Bolton Lodge, 1928, Bottom left clockwise. Mrs. Ernest Smith, Dr. Twichell, Mrs. & Mr. Deryea, Mrs. Salls, on roof Mr. Smith and K.T. Salls

Edward Bryant, a preservationist and outdoorsman, who owned 10,000 acres around Bolton, allowed the Green Mountain Club to extend the Long Trail and build Bolton Lodge, on his property. Working with Dr. E.G. Twitchell and Ernest T. Smith, the Bolton Lodge on the Long Trail was completed in 1928. Every effort was made to make the shelter resemble a rural English cottage, with a thatched roof. [Lane]

This lodge, situated in a clearing, provides a fine view of Camel’s Hump. This fine and comfortable cabin, built of stone and stucco to discourage porcupines, was erected by the Burlington Section of the GMC. It has a good stove and bunks for 12 or more hikers. [GB 8th Edition 1930] It was abandoned after trail relocation because of Bolton Valley Ski Area.

The new lodge on Bolton Mountain is probably the best constructed and most inviting camp yet built on the Trail It takes the place of the old Dunsmoor Lodge. It is designed after the cottages of Wales and Ireland, four feet of cobble stone at the base, white stucco above, and a four-sided roof with round corners. Red and black shingles trimmed irregularly give the effect of a thatched root Green on the door and window frames adds a bright touch. The interior measures 15 by 25 feet, with bunks for twelve. The floor consists of flat stones set in cement, and the furniture is of white birch. It is warranted porcupine proof. The site was selected by Mr. E. S. Bryant, owner of the mountain. The view from the front is of surpassing beauty, with the Couching Lion in the center of the picture. A few yards away is a spring and a little farther, the tumultuous Joiner Brook. Special credit is due to Dr. E. G. Twitchell and Ernest Smith and to the volunteer workers who contributed many days of skilled labor. The cost of the building was $1,100. from numerous sources. The name has not yet been decided. [LT News, Dec. 1928]

New Year’s Eve at Bolton. Among the ten sections of the GMC there exists no finer tradition than this annual party of the Burlington Section. While the rest of the country are tooting horns and swinging in a packed dance hall, the Burlingtonians quietly roll up blankets and set out for Bolton Lodge late on the last day of the year. Ordinarily the best skiing for the Burlington Section centers about this Lodge. It has miles of trails and a cabin that can be comfortably heated even in severe weather. Lack of snow provided a departure from the usual routine this year. Ice-creeping was in order this year. By nine-thirty 16 had arrived after doing 3.5 miles of pack-juggling up the trail.

Bolton Lodge,1935
Bolton Lodge,1935

Normally a group of hikers who have tramped that distance are ready to have taps sounded at ten, but the spirit triumphs even on the trail. The last hours of 1940 were spent hilariously in salting down tall tales of hikes, an intimate reading by Professor Buchanan of one hiker’s experiences on the trail, and in stowing away a sack of shell peanuts that someone had brought. Every Yankee has to keep his hands or jaws busy on such an occasion, and in the absence of enough whittling to go around, the peanuts did the trick. Then as the minute hand of Professor Buchanan’s watch crept up on midnight, the 1940 calendar was ceremoniously brought out and its traditional burning took place as Indian yells and whoops reverberated through the rafters.

The bedding down a half hour later brought out some serious accommodation problems. The lodge was built to take care of a dozen. There were sixteen of us. With a little jackknifing, the bunks were made to suffice for fourteen, and two others compromised by stretching out on the floor and benches. Ten more club followers drifted in the next day bringing the roster to 26 and making as fine a lounging and hike company as any lodge ever entertained. Sitting on one of the lodge bunks, with my feet dangling over the edge, New Year’s Day, I turned over the thought that this group surely exemplifies true out-right democracy, all ages and professions mingling together in complete enjoyment, each mindful and anxious to help the other enjoy the day – such an atmosphere made the Long Trail possible. In the afternoon as the group picked their icy way home, the clouds lifted letting the slant rays of the sun filter through. Along the area of frost-encrusted, fir-covered slopes, the sun cast a ribbon–like streak of gold, and where the slopes were untouched by the ribbon, a sheen of pink and purple was reflected – the perfect benediction to a grand party and for a new year. [Larry Dean, Jan. 1940. LT News, Feb. 1941]

Bolton Lodge Restoration, 2017

On the weekend of June 7, 1958, the Burlington Section did an extensive repair job. They had 24 people helping on both days. They rebuilt about 3 feet of brick chimney, replaced several roof boards, shingled the whole front half of the roof, replaced chimney flashing, re-shingled near the chimney, put in two completely new windows, put in new boards for a whole bunk and 1/2 of another, replaced two settee backs, built up a toilet foundation, replaced the inside of a toilet, and cleaned up the area. Quite a job! [Roy Buchanan. LT News, August 1958] Vandalism has occurred. About half of the windowpanes have been broken this spring. [LT News, Nov. 1963]

Bolton Lodge, 2021
Bolton Lodge, 2021

In 2013 the State of Vermont acquired the so-called Bolton Nordic property at the head of Bolton Valley, just north of the new bridge and east of the relocated Long Trail. The land included two historic cabins, Bolton Lodge (built by the Burlington Section in 1928) and Bryant Camp (built as a ski lodge in the early 1930s by Edward S. Bryant). GMC agreed to renovate and manage both for public use, including the installation of wood stoves for winter use. Bolton Lodge would once again be part of the Long Trail System. [LT News Fall, 2013]

During the summer of 2017, the Green Mountain Club began an extensive restoration of Bolton Lodge. Began restoration of historic Bolton Lodge. The restoration crew stabilized crumbling lower stone walls, replaced the rotted floor, and added new sheathing. They also replaced failed roofing shingles with architectural shingles matching those installed when the lodge was built in 1928. In late fall the crew finished the interior, and built a wood shed and a composting privy. [LT News Winter, 2017]

Bolton Lodge Interior
Bolton Lodge Interior