Dark Star Cabin

Located in Huntington Along the Catamount Trail

Hut Information

The Dark Star Cabin is an off-grid solar powered cabin located in the heart of the Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area trails, about 500’ from Crow’s Nest Yurt, and is approximately 100′ from Section 20 of the Catamount Trail, Vermont’s 300-mile long ski trail running from Canada to Massachusetts. Once on the Catamount Trail, you can head north or south to explore the surrounding area. There is excellent hiking and mountain biking in the area. In the winter, some outstanding backcountry skiing, split-boarding, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing (accessible from the cabin) can be found around Camel’s Hump and Mt. Ethan Allen (this is a short drive to the trail head). Amenities include:

       

    • Mattresses for up to six guests
    • Kitchen with pots/pans/utensils/etc…
    • Propane cooktop for preparing meals (bring your own food)
    • Small refrigerator/freezer
    • Wood stove for heat during cold months (seasoned wood provided). Please familiarize yourself with operating a wood stove.
    • Small table and chairs for eating meals, playing games, etc
    • Outhouse for hut guests.
    • Please reference the “Recreation” tab for information about proximity to the Catamount Trail.
    • No pets, sorry.

    The Dark Star Cabin can be reserved for $300/night, and VT Huts members will receive a 15% discount using their custom member number. The reservation is for exclusive use of the entire hut for the night of your reservation. Individual beds cannot be reserved.

    *All rates subject to Vermont Rooms and Meals Tax.

    Please note – there is only room for two vehicles at the new parking area. Consider the Richmond park and ride or the Huntington Library as carpooling options if you require more than two spaces. Access to Dark Star cabin is from a parking area located on a nearby landowner’s property (parking is no longer at the CHNSA parking lot). It is not possible to drive to Dark Star cabin. From the new parking area to the yurt there is a net gain of approximately 450′ elevation and a total distance of 1.34 miles. Your booking confirmation email will include a link to the parking location and a trail map with clear directions to hike, ski, or bike to the cabin from the designated parking area.

    Skiing or splitboarding is your best mode of transportation to the cabin during winter months. Snowshoeing is only permitted on the sides of the groomed trails. No hiking or post-holing during winter months. If you don’t have skis, a splitboard, or snowshoes, please borrow gear from a friend or consider renting from your local shop.

    If arriving at the hut via the Catamount Trail as part of a longer backcountry tour, the GPS coordinates of the yurt will be included in your confirmation email.

    Summer:

    Dark Star Cabin is in the heart of some of the best mountain biking in the northeastern USA. Exhilarating and technical single track, flowy machine built, and mellow beginner trails can all be accessed within a short drive (or pedal!). Carse Hills, Sleepy Hollow, Cochran’s/Richmond Mountain Trails, and Hinesburg Town Forest are all within a 10 – 15 minute drive. Perry Hill (Waterbury, VT) and Saxon Hill (Essex, VT) are about 30 minutes away, and Stowe’s trails are about a 50 minute drive. You can find trail info and conditions at https://vmba.org/

    If downhill mountain biking is your thing, Killington’s bike park is great and is a 90 minute drive. https://www.killington.com/the-mountain/trail-area-maps/bike-park-trail-guide

    The Camel’s Hump hiking trailheads (Burrows Trail and Forest City Trail) are about a 10 minute drive. Info on Camel’s Hump can be found here: https://vtstateparks.com/camelshump.html

    https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/vermont/camels-hump-state-park?ref=header

     

    Winter:

    The Dark Star Cabin is located in the heart of the Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area trails and is approximately 100′ from the Catamount Trail, Vermont’s 300-mile long ski trail running from Canada to Massachusetts. It is also located within a few hundred feet of the Crows Nest Yurt. Once on the Catamount Trail, you can head north or south to explore the surrounding area. If heading south, consider making it a true hut to hut experience by spending an evening at our nearby Triple Creek Cabin.

    The cabin is located in Section 20 of the Catamount Trail. You can learn more about this section and view its map here, or you can visit the interactive map on the Catamount Trail Association’s website here.

    Absolutely NO SMOKING in the cabin.

    Keep snowy boots limited to the rubber mats and boot tray at the entrance or on the boot and glove dryer.  Keep skis, poles, snowboards, snowshoes, sleds, etc. outside on the ski rack located to the left of the door. Bring slippers – they’re way cozier 🙂

    Check-in/out Times: Check-in anytime after 3:00 PM on your arrival date. Check-out no later than 11:00 AM on your departure date. The door code is:  8008

    Overview: The Dark Star cabin is located within the Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area (CHNSA) trail network and is adjacent to the Catamount Trail in Huntington, VT. You may access the cabin via the Catamount Trail or from the private parking area (location provided upon booking). The cabin is approximately one mile from the parking area. The cabin is neighbored by the Crow’s Nest yurt, approximately 500′ away.

    Parking: Overnight parking for cabin guests is located on private land shared with guests of Dark Star cabin. Specific directions with parking location will be emailed upon booking (two cars max). There is no cabin parking at the main CHNSA lot.

    Directions to cabin: You will be emailed specific directions to the cabin after booking your reservation, including GPS coordinates for those approaching via the Catamount Trail as part of a longer tour.

