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Lamoille County Planning Commission

 

Smugglers Notch Scenic Highway

 Smugglers Notch Scenic Highway 

Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Highway, Vermont's most dramatic road, passes through picturesque forests, bold rock outcroppings, and over a shoulder of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest mountain. It is a 3½ mile corridor along seasonal VT Route 108 in the Towns of Cambridge and Stowe between Stowe Mountain and Smugglers’ Notch Resorts This scenic highway lies within the Smugglers’ Notch State Park and Mt. Mansfield State Forest. It is the first officially designated “Scenic Highway” in the State of Vermont.

The Notch is a convenient route for residents and visitors commuting to the area resorts. It contains an on-road portion of the Long Trail and is used both summer and winter, when it is a destination for ice-climbers from around the world.

Smugglers' Notch Fact Sheet - Stormwater & Parking Improvements

 

Notch Scenic Highway Parking Area and Stormwater Project

The Lamoille County Planning Commission (LCPC), on behalf of the Smugglers’ Notch Partners, is working to complete environmental restoration along the segment of Vermont Route 108 (VT 108) between Stowe and Cambridge, the Smugglers’ Notch Scenic Highway, to preserve and restore the Notch’s natural beauty and landscape. The project will include reestablishing native vegetation, improving stormwater management, and establishing designated parking areas along the Notch Road.

The Smugglers’ Notch Parking and Stormwater Improvement Project is contained between the gates on either side of the Notch Road beginning just north of Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe and extending approximately 2 miles north to the Smugglers’ Notch Visitor Center in Cambridge. Native vegetation will be restored along the corridor using a special seed mix formulated for this project to reintroduce native plant life to areas where the natural environment has been destroyed.

Several existing parking areas will be reclaimed as natural spaces and protected using naturally occurring elements such as rock and timber delineators. In addition, this project will provide new, and enhance existing, designated parking areas to discourage the use of unofficial parking locations and prevent future destruction while maintaining the natural environment, reducing congestion, and increasing safety along the corridor.

This project includes additional environmental benefits such as refinements to stormwater management, reductions of paved surfaces, and improvements to stream buffers. The various enhancements to stormwater management will reduce phosphorus and sediment loads in local waterways. Construction began in spring 2023 and was substantially completed by the fall 2023. Some minor refinements will be added in Spring 2024.

Stay tuned for additional projects that will continue to benefit the environment in this unique area.

 The Barnes Camp Visitor Center 

The Barnes Camp Visitor Center, located at the southern foot of Smugglers’ Notch, is the first stop for visitors looking for information about the area’s wealth of scenic, historic, cultural, recreational, and natural resources. This beautifully restored historic structure welcomes visitors with an engaging environment, encouraging all to responsibly explore and understand the Notch, Long Trail, Mount Mansfield, and the surrounding region.

LCPC facilitates meetings of the Barnes Camp Board of Directors.  For more information about the Visitor Center and other efforts to enhance the Smugglers' Notch region, visit the Friends of Smugglers' Notch Facebook page. You may also visit the Green Mountain Club's Barnes Camp Visitor Center Web page for more information about the facilities available at the Visitor Center.

 

The Boardwalk at Barnes Camp 

The five-foot-wide Boardwalk is approximately an eighth of a mile long and is a universally accessible portion of the Long Trail. The Boardwalk is built on spiral piers over a wetland and offers stunning, and previously unavailable, views of the Notch.