Gales’ Retreat

Huntington, Vermont

Gale’s Retreat Information

Gale’s Retreat is a cabin built by the founder of the Birds of Vermont Museum, Bob Spear. He built the cabin for Gale Lawrence, a published nature writer, as a writing retreat. This cabin’s location, just off the Birds of Vermont Museum’s trail network, is ideal for hiking, bird watching, snowshoeing, trail running, nature journaling, and quiet reflection. The cabin is located within a deciduous/coniferous forest with a stream nearby.

Special features include:

  • Two passes to the Birds of Vermont  Museum
  • Stairway to loft with mattress pads for up to four guests (just bring your sleeping bag and bed sheet)
  • Day bed/couch (for additional seating and napping)
  • Kitchen with pots/pans/utensils/etc… (no running water, use snowmelt or rain barrel for water or pack in your own. Always treat your water)
  • Sliding glass doors open to deck with seating with pre-and-post leaf out view of Camel’s Hump
  • 2-burner propane cooktop for preparing meals (bring your own food)
  • Wood stove for heat during cold months (seasoned wood provided). You should know how to operate a wood stove!
  • Small table and four chairs for eating meals, playing games, etc
  • Newly built mouldering privy for hut guests
  • This cabin is off-grid: no electricity, very limited cell service
  • Please bring battery operated light sources; two solar lanterns are provided
  • Opportunities to meet others abound, and if visiting in the summer, guests may choose to join one of the Museum’s guided bird walks

The reservation is for the exclusive use of the entire hut for the night of your reservation. Individual beds cannot be reserved.

Your reservation also includes two passes to the Birds of Vermont  Museum.

Winter Rates

(2nd Tues. in Oct. – Memorial Day)
Weekday Rate – $100/night
Weekend/Holiday – $110/night

Summer Rates

(Memorial Day – 2nd Tuesday in October)
Weekday Rate – $90/night
Weekend/Holiday – $100/night

*All rates subject to Vermont Rooms and Meals Tax.

Winter parking/ summer parking available. The cabin is about a 10 minute walk from the parking lot; the trails are not groomed in the winter.

Please, bikes are not allowed on Museum trails, but can be locked on a bike rack in a locked shed during your stay.

Gale’s Retreat is located less than a five-minute drive to skiing, snowshoeing, and biking at Sleepy Hollow  ( The Museum property abuts Audubon Vermont’s trail system (

Easy connections to other trail networks including: Catamount, Long, and Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area.

Kayaking and canoeing opportunities nearby. Kayaks may also  be stored in the locked shed.

Check-in/out Times: Check-in anytime after 2:00 pm on your arrival date. Check-out no later than 12:00 pm on your departure date.

Location: The hut is located on Birds of Vermont Museum land in Huntington, VT. The hut is approximately 2/10 of a mile from the parking area on the Birds of Vermont Museum’s’ property. Specific directions for parking and accessing the hut will be emailed to you after you make a reservation.

Parking: Parking is located in the Museum property’s parking lot. The parking lot and the road are unpaved; the Museum is about a mile up the unpaved road. 

Neither VT Huts nor Birds of Vermont Museum is responsible for your vehicle.

Absolutely NO SMOKING in the hut.

No outside shoes/boots in the hut. Bring slippers – they’re way cozier 🙂

Heat: The cabin is heated with a wood stove; instructions are provided in the hut user manual. You should be comfortable operating a wood stove if you are reserving this cabin in the winter months. Guests are responsible for making their own fires; the cabin will likely not be warm when you arrive. The rate at which the cabin heats up depends on the temperature outside; the cabin will usually heat up in a couple hours. There is wood located inside the cabin next to the wood stove. Guests are expected to restock the wood that they use. When restocking, use the wood pile located underneath the deck. The other wood piles are not seasoned, or are not suitable for burning in a wood stove. Failure to restock wood will result in poor karma and potentially being banned from Gale’s Retreat and other Vermont Huts.

Lights: There are solar-powered lights provided in the cabin. Please bring a headlamp or battery-powered lantern for your lighting needs as a backup. 

Water source: Always be sure to filter, treat, or boil water before consuming. 

Cooking: There is a propane cooktop with two burners in the kitchen area for your convenience, and the kitchen has pots, pans, dishes, plates, bowls, utensils, knives, etc…. Simply bring your own food. Do not use the wood stove as a cooking surface, but you can heat water in the large pot on the stove for dish washing. Need to update these directions

(The cooktop runs on propane so you will first need to make sure the propane valve – located directly above the cooktop – is turned on. When in the “ON” position, the blue valve will be parallel to the floor. The cooktop has an auto ignite feature so you do not need matches. Simply turn the knob furthest to the right slightly until you hear a clicking noise. This will create a spark and the burner will ignite! After ignition, you can adjust the knob to your desired flame intensity. The other burners operate the same way. Be sure to return all knobs to the “OFF” position when you are finished cooking.)

Grey water: Grey water from doing dishes, brushing teeth, or cooking may go down the sink, and out on the ground.  Please 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. Be sure to add the provided sawdust or woodchips and close the lid of the toilet when you’re finished.

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.

Cleaning dishes: There are three wash bins in the kitchen. There are sponges and dish soap for your convenience. Use stream water or snow to fill the three bins. You can heat water in the camp pot on the woodstove. One bin is for soapy water, the other two are for rinsing. There is a drying rack to place the dishes so they can dry.

Sleeping: The hut sleeps four guests; there are mattresses provided in the loft. There is no need to bring a camping pad, though you should bring your sleeping bag or blanket(s). There are no pillows or linens provided.

Phone: There is no phone on site; cell coverage is spotty to non-existent.

Pets: Pets are not allowed on the trails at the Birds of Vermont Museum nor in Gale’s retreat. This is out of respect for those with pet allergies and for the safety of wildlife on the property. Failure to comply with this policy will result in additional charges.

Campfires: Campfires are only allowed in designated fire pit. Campfires are only allowed when Vermont Fire Danger Forecast is designated as “LOW”   For more information see If you want a fire please check in at the Museum for approval and more detailed instructions

In case of emergency: In the event of an emergency, guests should locate cell reception (there is limited service in the parking lot) and dial 911. If the Museum is open guests may come in and use the landline. The State of Vermont has dispatch systems in place to coordinate a rescue effort if needed.

Departure: Please sweep up after yourselves using the broom and dust pan. Be sure the propane cooktop burners and gas line are all turned OFF, and that the kitchen area is clean. Replace 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: Staff and volunteers of the Birds of Vermont Museum do a regular check of the cabin to ensure an awesome stay for guests. During the Museum’s open hours feel free to stop in with questions or to say hi. Please report any issues requiring maintenance to them in person, by making a note in the log book, or emailing so we can address them.

Cancellations: Reservations canceled 15 days or more in advance will receive a 50% refund. Reservations canceled 14 days or fewer 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

Book Now

Searching Availability...