I have been exploring Vermont for a few days now, and I am completely enamoured with the beauty and brilliance of the Green Mountain State.
My travels have brought me to Smugglers’ Notch Resort, a four-season resort known as “America’s Family Resort” that several magazines also refer to as the No. 1 kid-friendly resort in eastern North America. Almost immediately upon my arrival, I see that those magazines could be right. The information guide I’m given at the reception desk tells me all about the activities available for kids and adults alike, and let me tell you, the choices are outstanding! I check into a great suite with a kitchen and balcony that looks out over the pond and the mountains. After settling in, I set out on a self-guided tour of the entire resort.
Camps for Kids and Activities Galore
As I’m exploring the gorgeous grounds, I pass a group of 3-to-4-year-old children, accompanied by a counsellor, holding a huge parachute filled with a mass of plastic balls. As I watch, I can’t help but smile as they lift the parachute, fling the multi-coloured balls into the air and try to catch them again. This is part of the camp for youngsters, and judging by the sound of laughter, it’s a really good camp!
Rounding the next corner, I see seven or eight kids, probably 8 and older, going over ramps and obstacles on bikes; this is the mountain bike school. There are two areas that make up the camp, one for beginners to learn the basics of mountain biking and a skills park for the more experienced.
It’s almost time for my first scheduled activity, and as I work my way toward the meeting point, I pass people playing disc golf, families splashing around in one of the eight seasonal swimming pools, kids at tennis camp, and even a young man flyboarding over Bootleggers’ Basin. For those not in the know, flyboarding allows you to elevate in the air using water jet propulsion technology. That’s right; it’s about as close to flying as you can get. This place is amazing!
Children's Camp at Smugglers' Notch, Vermont
Picnic With a Llama, and Swing Like a Monkey
The first activity I selected was the Llama Trek. My llama, named DJ, is quite the character. After petting and brushing him, I take him for a walk along one of the trails with my lunch neatly packed on his back. I never realized how cool llamas were; the experience was absolutely delightful. After my picnic with DJ on the wooded hillside, I scope out my next planned activity with ArborTrek Canopy Adventures – including the eight-zip line canopy tour and treetop obstacle course.
The obstacle course has more than 70 obstacles that range from easy to very difficult. I make my way over suspension bridges and balance beams, down zip lines and along rope swings – to mention just a few. It was hard work at times, but excellent fun and something I would love to do again!
After a thrilling day of activities, I opt to relax with a meal at one of the on-site restaurants, the Hearth & Candle, where the cuisine is delicious, service superb and the local craft beer very tasty. As I enjoy the atmosphere, I decide to return to Smuggs this winter, and see how the cold weather activities compare to the summer ones – I, for one, think they will be just as good!
Llama Trek In Smugglers' Notch, Vermont