Resources and Library:

Training and Education

Hosted by

American Trails presented "Huts for Hiking, Skiing, and Biking: Why, Where, and How?" as a part of the American Trails "Advancing Trails Webinar Series"



"Huts for Hiking, Skiing, and Biking: Why, Where, and How?"

An overview of hut systems in USA and around the world, which includes a wide range of accommodations systems such as shelters, yurts, platform tents, inns and B&B's, hostels, and mountain huts of every size and kind. - Purchase this Webinar...

Photo of hiker on hillside trail


American Trails presented this Webinar January 19, 2017. The presenter is Sam Demas, Researcher and Website Editor,

Read more and learn about the presenter...



If you are interested in “attending” an archived version of the webinar, purchase the session via the American Trails Online Store

purchase webinar



CLOSED CAPTIONING: We are offering closed captioning for our webinars, thanks to a partnership with Caption Colorado. If you are in need of this service, please email us prior to the webinar. An unedited transcript will be sent to all attendees following the webinar.

OUR WEBINAR PRICES HAVE CHANGED! American Trails Members only pay $35 and Nonmembers pay $55. These prices are the same for our future webinars as well as our past webinars in which you can access recordings to. To receive the member discount, be sure and select “YES” for this question and the $20 will automatically be deducted from your total. If you are a new or renewing member, you can add a membership to your order at the same time. View our membership levels and benefits.


Webinar Sponsors




logo logo logo



photo of wood shelter with stone chimney


This presentation includes pictures and explanations of the different kinds of hut systems in different parts of the world, particularly in mountains, and abroad in rural front-country and on blueways. The term “huts” includes a wide range of accommodations systems such as shelters, huts, yurts, platform tents, pods, inns and B&B's, hostels, and mountain huts of various sizes and levels of amenities.

Focus will be on where and why these hut systems exist, and how they operate. Presentation is for people at all levels of expertise. Trails with are primarily dirt/natural surface often improved with standard trail construction techniques. However, some hut/trail systems use country roads for part of the journey, depending on access restrictions.

Most hut systems are optimized for skiing and/or hiking, but some also accommodate biking.



graphic showing cross section of trail on hillside




1. Selected articles and content areas from referred to in webinar:

2. Hut Systems in USA all have web sites that are easy to find, such as:


3. Planning documents for Adirondacks Hamlets to Huts:


4. Selected links for sites in other nations:


Presenter for the Webinar:

Sam Demas is an independent researcher focusing on environmentally sensitive food and shelter systems for long distance human-powered travelers. He is the editor, and at this point, the primary researcher and writer for

photo of man with snowy tree

Sam Demas



After 40 years working in academic libraries, Sam is focusing on as his research and writing interest for the next few years. This endeavor utilizes his skills in research, collaboration, and strategic planning; it puts him in touch with lots of interesting people; and it frames his travel plans. And perhaps it will help to raise the level of discourse and knowledge in the USA about huts, yurts, home/farm stays and other ways of supporting long distance walkers, bikers and skiers.

In 1973 Sam completed a masters degree in Environmental Education, but chose a career in librarianship. This project is something of a return to his long-standing interest in nature study/environmental education, focused now on the role hut systems might play. Sam hopes his research and development work in this arena will contribute in some way to the essential civilizational task of providing young people with immersive nature experiences that engender a profound ethos of biophilia in our culture.

Sam is a reluctant backpacker and an enthusiastic walker. He loves to walk for days on end with a light pack, and has walked (or skied, but never biked, yet!) hut-to-hut in the USA, Canada, England, France, Ireland, Italy, Morocco, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia, Greece, Chile, and Japan. But he hasn’t visited New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, and lots of other nations with hut systemsc(yet!). By now he has visited and written about most of the hut-to-hut systems in the USA, and is hoping to return to many of them.


Print Friendly
Print Friendly and PDF




Facebook Twitter

Stay up to date on legislative issues for trails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.


business directory


trail database

Need trail skills and education? Do you provide training? Join the National Trails Training Partnership!

The NTTP Online Calendar connects you with courses, conferences, and trail-related training

arrowEnjoy and share the new online, digital version of the American Trails Magazine!

arrowHelp us provide you more useful resources to keep you on the cutting-edge -- please join today!

arrowWe are advocating for your interests! Visit the Supporting Trails page to view the latest in legislative news, current issues, and opportunities, and to learn how to access funding.

arrow Sign me up for American Trails Action Alerts and e-Newsletters">Sign up for American Trails Action Alerts and Trail Tracks e-Newsletters.


PDF  Some of our documents are in PDF format and require free Adobe Acrobat Reader software.
  Download Acrobat Reader

section 508 logo American Trails and NTTP support accessibility with Section 508: read more.