Friday Cabins #50: Inside Vermont's Growing Network of Hiking Huts
Hikers, bikers, and backpackers rejoice, The Green Mountain State is building dozens of backcountry cabins to host guests statewide
It’s Friday and we are back with another installment of Friday Cabins—a weekly newsletter featuring noteworthy cabin projects curated from the minds behind and pages of Field Mag. Just long enough for a coffee break, tune in for a little dash of outdoorsy inspo before the weekend ahead.
Though extremely heavy snowfalls have battered select parts of the Northeast (shout out to all our friends and readers in Buffalo—stay safe fam!) the rest of the region has remained effectively snow-less so far this winter (here in NYC it’s been something like 320 days since measurable snowfall !). After all, what is all this cold good for, besides taking the winter ‘fits for a spin???
Whether sun, rain, snow, or snain, today’s cabin topic of conversation is perfectly unfazed by the weather. We’re talking backcountry huts, specifically in Vermont, arguably New England’s most quirky and docile hamlet. The state is here again to prove its effectiveness in introducing people to the outdoors with genuine care and attention with a new statewide initiative spearheaded by the Vermont Huts Association. With plans to expand a network of privately and publicly owned cabins throughout the state, the initiative aims to provide affordable shelters for novice and experienced outdoorspeople alike, be they hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, etc.
Read more below, and get the full scoop over on Field Mag by way of writer Brene Broudy.
Non-profit Vermont Huts Association (VHA) hopes to expand a network of backcountry shelters in the coming decades, with plans to construct 30-40 new huts along the 500+ mile long mountain bike trail the Velomont Trail. Partnering with organizations and private landowners alike, the project will provide uniquely built cabins every 10-20 miles along the trail for bikers, hikers, skiers, and other guests with shelter for an affordable price.
While each hut built by the non-profit itself will provide similar amenities like well-equipped kitchens, mattresses, and propane or wood-fired stoves, each will feature its own design with vernacular “Vermonty” flair; think clapboard and timber cladding with steeply pitched roofs and handcrafted touches. And just as they vary in design, they’ll vary in size, the largest accommodating 15 people, with the intention of keeping the experience smaller and more meaningful.
Each shelter will be located along the Velomont mountain biking trail, but areas for other sports like paddling, skiing, and snowshoeing will also be in close access, depending on location and season. Indoor and outdoor gear storage will also be built into the cabins, so travelers can rest easy knowing equipment is protected.
Amenities like kitchens stocked with pots and pans, heating, solar power, and easily accessible water are all designed to make it easy as possible for guests to travel lightly and experience the outdoors, even first-time campers. And VHA hope to keep nightly costs reasonable too. Their newly built Chittenden Brook cabin, which accommodates 10, will rent for $75-&175/night, depending on the season.
Privately-owned huts will feature a wider spectrum of accommodations. Some will require guests to bring cooking equipment and sleeping pads, while others are complete cabin rentals, with spacious living rooms decked out in cozy textiles.
As of now, Vermont Huts Association features 12 huts in their portfolio, all of which can be booked through their online reservation system, although spots are already booking quickly. In the next year, VHA will focus on planning and permitting, with plans to construct an ambitious 3-4 new huts per year afterward.
ttys, happy weekend!