hiking

walking

forest

nature trips

views

birding

wild flowers

wildlife

Welcome to Smugglers Notch State Park. The famous Smugglers Notch is a narrow pass through the Green Mountains. Lined with 1,000-foot cliffs, the winding road is closed in winter. In the earlier days, only a footpath and trail for horses existed here. In 1807, President Thomas Jefferson passed an embargo act forbidding American trade with Great Britain and Canada. This was a severe hardship for northern Vermonters, since Montreal was closer than other markets in the US. Many local people continued illegal trade with Canada, herding cattle and carrying other goods through the Notch. Later, fugitive slaves used the Notch as an escape route to Canada. During the Prohibition years, liquor was smuggled from Canada over the improved road built in 1922. Smugglers Notch State Park was relocated in 2003. The new campground features sites that are further spread out, a new restroom facility that incorporates alternative energy and a location that gives easy access to Bingham Falls. All of the historic structures originally built by the Civilian Conservation Corps were carefully relocated and restored, preserving the work of these pioneering conservationists.

Attempted to summit Mt Mansfield with a friend today, but the snowdepth (26" last 24h) and the steep slopes made snowshoeing almost impossible. Do not attempt this trail right now, I'd say to wait for the snow to compact and for someone to break trail. The white paint marks on the trees are easy to miss, so follow your topo and avoid the cliffs on your left near the summit (above the resort side). It's a beautiful area nonetheless, so I'll give it 3 stars and I'll try again for sure later in the winter.

cross country skiing
1 month ago

Skied from Chase Park to the covered bridge. River and birds beat out the traffic sounds on nearby Rte 108.

It is very difficult. Having said that, I highly recommend it. You will want to go back down after a quarter mile. Don't do it, keep going. You will be rewarded. Take the Adam's Apple trail which will be obvious when you see it, then summit The Chin. I would climb/hike this again in an instant. I did not take the trail back down since I had family waiting for me at the bottom.

I am finally getting around to posting a review of this trail. Hiked this about a year ago on Oct 15, 2017 & it still rates as one of the more relentless hikes I’ve done in New England. You’ll have to exercise some climbing skills especially near the top. Going back down especially in wet weather may be tricky. My knees still ache just thinking about it. That being said - well worth the effort!

2 months ago

I did today 10-30. Lots of ice at the beginning then snow. It was windy. Very windy. From bottom of notch road by the new Boardwalk on Stowe side I started there so w the up and down and back to my car 4 hours. only one sketchy spot at the very beginning of actual trail. I used poles and my Yaktrax. I always use poles. Some deep snow around the pond area in some spots. Very fun hike today. I saw no one. ONE MAN GATHERS WHAT ANOTHER MAN SPILLS.

One of the best hikes And trails! I have ascended via hellbrook at least three times and every time is different. The view on the top is stunning especially if foggy!

Did this trail today and it was quite icy but the view at the top is gorgeous!

Gorgeous hike but with snow and freezing weather (oct 18) the trail almost entirely iced over and was extremely slippery. Completed in just under an hour and a half. Would have been much quicker in warmer conditions or with crampons.
The lake is gorgeous and sooo serene.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful

steep and fun my favorite trail if you like this one try the long trail north up the forhead

hiking
3 months ago

Great quick walk to gorgeous falls.

So let me start of by saying that HARD does NOT do this hellbrook trail justice it is Extremely Hard. It is very challenging especially if you haven't hiked in Vermont before be careful. With that being said, the scenery is absolutely beautiful. You have to scamper, bearcrawl, shimmy up rather large boulders/rocks, go thru areas where there is no visible or actual trailmarkers in some areas and then search for the blue markings that lead your way. I made it to the part where you climb up via some metal bars on rocks that you must pull yourself up thru and turned back because it looked to get more and more treacherous. And let me tell you that the hike back down was no joke ☠☠☠. Be very careful because you really have to shimmy down stuff to get back and words cannot describe the sheer gut renching dread you feel in some areas because there's no good way down. Do NOT attempt this trail if it has been raining unless you have the appropriate gear. Be careful and safe and have fun.

on Mill Trail

3 months ago

Easy walk to beautiful Bingham Falls and beyond. Not very trafficked even on Columbus Day Weekend.

hiking
3 months ago

Today with the weather; cloudy with mist of rain, felt like walking through a rain forest. Especially with the running down stream of the water. Chilly, but with the trek and hear beating, not bad. At the top, walking"around" the pond was closed. Don't know the season or just today. Still a great trek.

Challenging 1 Mile ascent, but it’s very rewarding. Gorgeous views from up there into the Vermont foliage. Took also the Elephant Trail around the Pond, beautiful!

