Smugglers' honored as one of FamilyFun magazine's Top Ten Family Resorts for 2013. Smugglers' was selected as one of the Top 10 Family Resorts in the country in a survey by FamilyFun magazine (familyfunmag.com), a trusted, go-to source for travel recommendations and family activities for more than 20 years. To recognize the very best in family travel for 2013, FamilyFun surveyed 2,000 moms with children 3 to 12 about their all-time favorite U.S. travel destinations. The U.S. destinations included in the 2013 FamilyFun Travel Awards featured in the magazine’s April 2013 issue represent the cream of the crop in their respective categories, according to FamilyFun. High marks were awarded for affordability, accessibility and fun factor.
Smugglers' adventure programs expand to include aerial trekking and tree and wall climbing. With the addition of two aerial trekking courses as well as tree and artificial wall climbing, ArborTrek Canopy Adventures at Smugglers' has established an adventure hub that serves all ages on the wooded mountainside where the popular 8-line ArborTrek Zip Line Canopy Tour has been drawing visitors since 2010.
The Treetop Obstacle Course will have over 30 elements divided into two aerial courses – the Apple Creek Course that serves ages 4 and up and The Back Forty Course that serves ages 8 and up. Following the completion of a ground school, trekkers can explore the courses that feature wobbly bridges, balance beams, zip lines, swinging beams, suspension bridges, rope swings, and more connecting tree platforms anchored 3 to 25 feet above the ground.
The new ArborTrek climbing program blends new belay technology with innovative climbing holds that make tree climbing easy and tree-friendly. In addition to tree climbs, a climbing wall offers a variety of routes ranging from easy to challenging. Each of these exciting outdoor experiences are designed to challenge, educate, entertain and inspire while creating unforgettable memories for each participant.
Outdoors-focused specialty camps in Smugglers' Summer Fun University "course curriculum" provide adventures for children ages 9 - 17. High Adventure Camp has expanded to five days, and includes use of Smugglers' new Treetop Obstacle Course, a 90-minute climbing wall session, tree climbing with ropes and harnesses, use of our Giant Swing with 100-foot arc, geocaching, kayaking, swimming, and Via Ferrata; a half day challenge similar to mountaineering that includes fun elements like a waterfall climb and rapeling.
In Survival Camp, campers will learn an array of wilderness survival skills as well as modern camping and backpacking methods and tactics. Each day has a specific focus based on wilderness survival needs: shelter, water, fire and food. Survival Camp participants can choose a single overnight adventure on Thursday or, for teens 13-17, there is a two-night backpacking journey on Vermont's Long Trail on Wednesday and Thursday.
Survival and High Adventure Camps are available Monday through Friday; for the overnight experiences, campers must be in the program for at least a full day prior to the overnight.
Splash pad water playground for youngsters added to Notchville Park. The addition of the new Splashville Splash Pad answers Smugglers' guests' requests for an additional water recreation area designed for young children age 6 and younger, and makes Notchville Park a water play destination for all ages. Filled with features such as water misters and sprays, pulsating fountains and a cheerful yellow duckie waterslide sized for youngsters, Splashville will delight and refresh little ones and their parents on summer days. Lounge chairs on the deck provide comfortable vantage points for parents to watch their children as they play. The splash pad is tucked into the hillside adjacent to Notchville Park's 3 tiers of pools and Twister waterslide. With family needs and convenience in mind, a bathhouse and picnic pavilion are located within a few steps.
Smugglers' Notch Resort, an Environmental Leader! Smugglers' recently completed its second solar project, a solar farm consisting of 35 solar trackers. The solar farm is about a mile from the resort on Edwards Road, just past the entrance to the ArborTrek Zip Line Canopy Tour. The resort's first entry into solar power generation occurred in 2007, when a small solar project for hot water heating was installed on the roof of one of the North Hill’s Tamaracks buildings.
The new array encompasses about 2.5 acres of a 10-acre field. The site was selected for its exposure to the sun and proximity to existing transmission lines. Given the size and placement of the field, the site also offered the flexibility of locating the panels away from nearby private homes.
Each of the solar trackers measures 22 x 14 feet, includes 20 solar panels, and is controlled by trackers with GPS and wireless technology. This technology, which was manufactured in Vermont, adjusts the panels' orientation and angle to the sun, maximizing their efficiency. The trackers are also designed to help shed snow in the winter.
The power generated by the array is fed back into the existing transmission grid. The capacity of the array is 150 kilowatts, which on an annual basis is projected to offset the energy use equivalent of 30 residential homes. Translated to operations at Smugglers', the power generated will offset most of the energy use of the Village Lodge, which houses Bootleggers’ Lounge, Riga-Bello's Pizzeria, the Green Mountain Deli and the Ben & Jerry's Scoop Shop.
Smugglers' many years of practicing good environmental stewardship were recognized in 2006 when the Resort was named as a Vermont Business Environmental Leader. To receive this recognition, Smugglers' met rigorous standards in the areas of pollution prevention, regulatory compliance, and environmental management practices such as recycling. With continued adherence to responsible stewardship, Smugglers' has continued to receive the designation on a yearly basis. Some of our recent initiatives have included converting exterior lighting to energy efficient lighting, expanding composting of pre- and post-consumer food scraps and biodegradable paper serving products, and diverting old carpet from the landfill by recycling.
In 2008 Smugglers' received the Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention for our efforts to reduce our carbon footprint. These efforts include building energy efficient condominium homes, reducing use of diesel compressors in snowmaking, and initiating a program to offset our visitors' carbon emissions related to a day of skiing or boarding.