The southern gateway to Mount Mansfield and Smugglers Notch is via Route 100, once a plank road, the bed for Mt. Mansfield Electric Rail Road, and one of the earliest concrete roads. From the village of Stowe, Route 108 meanders past the base of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak at 4393 feet, and climbs through Smugglers Notch, the reputed route for cattle smugglers and hiding place for Lake Champlain pirates. The BIG SPRING has been popular since the 19th century when its waters were claimed to have curative powers. The caves, which retain ice until July, the ski resort and the many trails attract hikers and travelers in all seasons.