Mapping Our Future
How we’re working to create a cohesive network of huts
May 4, 2017
Vermont Huts has entered Phase Two of its strategic plan, which (we think) is one of the most exciting things since sliced bread. In order to create a cohesive network of accommodations across the state, we must identify suitable areas on or in close proximity to the over 900 miles of trails in Vermont. This is where the fun starts.
Working with representatives from Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont Forests, Parks, and Rec., Rochester/Randolph Area Sports Trail Alliance, Vermont Mountain Bike Association, Green Mountain Club, and the Catamount Trail Association, we will begin to identify approximately 20-30 zones across the state which may host a new hut. Priority will be given to backcountry zones hosting multi-use trails (hiking/mountain biking/skiing) or where trails closely parallel one another and could be connected via a spur trail with the hut located in the middle.
That’s a tall task, but not an impossible one. Vermont’s trail networks are already off to an incredible start. The Catamount Trail and Long Trail already traverse the length of Vermont from Canada to Massachusetts, and mountain biking trails managed by hard-working volunteers and chapters across the state are slowly beginning to approach one another with connector trails.
Looking at a map, our immediate efforts will primarily be focused on the trails located between Killington and Morrisville. This is not to say we won’t take on projects to the north and south of those towns, but the opportunity for chapter connectivity is imminent throughout that corridor, and we believe the addition of huts will serve as an additional catalyst to foster trail growth.
After we have identified the approximate hospitable zones, we will begin to meet with local trail chapters across the state to determine the exact location of the new huts (because locals know their trails best!). This will give us an opportunity to gather community feedback, and hear from interested caretakers/volunteers. We anticipate “breaking ground” on our first hut in the fall of 2018.
As an emerging nonprofit, we are fully aware that our organization could not exist without the countless hours, days, months, and years of extensive trail work and volunteer dedication across the state. For that reason, Vermont Huts is committed to giving back a portion of every reservation in our huts to the local chapter responsible for maintaining the trails that link our huts together.
Please stay tuned for updates on this exciting project by subscribing to our newsletter. We’ll need your help to make it happen, and the best way to learn how to get involved is to stay informed!