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Feeling a Bit Smuggs: Skiing Cambridge, VT

Text & Photography by Tom Richardson

Due to its proximity to Lake Champlain, some 15 miles west, the mountains in and around Cambridge, Vermont, receive an average of 280 inches of snowfall per season. When the cover is thin elsewhere, this part of New England usually has plenty. It’s one reason the venerable Smugglers’ Notch ski resort has retained such a loyal following over its more than 65 years of existence.

Riding the chair lift at one of Smuggs' three mountains.

The 78 downhill trails at “Smuggs” are spread over three mountains, the highest boasting a 2,600-foot vertical rise. Snowmaking operations cover all three, adding to the natural base and frequent powder dumps. The over 1,000 acres of terrain includes trails and wooded glades, gentle novice slopes, groomed cruisers, mogul runs, steeps, terrain parks, race courses, and serious black diamond trails.

The Nordic Ski Center at Smuggs offers groomed crosscountry trails and lessons.

Smuggs offers onsite accommodations in family-style condominium homes, each with fully equipped kitchens, cable TV, internet service, linens, cookware, dishware, utensils and in-home or in-building access to laundry facilities. Daily maid service is available at a nominal fee. Many of the condos are ski-in, ski-out, or within an easy walk of the on-demand Resort Shuttle, which services all of the resort’s village amenities.

These include an arcade and climbing wall, gym and spa, indoor pool and hot tubs, cafeteria, childcare center, tube-slide park, a kids’ learning and fun park, rental center, outdoor skating rink, deli and general store, and the Hearth & Candle Restaurant.

This cozy restaurant serves fine American dining, with entrée options ranging from duck breast to fillet mignon to lobster Tagiatelle. Vegetarian and kid options are also available. Or you might just stick with the appetizers, which include tuna tacos, steamed mussels with chorizo and smoke egg aoli, venison chili, and Vermont cheese plate with roasted garlic, fruit, and crostini. In addition, the restaurant stocks local craft brews and a wide selection of fine wines. It’s a great place to cap off an action-packed day on the trails.


While it’s fair to say that Smuggs is best known for its downhill skiing and snowboarding, it also offers 18 miles of groomed crosscountry ski and snowshoeing trails. These can be accessed via the resort’s Nordic Adventure Center, which also rents equipment. Lessons are available, too.

In terms of outdoor activities, Smuggs has it pretty well covered, but if you’re looking for some musical entertainment, along with some pretty tasty food, head down the road a few miles to Martell’s at the Red Fox. This fun, family-run restaurant features an eclectic menu, a wide assortment of craft brew, and great live music. It’s a fantastic spot to unwind after a long day on the slopes.

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