When the kids and I left at the end of July to head to Maryland Drew stayed home. Ten days later he joined us in Burlington, Vermont. Before we headed to camp where the kids spend all week playing with their cousins we wanted to have some family time. Our plan was to take the gondola up Mt. Mansfield and then do some hiking, but it was cloudy and the top of the mountain was in the clouds. Since there would not be an awesome view we decided to check out Smuggler's Notch and Bingham Falls. Both are just outside of Stowe, VT which is pretty close to Burlington and camp.
Smuggler's Notch is in Mount Mansfield State Park. In the 1700 and 1800's it was used as a "road" to smuggle goods to and from Canada. Slaves also used the pass to get safely to Canada. The kids loved climbing in the caves and all over, up, and around the rocks. The views were great despite the clouds.
On our way back down the mountain we made an impromptu stop at a small stream so the kids could play a little bit in the creek. We thought it led to the falls, but it was just a pretty side stop.
By dumb luck we found the falls on our second attempt. It was a short hike into the falls and it was so worth the walk. The kids would have loved to swim, but we didn't bring our suites with us. The water was so clear and COLD! There were tons of places to jump from rocks in the water pools. That is what Samuel and Jonah really wanted to do. Being totally honest, I knew this was an option and that is why I didn't bring their suits. Maybe next time!
By the time we left the falls the kids were beyond starving so we bought some subs and had a fun picnic lunch along another creek. There was an old ski lift so we took pictures. I told Drew it would be the only time I would ever sit in one with him so it was necessary.
It was the best way to spend our day together before we headed to camp. It is very important to me and Drew that our kiddos (and us) get to experience other parts of VT and/or upstate NY when we go to camp. There is so much amazing beauty that needs to be explored and appreciated. Our adventure for next year is already planned weather permitting!