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, 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, snow shoeing, trail running, nature journaling, and quiet reflection. The cabin is located within a deciduous/coniferous forest with a stream nearby.
The Hut cabin is owned and managed by the Birds of Vermont Museum on private land. Special features include:
- Two passes to the Birds of Vermont Museum
- Step ladder to loft (mattress pads for up to four guests located in loft, 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 the deck with seating and a 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 moldering 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, retreat 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 rental includes two free passes to the Birds of Vermont Museum. Birds of Vermont Museum members will receive a 15% discount using their custom member number.
*All rates subject to Vermont Rooms and Meals Tax.
(Memorial Day – 2nd Mon. in Oct.)
Weekday Rate – $90/night
Weekend/Holiday – $100/night
(2nd Tues. in Oct. – Memorial Day)
Weekday Rate – $100/night
Weekend/Holiday – $110/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.
The path is marked for Gale’s Retreat. Walk along the path, across the bridge towards the museum and take a left down the hill. Cross a second bridge (Bob’s Bridge) to the trail intersection. Turn right onto Bob’s Trail (blue blaze). Cabin is located just over 1/10 mile.
It is possible to bring a sled or pulled wagon to haul gear into the cabin, depending on the season.
Walkers are welcome on museum trails, however, bikes are not allowed. Please feel free to leave your bikes locked in the locked shed during your stay.
Bikers can also take advantage of plentiful dirt roads in the vicinity.
Gale’s Retreat is located less than a five-minute drive to skiing, snowshoeing, and biking at Sleepy Hollow (https://www.skisleepyhollow.com/skiing-snowshoeing/). The Museum property abuts Audubon Vermont’s trail system (https://vt.audubon.org/sites/default/files/trail_map_final_7-18.pdf).
Easy connections to other trail networks are a short drive away, including Catamount Trail, Long Trail, and Camel’s Hump Nordic Ski Area.
Kayaking and canoeing opportunities exist 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 of 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: In the summer months, a rain barrel is present. There is an unreliable stream you will cross on your route located approximately 100 yards from the cabin, however, we do advise you to bring your own water. Snow can be used in the winter. Always be sure to filter, treat, or boil water before consuming.
Cooking: There is a propane cooktop (instructions on site) with two burners in the kitchen area for your convenience. The kitchen has pots, pans, dishes, plates, bowls, utensils, knives, etc., Bring your own food.
Do not use the wood stove as a cooking surface, but you may heat water in the large pot on the stove for dishwashing.
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. Please 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 the 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 the rain barrel, stream water or snow to fill the three bins. You can heat water in the camp pot on the wood stove. 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 the designated fire pit. Campfires are only allowed when Vermont Fire Danger Forecast is designated as “LOW” For more information see
https://anrmaps.vermont.gov/websites/firedanger/VermontFireDanger.jpg. 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 or text 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 dustpan. Be sure the propane cooktop burners and gas line are all turned OFF, and that the kitchen area is clean. Replace the wood for the woodstove with dry wood from underneath the cabin 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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.