Smuggs is billed as one of the best family-friendly resorts in North America. But we think their marketing folk are selling Ol’ Smuggles short. Smuggs isn’t just family-friendly, it’s people-friendly – heck, it’s freaking Disney Land on a big beautiful white mountain.
Upon arrival the resort hands you a shiny booklet – 50 pages filled with activities with something for the entire brood. Snow related activities include cross-country skiing, snow-mobile touring, dog-sledding, a dessert snowshoe trek, and air-boarding, to name but a few. New for this season is a very cool program for older teenagers which includes ice climbing, backcountry snowshoeing or winter outdoor survival tips. For downtime, there’s a heated indoor pool and hot tub.
But what about the skiing? Don’t let that fuzzy feeling fool you, Smuggs is made up of over 1,000 acres which span three big mountains and is home to some genuinely tricky and technical terrain. The Black Hole is a thickly gladed run which requires a bit of know-how (focus on the openings, not the woods, and dive through them), and balls of steel.
Other recommended glades include the expert level Shakedown and the Knight’s Revenge Terrain Park. Easy greens can be found at Morse Highlands on Morse Mountain while Sterling and Madonna are geared towards advanced skiers and riders.
Given that the resort does in fact focus on the family market there are many options for food and drink. The Pizzeria and the Mountain Grill will suit the kids perfectly while the more upmarket Hearth & Candle has both a cosy atmosphere for families and white-table cloth dining for adults only.
Transport from NYC
Driving time: 342 miles/6hrs
To get to Smuggs take Exit 10 I-89 in Waterbury, VT. Follow Vermont Rte. 100N through Stowe to Morrisville. In Morrisville, pick up Rte. 15W through Johnson to Jeffersonville. In Jeffersonville, pick up Rte. 108S. The Resort is located about 5 miles from Jeffersonville on the left.
Next article: Ski New York: Sugarbush, VT
Previous article: Ski New York: Gore Mountain, NY