Glamping getaway treetops, yurts and more getting married in vermont gas in chest


“It is winter camping, but it is comfortable,” explained Beth Whiting, co-owner of Maple Wind Farm in Huntington. Two yurts in a quiet corner of the working farm’s 140-acre property are available to rent between November and April. The 24-foot diameter circular tents are deep in the backcountry bordering Camel’s Hump State Park, yet just a five- to 10-minute ski or walk from the car.

Travel writers have given this accommodation niche a new name in recent years: glamorous camping or “glamping.” The Fodor’s guidebooks may have the most succinct definition: “glamping brings the comfort of a hotel to the great outdoors.” The word is now being applied to all kinds of unique lodging around the world, including glass igloos in Finland, safari tents in Costa Rica, and tepees in Wyoming.

For decades, one of the hardest won winter berths in the state has been at the Stone Hut on Mount Mansfield. The 78-year-old warming hut is located near the intersection of Stowe Mountain Resort’s Upper Lift Line trail and the Toll Road. Civilian Conservation Corps crews built the little stone house while cutting some of the original ski trails. With a mixed reservation system that involves a lottery and first-come, first-serve phone calls, it takes advanced planning and luck to score an overnight spot on top of the mountain.

Easier to get are nights at the other cottages and cabins the parks department rents during the spring, summer, and fall. The one-room buildings are found at 14 different state parks around the state. In central Vermont, there are cabins at Little River State Park in Waterbury and Gifford Woods State Park in Killington and cottages at Camp Plymouth State Park in Ludlow.

Several hotels also offer small studio and one-bedroom cabins on their properties. Stowe Cabins in the Woods in Waterbury and Sterling Ridge Resort in Jeffersonville each have “honeymoon” cabins with large beds and fancy tubs. Grunberg Haus Bed & Breakfast Inn and Cabins in Duxbury has three small cabins in the forest above the main house specifically for couples looking for a romantic, woodsy retreat.

“It really feels like you are out in nature, yet it’s so luxurious,” said Willie Docto, one half of the couple that owns and operates the Moose Meadow bed and breakfast. “We all as kids loved the idea of playing or living in a treehouse. Now you can actually do that in very comfortable surroundings, which makes it even more magical.”

His partner, Greg Trulson, compares the newly constructed 450 square-foot suite to a “private nest that you can look out of and people can’t look into.” Since it opened in June 2013, Trulson, a justice of the peace, has already officiated two weddings on the treehouse’s wrap-around deck, which looks out onto a stocked trout pond.

“It seems like it has been incredibly romantic,” Bryant said. The treehouse, built by Bryant’s husband and son, has been the site of engagements, pre-wedding overnights, and honeymoon stays. Her husband, Harrison Reynolds, attributes its popularity to a primitive feeling of security that comes from a position of height. “It goes back to Swiss Family Robinson,” she said. Bryant’s theory is that the room in the air with its seating area and loft bed creates a space that allows closeness as well as separation. “We want to be together without stepping on each other’s toes,” she said.

Whether yurt, stone house, cabin, or treehouse, these locales will all seem luxurious to the frequent backpacker. However, if your soon-to-be other half is going to want the finer things, like flush toilets or an indoor range, it is worth drilling down into the details, some of which are listed on page 42. Fodor’s aside, one person’s hotel is another person’s hovel.