    Heat: The cabin is heated with a wood stove, and dry wood and kindling are provided. You can view the instructions by clicking here. Instructions are also provided in the hut. You should be comfortable operating a wood stove if you are reserving Dark Star Cabin. Please contact us if you are not comfortable with a wood stove. Guests are responsible for making their own fires, and the cabin will likely not be warm when you arrive. The rate at which the cabin heats up depends on the temperature outside, but the cabin will usually heat to above 65 degrees in a couple hours. The cabin is very well insulated, so it is easy to overheat it. The loft gets VERY warm, so use the stove’s damper and don’t overload the stove to help regulate the temperature. There is wood located inside the cabin in the bin next to the wood stove. Guests are expected to restock the wood that they use. When restocking, use the wood pile located on the right side of the cabin as you’re looking at the cabin’s front deck.  The other wood piles may not be seasoned. Failure to restock wood will result in poor karma and potentially being banned from Dark Star Cabin and other Vermont Huts.

    Lights/Electricity: The cabin is equipped with plenty of solar power and a large bank of batteries for lighting, a small fridge/freezer, a water pump, a small toaster oven, and a vacuum cleaner. Please bring a headlamp or battery-powered lantern for your lighting needs as a backup and for getting to and from the privy in the dark. No gas-powered lanterns or open flames of any kind in the cabin.

    Water source: There is a rainwater collection system and an on-demand propane hot water heater to supply hot running water in the cabin’s sink. In the winter, 5 gallon water jugs will be provided for you indoors. Insert the hose into the jug to supply the sink with water. There is a slow-running stream to the east of the cabin toward the Catamount Trail. It is marked with a sign on a tree, and there is a small PVC pipe extending out from the snow to make it easier to refill containers if you need additional water. Always be sure to filter, treat, or boil water before consuming. In the event that the stream is not running, you may use snow melt to create water using the large stock pot on top of the wood stove.

    Cooking: There is a 2 burner propane cooktop in the kitchen area for your convenience, and the kitchen has a pots, pans, dishes, plates, bowls, cutting board, utensils, knives, etc… for six guests. Simply bring your own food. Wine glasses can be found in the corner bar cabinet. Do not use the wood stove as a cooking surface. There is an ARB Zero 101 qt fridge freezer that has capacity similar to a large cooler. Outside on the deck, there is a gas grill.

    Lighting the cook top burners: The cooktop runs on propane. Turn to the “light” position, and light with a lighter (in drawer under cooktop). After ignition, you can adjust the knob to your desired flame intensity. The other burner operates the same way. Be sure to return all knobs to the “OFF” position when you are finished cooking.

    Cleaning dishes: There are wash bins under the sink. There are sponges, dish soap, and dish towels for your convenience. Please dry and put away dishes before leaving.

    Grey water: Please use the sink’s drain basket to filter all grey water so no food ends up on the ground. Pack out all food scraps.

    Outhouse: There is toilet paper in the outhouse for doing your business. Guests are asked to urinate outside the hut in the designated pee and grey water site (see map in cabin). We really don’t want to fill up the outhouse with pee! Number two business should always occur in the outhouse. Be sure to add the provided sawdust or woodchips and close the lid of the toilet when you’re finished. Latch the outhouse door behind you when you leave to keep it closed.

    Outdoor shower: There is a basic outdoor shower. To operate, rotate the white handled valve in the closet (marked “SHOWER”) 90 degrees to divert water from the sink to the shower (sink and shower can’t be used at the same time). Turn the knob on the outdoor shower to the right to send water to the shower head. Test to make sure it isn’t too hot. If so, you can turn the temperature knob on the hot water heater (in the closet) counter-clockwise. Be careful – a tiny adjustment makes a huge difference in the temperature. Bring your own towels and toiletries if you want to use the shower.

    Deck furniture: Please use the covers for the deck furniture after use to keep the cushions dry for the next guests.

    Trash: Pack out all trash. Please make sure there are no food scraps in any of the grey water you dump out. Use screens provided. This is a leave no trace hut.

    Sleeping: The cabin sleeps six guests. There are two double memory foam mattresses provided, plus a pull out queen size sofa bed. There is no need to bring a camping pad, though you should bring your sleeping bag or bed linens and blanket(s). There are pillows provided, though we recommend bringing a pillowcase or cover if you wish to use them.

    Phone: There is no phone on site, and cell coverage is spotty to non-existent. You might be able to send or receive a text message, but don’t count on it.

    Pets: No dogs allowed at Dark Star cabin – sorry.

    In case of emergency: In the event of an emergency, guests should locate cell reception and dial 911. The state of Vermont has dispatch systems in place to coordinate a rescue effort if needed.

    Departure: Please sweep, vacuum, and mop as needed. Cleaning supplies can be found in the kitchen closet and under the sink. Be sure the propane cooktop burners are all turned OFF, and that the kitchen area is clean. Replenish the wood in the cabin with dry wood for the next guests. Pack out all trash and personal belongings. Do not leave any food behind – it will attract mice and other animals. When leaving, be sure all doors and windows are latched.

    Landowners: The landowners do a regular check on the cabin to ensure an awesome stay for guests. You may see them and should feel free to introduce yourselves. Please report any issues requiring maintenance to the caretaker by making a note in the log book or emailing info@vermonthuts.org so we can address them.

    Cancellations: Reservations canceled 15 days or more in advance will receive a 50% refund. Reservations canceled 14 days or less in advance are non-refundable.

    *Failure to comply with these policies may result in additional charges to your reservation.

    Should you have any questions about your stay, please contact the Vermont Huts Association office at 802-798-3003 or info@vermonthuts.org.

    And if you’d like to learn more about CHNSA, consider signing up for their newsletter here.

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