In 1807 Thomas Jefferson enacted an embargo that prohibited the United States from trading with Great Britain and Canada. This measure was devastating to the people of Vermont because their trade partners in Canada were so much closer than those in other parts of the United States. For those willing to break the law, people began using a break in the rocky land separating the two countries as a passage for trading goods. In time, slaves began escaping to their freedom in Canada by using the very same notch in the rock. When Prohibition came, bootleggers brought alcohol into the United States from Canada by creeping through this point as well. Be sure to see this pass through the Green Mountains when you visit Smugglers’ Notch State Park.
The trails at Smugglers’ Notch State Park will challenge any hiker. There are mainly difficult trails and those that are extremely rugged. But with the rugged treks come spectacular places of beauty. Be sure to see Bingham Falls and the rock formation known as Elephant’s Head. If you have built up your endurance and are ready to summit the highest peak in Vermont, Mt. Mansfield waits for you! Sterling Pond Trail is a favorite of hikers; the pond is stocked with trout.
Smugglers’ Notch State Park is open from May 20 to October 16 each year. (Harsh winters here make a dangerous environment even more terrible.) Admission for ages 14 and older is $4. Children ages 4 to 13 are charged $2, and those younger than 4 are free to enter.