Our group of three was supposed to be eight . . . but five canceled due to forecasted blizzard on Presidents' Weekend. Those who persevered were rewarded by excellent conditions on the trails, more sunshine than we expected, and welcoming hospitality (and delicious meals) at all three huts we visited, including our first-ever overnight at Stratton Brook. Keep up the good work!
Guest Stories & Reviews
The Presidents' "Blizzard"
XC ski to grand falls hit
The team of caretakers at the hut were phenomenal. They were welcoming, kind, hospitable, and charming. The food was delish and the accommodations comfortable. The notes provided pre-trip (I.e. Packing list, info sheet) were very helpful. You might want to add that the road taken to access the trailheads is rough and really for vehicles with four-wheel-drive. We were beginner cross country skiers, and aside for a few challenging hills and snowmobilers, we found the trails to be delightful. Thank you for all your hard work to maintain this for our enjoyment, we have certainly been singing your praises! We look forward to visiting this summer.
3 night ski trip with group of 5
Overall the experience was excellent. We particularly enjoyed the trails and your setting. The lodges and amenities as well were excellent. Re the sleeping rooms, these were quite satisfactory. I personally do not love sharing bunk rooms with strangers, but understand the need to have that arrangement in a remote back country setting. As bunk rooms go, yours are the best I have ever used, and I particularly appreciated the heating of these. The food overall was very good, and certainly plentiful. Having had a lot of experience with AMC huts (both the "high huts" in the whites, and Little Lyford) it is my opinion that your food quality is not quite as good as theirs. That is just one man's opinion, but might be worth looking into as they are certainly your direct competitors. Overall our 3 night 4 day trip was a great experience and I suspect we will be back. At least a few of our group, me included, plan to become members. Hopefully your grand 12 hut plan will eventually be realized and I would love to be able to visit all the huts that you build.
A blast from end to end
The snow was perfect, the air cold and the huts warm. Three of us skied from Rt 27 trailhead in to Stratton Brook on Sunday afternoon, then on to the other three huts on the next three nights, skiing out from Grand Falls to the West Forks trailhead on Thursday. We were the only guests at Stratton Brook. From there to Poplar is a short day - got there for lunch so we had a short nap and then went back out for an hour ski before supper. The leg from Poplar to Flagstaff is rigorous, but with good snow we did it in 5 hours or so. We stopped for an hour at the halfway yurt, built a fire in the stove, ate lunch, changed our socks, etc. We then enjoyed a fabulous downhill and a leisurely meander to Flagstaff. We shared the hut with 24 6th graders, which turned out just fine. The leg from Flagstaff to Grand Falls is not difficult until the last mile, so save some energy. Once again, we were the only guests. It was our second time at Grand Falls, and it is our favorite hut. The toughest day is the leg out to West Forks. It took us 6 hours, including an hour for the last mile which is straight up herringboning. The staff and food were all great. The hut systems worked well except that the drying room at Flagstaff was cool and the generator ran all night.
The staff at Stratton Brook Hut were amazing. Their hospitality and hard work were the highlight of the trip for us. Our hosts prepared a wonderful dinner and sent us off the next morning with a superb lunch. The lodge was beautiful with outstanding views. The snowshoe hike to the lodge was very difficult for me, so beginners be aware!
A really excellent system you have put together. All was good to excellent. My only complaint has to do with the grooming - which, on our last and most difficult day was non-existent.