit- on a clear day. Very awesome. This is Vermont"s highest peak. Or- if you have the skills and energy, you can hike it from the bottom up. Underhill State Park is a good spot for that- or the resort will have a guided hike to take you up in a group. They also have many other guided hikes.

There is Arbor Trek Zip lining nearby and also flyboarding at Bootleggers Basin.

Take the Meadowlark Trail up from alongside the West Hill community up to Rum Runners Hideaway (a small reservoir with some water activities)- great views up there.

Walk up the Notchville Park Path past the water park to the other resort reservoir.

Definitely go into the Notch (prepare for a very interesting drive) and explore. You can hike up to Sterling Pond from there- beautiful. Very steep in the beginning. The resort has a hiking map to give you ideas.

For canoeing/Kayaking you can go onto the Lamoille River- the resort has some guided tours for that- or just do it on your own. You can rent canoes or kayaks right in Jeffersonville by the river. Also- Waterbury Reservoir is great for that. You can rent the boats in Stowe. I persoanlly prefer Waterbury reservoir because it has more water (the Lamoille tends to be low) and it is more scenic. But it is a drive- out past Ben and Jerry's.

There is lots of mountain biking around, or if you want to do a flat, paved and beautiful scenic trail, I recommend the Stowe Bike Path. elove it and ride it every year. You can rent bikes right at Mountain Ops at the start of the trail, or several other places further down. It takes you right into Stowe where you can all have something to eat and stroll the shops and so on.

BTW- visit the Trapp Family Lodge. They give a tour there also.

Also in Jeffersonville is the Lamoille Rail trail. And- if you like you can rent Electric Bikes in Morrisville and start the trail from there. A lot of fun.

If you don't mind driving, I recommend going into Burlington. Tons to do and see there. Lake Champlain is awesome. Take a ride on the Spirit of Ethan Allen ship. They have a lovely tour of the Lake- my favorite spot in Vermont. BTW- there is an awesome bike path along the lake. It starts in Burlington (you can rent bikes right there) and takes you out towards the islands via the Colchester Causeway- which juts out right into the lake with views of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains- and then ends at an opening that allows the boats to go through. There you can take a free, 2 minute bike ferry across the water to South Hero Island and continue or turn around before the ferry and head back to Burlington.

If you are going to eat out at all, I recommend 158 Main street in Jeffersonville ( a great local place) or The Family Table, also in Jeffersonville. In Stowe there are lots of great restaurants. We always eat at Harrisons (reservations- small place) before attending the Stowe Theatre, which puts on several plays seasonally.

BTW- there are movie theaters in Stowe and in Essex Junction and Morrisvlle.

And- we come up from Hudson valley NY via the Northway and Ferry across the lake. We do food shopping in Essex Junction (Hannafords). There is also a Price Chopper there and a health food store. There is a Shaws in Stowe and a Hannafords in Morrisville.

For food shopping a bit closer there is Hanleys General Store right in Jeffersonville and the Cambridge Market General Store in Cambridge. Also in Jericho there is a general store.

The week will go fast. If you need any other recommendations, feel free to ask.

What time of year are you visiting?
Wow this is great information. We are thinking of the last two weeks in vermont
 

WinniWoman

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WinniWoman

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Sorry July
Lol! Well that's a great time of year to be there! If you go on the Smuggs website and click " Summer" and then up in top " Plan your vacation" - pick "Resort Guide" from the drop down menu just to get an idea of all the activities and how the place operates. It will be this past summer's but at least you will have an idea.

Happy planning!
 

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When I was there a few years back RCI exchangers could use the Courtside Pool if you did not have a pool associated with your area. You wouldn't get the Courtside pool plus the area pool. In addition without the Smuggs pass you could not access the slide that was part of the Courtside pool, it was pool only.
I was just there at the end of August. As a fixed weeks owner in a non-pool building, I could not use any pool without buying a Smuggs pass or a benefits package. Ridiculous. I can go to a Motel 6 and use the pool if I stay in a room there.
 

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Smugglers Notch Resort
Innseason Pollard Brook
I was just there at the end of August. As a fixed weeks owner in a non-pool building, I could not use any pool without buying a Smuggs pass or a benefits package. Ridiculous. I can go to a Motel 6 and use the pool if I stay in a room there.

Agree. That is what is so crazy. Yet an exchanger through RCI can use Courtside. So much for being an owner. SMH......
 
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