Our Story

In May of 2014, Joe Dadey and Jack Drury met at what was then known as Captain Cook’s in Saranac Lake (now Bitters and Bones) to share an adult beverage and some ideas about creating new recreational opportunities in the Adirondacks. As a former professor at Paul Smith’s College who traveled to New Zealand and other places near and far with students studying ecotourism, Joe brought to that night’s conversation his thoughts on establishing a hut-to-hut system in the Adirondacks. Joe had seen how popular hut-to-hut travel was in other places around the world, and wondered and studied with students what an Adirondack hut-to-hut system could look like. As a long-time resident of Saranac Lake with rich experiences as a wilderness recreation educator and leadership trainer, Jack was at that time writing a blog entitled “Ten Trails We Should Build Before We Worry about Converting Rails to Trails.” The merging of both Jack’s and Joe’s ideas resulted in their initial conceptualization of a community-based hut-to-hut system in the Adirondacks, one with routes that start, pass through, and finish in Adirondack communities. The seed of an idea was planted.

They applied the next month for a New York State Department of State grant for funding that would underwrite their efforts to prepare a report that conceptualized hut-to-hut routes throughout the Adirondacks. They received the grant in December 2014. Jack and Joe named it the Adirondack Community-based Trails and Lodging System (ACTLS) project. The notion of an Adirondack hut-to-hut system was off and running. 

Joe Dadey

Jack Drury

In the fall of 2015, Jack, Joe and their colleague Duane Gould received a contract from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to fast track what they were doing with the ACTLS project and conceptualize routes in the Five Towns area of the Central Adirondacks. The result of their December 2015 work is a document entitled Conceptual Plan for a Hut-to-Hut Destination Trail System for the Five Towns of Long Lake, Newcomb, Indian Lake, Minerva, and North Hudson. This report identifies over twenty hut-to-hut routes with strategic locations for lodging.

Joe and Jack convened a group of friends and interested others in the spring of 2016 to conduct a focus group and explore possible names for the nonprofit that they saw was needed to champion and coordinate the Adirondack hut-to-hut initiative. The work of the focus group, coupled with an online survey and services provided by adworkshop in Lake Placid, chose Adirondack Hamlets to Huts as the name for the new nonprofit, a name which they believed best captured the community-based application of hut-to-hut travel to the Adirondacks.

Adirondack Hamlets to Huts was incorporated in November 2016 and became an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit in April 2017.

We are now focused on transitioning from “imagining” to “doing”.

Our Vision - Trips for Everyone

Weekend trips. Week-long trips. Some all hiking. Some all paddling. Some in which you can do both-- paddle and hike, even paddle and bike. No matter how long your selected route or your mode of travel, there are no tents to carry, camp stoves to struggle with, or mosquitoes biting you in your sleep on an Adirondack Hamlets to Huts trek.

You will travel to and through charming and historic Adirondack communities as well as amazing wild landscapes that make the Adirondacks the special place that it is. Our routes celebrate both the settled and the sublime, the culture of the Adirondacks as much as its nature. Your lodging will run the gamut, from the simple, such as walled tents, yurts, cabins, and motels, to the grand, including bed-and-breakfasts, hotels, lodges, and inns.

Come to the Adirondacks and experience the Park with Adirondack Hamlets to Huts. Adventure by day. Comfort at night.

Your donation helps us establish new routes!

Support Adirondack Hamlets to Huts and assist us in advancing wellness, conservation and vibrant communities throughout the Adirondack Park.