A Peek Inside Smugglers Cave in the Notch | Happy Vermont

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smugglers cave

A Peek Inside Smugglers Cave

I have been through Smugglers’ Notch on Route 108 dozens of times, but until last weekend I had never noticed the small cave just beyond the parking area.

The cave is located about 60-feet from the scenic road (known as the Notch) that winds through Cambridge and Stowe. If you’re not paying attention, the entrance to the cave is easy to miss as you ascend the rocky trail near Mount Mansfield.

Known as Smugglers Cave, this hidden, natural shelter was once a place where smuggled goods were stashed. Before Route 108 was built in the early 1920s, a footpath and horse trail crossed the Notch. Locals used the Notch to illegally transport goods in the 19th century, and slaves traveled through the Notch to escape to Canada. Also, alcohol was smuggled across the area during Prohibition in the 1920s.

Once again, I found myself wearing flip-flops while hiking, so access to the cave was a challenge since my feet had no traction. But I managed to explore parts of Smugglers Cave and had no trouble imagining the history that took place in these beautiful woods.

**If you go: Map

Cambridge, hiking, hiking trails, History, Lamoille County, Scenic, Smugglers' Notch, Stowe, Travel Tips
  • LC
    Posted at 15:01h, 30 August Reply

    I love this spot and have enjoyed climbing the rocks here many times! L

  • Hotel Chicago
    Posted at 23:45h, 30 August Reply

    I am glad to see that that i am not the only one who finds himself in flip flops every time there is a great opportunity to explore!

  • Erica Houskeeper
    Posted at 01:46h, 31 August Reply

    Hi Larry — It’s such a great spot. I never grow tired of it! Hope you are doing well.

    Hotel Chicago — I’m glad I’m not the only one! I really need to start wearing trail shoes more.

  • Erin @ I Heart New England
    Posted at 03:39h, 31 August Reply

    Beautiful place!

  • elvira pajarola
    Posted at 20:05h, 03 September Reply

    I do love this magic enchanted woods too….the caves…..! AND YOUR “flips” made me smile……!!

    have a sunny weekend, Erica!
    ciao ciao elvira

  • Field Trip Boy
    Posted at 02:49h, 03 August Reply

    I’ve done some cave exploring before here in the Philippines. Hope I could go there in Vermont see some beautiful sites.

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