When we woke up the sky was just beginning to lighten above the Snow Bowl. The woods were quiet except for a few small streams carrying the recent snowmelt, and we saw no one on the walk down except for a few Rikert employees. When we got back to campus, I was exhausted but my clothes smelled like wood smoke and fresh pine and I already couldn’t wait for the next time I go to the Burgin Lodge.
The Burgin Lodge opened just a few weeks ago on one of the trails at Rikert Nordic Center. Built in honor of Ian Burgin (’08), this backcountry cabin is close to Middlebury and accessible without a car. Don’t be deceived by the word backcountry, though, because staying at the Burgin Lodge is really more like glamping. The cabin is beautifully constructed, insulated, and has a woodstove with plenty of wood. Though there is no electricity or running water, compared to most backcountry standards this is luxurious.
We stayed at the cabin last night in possibly the grossest weather yet this winter. We arrived just as it was getting dark and immediately started a fire with the convenient stack of kindling next to the stove. In no time chili was simmering on the stove and the cabin was warm and cozy.
If staying here is this fun in 50-degree, rainy weather with class the next day, I can only imagine what it’s like when there is plenty of snow—and time—to explore the area around the lodge. With such a good basecamp there are endless adventures here in all seasons.
If you go the Burgin Lodge, reserve the cabin on Ideal Logic. If you don’t have a car you can get to Rikert on the ACTR bus. Make sure to bring enough water, as there is no nearby source at the cabin, and leave yourself at least one hour of daylight to get to the cabin from the Rikert parking lot, especially if you are unfamiliar with the trails (the snowshoe trails at Rikert don’t always line up with the map, so your best bet is to follow the ski trails up to the cabin).
Winter hiking note: Make sure to bring plenty of warm clothes. Snowshoes, cross country skis, and warm jackets can all be rented from the Gear Room for free.