Not for the faint of heart, you need to use your hands as well. One challenge after another never boring, well worth the effort! We’re definitely do it again.

Loved the hike!! Exhausting but worth ever step! They tell you not to go down but that too was an adventure in itself ! would do it again in a heartbeat!

Beautiful, layers of cascades!

Was not prepared for how wet this trail was. More of a scramble than a hike in several places and I'm tall with a long steep. Beautiful though. Took about 2 hours round trip with time to stop at the pond and see the ski hill

I'm a native Vermonter, and somehow I'd never done Mansfield via the Hellbrook Trail until today. It is my new favorite ascent, and it is the business. Conditions were damp and foggy, but not rainy. Consider your boots before you start up this trail. I believe that almost anyone who is interested in tackling a "difficult" hiking trail will be physically capable of crushing this trail, but I would not attempt it unless you're confident in your footwear. A few sketchy sections (you'll know when you get to them) might be made less sketchy by stopping to brush mud/leaves/dust from the soles of your boots (or give them the ol' spit-and-rub if they're dry, though that's unlikely around here). The security that you will get from grippy shoes will mean more thrill and less spill (and a spill on parts of this trail could be very bad). Side note: I'm very afraid of heights, and I survived. A little of the old sit-'n-scooch can get you through the worst bits of the descent; there's no shame in it (well, maybe a little, but it's fine). Descending, by the way, is totally doable as long as you take your time, and choose your steps thoughtfully and deliberately. Happy hiking!

Well maintained trail with cutouts for views of Mt. Mansfield. Various terrain but plenty of flat forest floor to break up the few rocky climbs. About 2 hours for us 65 year olds. As expected, rocky and steeper at the top.

Machu Picchu stairway is a hoot. Bravo GMC!

hiking
3 months ago

Really great trail, nice views of pond. Lots for “stairs” on way up. Can get crowded.

challenging for some but definitely worth it

nature trips
4 months ago

We enjoyed the short hike to the falls. Stairs were wet and steep, make sure you have good shoes, TONS of college kids there jumping off the falls, we watched from the pool below, water was perfect, very refreshing

Don’t start what you can’t finish. This is no hike up a mountain. Scramble & climb more like it. Lots of upper body. If you are not prepared then you can do some damage to yourself. I was able to complete because I had to. As I first stated. When you start, really not easy to go back. That said it’s not easy going up either. I went alone on a very wet rainy day. Also totally unadvisable. Lots of other fun and safer hikes with great views. Do the pinnacle or hunger. These are way easier with only a few challenges near the top. But safe and doable. ONE MAN GATHERS WHAT ANOTHER MAN SPILLS.

This trail is difficult but worth the work. It’s far less crowded, you get an amazing vantage point to Lake of the Clouds as you ascend, and the view of the Chin from the Adams Apple is out of this world. To avoid the stress of even thinking about going back down Hellbrook, follow the Long Trail off the summit, then left to the Cliff Trail, and take the Stowe gondola down the mountain (it’s free!) you’ll then have a mile walk on the road back to where you parked but after what you’ve already done that’s nothing!

Thought this was going to be the easier of the new england summits to reach but was largely mistaken.

Hellbrook is no joke and when wet it will make you think whyyy?? There are many steep sections that will require a lot climbing maneuvers and putting faith in tree roots and slick rocks to grab onto.

The view was one of the best so it was worth it. We had a storm earlier in the morning so we were in and out of clouds for most of it until a clearing at the top presented some unique views and cloud formations.

Take Long Trail down and you will save some stress.

doing this trail 2x in 3 days really made a difference. what I love about this trail is there is almost as much upper body engagement with pulling yourself up over ledges or if you're short, essentially doing tricep dips to get down. trekking poles, for me, on the accent were useless. it had been days since it rained but it looks like this side of the mountain is always wet and muddy. I took the LT out to the road after Profanity. it's. 75 miles back to the car but worth it. hellbrook is a lot of single pass and on the weekend, there's just too many people. my recommendation, Hellbrook up, the Adams Apple is fun with great views of bear pond, rock climbing up to the chin, then profanity down to the LT and road. I also found LT was a knee-saver if that's a concern and here is where trekking poles are nice to have.

This trail whooped our asses. Not for the faint of heart. Brought the dog along and we will both be sleeping for the next two days. Unbelievable views and well worth it. Thankfully there are great breweries nearby (Idletyme).

Was one of the more difficult trails I’ve went on with my wife but def one of the more fun. Had to pull her up a few places. Seriously worth it for the views throughout. Loved it!

Load More