Duane Gould, Joe Dadey, and Jack Drury – The Adirondacks Hamlets to Huts Team
Joe and Jack: pioneers in a culture awakening to the environmental benefits of huts
In 2013 Joe Dadey and Jack Drury came up with the idea of a lodging and trails system connecting Adirondack hamlets to huts. I’ve been following their quest as something of a model planning process for hut systems.
Is Scotland missing out on a key mountain tourism niche?
The Ramblers in Scotland think this may be true, and are proposing a pilot project to test this assumption.
While the Scots have “Bothies” — unimproved backpacker shelters — European-style huts are not part of the accommodations infrastructure for walkers in Scotland, Wales, England. They rely on a robust network of B&B’s and hostels. This leaves gaps in mountainous regions.
This is a preliminary overview of the 15 hut-to-hut systems in the USA. There are a number of systems under development or expanding, and I’m hoping readers will tip me off to others that should be included. Currently these 15 systems comprise 107 huts, yurts, and cabins, and offer 1,496 beds for long distance hut-to-hut hikers, bikers and skiers. This sketch of hut-to-hut infrastructure in the USA provides an overview by region, and very briefly discusses: business models, recreational uses, staffing, and some. Based on the data presented, it concludes with some musings about the future of hut systems supporting long distance human-powered travelers in the USA. hut to hut in usa
Notes kindly compiled by Leyton Jump, Manager of High Hut, Mt. Tahoma Trails Association
The Mt. Tahoma Trails Association operates and manages for public use a year-round hut-to-hut trail system adjacent to the slopes of Mt. Rainier, offering trail users of differing skill levels and economic backgrounds a safe and inspirational backcountry experience. MTTA leadership maintains a functional working partnership with all stakeholders (MTTA members, trail users, volunteers, and our host land owners) based on mutual trust and honesty. Volunteers provide labor to achieve this mission.
A few people around the nation know a great deal about how hut systems operate. But in the U.S. there is very little written about how hut systems are designed, built, and operated. Almost nothing is known about the economics and demographics of hut systems. And, other than the Colorado Hut and Yurt Alliance, there are no formal mechanisms for information exchange among those who do know. This will need to change if we are to learn from each other, develop “best practices” and ensure that hut systems are operating optimally for their clients, for their owners, and for environmental protection.
h2h aims to stimulate activity in filling this gap in the nation’s knowledge base by publishing “operational profiles”. We are at the beginning of this process and have three so far:
Following are three informative tributes to Joe Dodge from the AMC Archives, Dartmouth College, and the Boston Globe (see editors note below). While Joe was not technically the founder, he was the dynamo that expanded, organized, and shaped the huts into a system, and who took the huts to a whole new levels of operational effectiveness and hospitality. For more on Joe, see William Lowell Putnam’s affectionate, informal biography Joe Dodge: “One New Hampshire Institution”
Planning is underway for an integrated trails and lodging system in the nation’s largest park and largest state-level protected area . The Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System(ACTLS) has received a $220,000 grant from the New York State Department of State, with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund Act. This grant will be matched by ACTLS’s. ALCTS home page states:
the unique assets and amenities of the Adirondack Park can be leveraged to attract a global marked of outdoor recreators and provide recreation opportunities that improve the quality of life for Adirondack residents. We hope you will join us in planning a world-class trail and lodging system.
Colorado is on a roll! With about 130 huts and yurts statewide, the owners formed an alliance (the first of its kind in the USA) in 2014 to exchange information and explore common cause. The alliance has developed a website and meets periodically to work towards increased visibility for the nation’s largest grouping of huts and yurts. The home page of the Colorado Hut and Yurt Alliance provides a summary statement of the two year old group’s purpose: