It’s a dull, cold, long winter in New England — the perfect excuse for a cabin-in-the-woods getaway with your cross-country skis, snowshoes, Scrabble, and sense of humor. You can find some glammed-up cabins with frills like Jacuzzis, spas, and award-winning farm-to-table dining. And then there are those cabins that, well, Thoreau might think they’re all that. And so might you, if you can’t wait to get away from it all (with the emphasis on all).
So when cabin fever hits home this winter, a cabin in the woods just might be the cure.
Robert Frost Mountain Cabins
Located in Ripton, Vt., the five cabins here are perfect for snowshoeing. Trails lead directly from the cabins to 112 acres of winter wonderland on the eastern slope of Robert Frost Mountain. Book the Owl’s Branch, a hideaway that’s tucked in the forest with a reading nook, gas log fireplace, screened porch, living room, two bedrooms, fully-equipped kitchen, Wi-Fi, 37-inch flat-screen TV and a DVD player — certainly not an existentialist’s cabin in the woods. Bring your sled — a hill that’s perfect for the pint-size crowd is about 500 feet from the cabin, and there’s a steeper hill for teens and adults, accessible by snowshoe. Skiers can also rejoice — Middlebury is 8 miles away, and the Rikert Nordic Center is about 7 miles. Bonus: There’s a hot tub on the property for cabin guests. The rates for Owl’s Branch begin at $189 per night double occupancy. Each additional guest is $25 per night, and each cabin can accommodate up to six people. www.robertfrostmountaincabins.com
Cardigan’s High Cabin
Pajama party! Grab your winter-loving friends (but not your high-maintenance pals) and hit the road for a secluded, self-service, hike-in getaway on Mount Cardigan in New Hampshire. You’ll stay in Cardigan’s High Cabin, operated by the Appalachian Mountain Club. What to expect: 12 bunks in a main room, a propane stove, and a seasonal woodstove, for which you’ll be given 15 pieces of firewood each night by the Cardigan Lodge. Bring a sled because you’ll need to transport the wood yourself during your 2-mile hike to the cabin from the Cardigan Lodge parking lot. The 85-year-old property is popular for backcountry wanderlusts who crave seclusion and stunning scenery and trails. It was renovated about 10 years ago to include — wait for it — a new Clivus composting toilet. You’ll also need to schlep water, cooking and eating utensils, sleeping bags, toilet paper, and garbage bags. Winter rates for up to 12 guests begin at $173 per night. (AMC members get a discount.) For reservations, call 603-466-2727. www.outdoors.org
Cabins at Lopstick
Book one of the 54 lakeside cabins here in Pittsburg, N.H., in the Connecticut Lakes and Great North Woods region, and take advantage of the groomed snowmobile trails right outside your cabin’s door. In fact, there are more than 200 miles of trails here that connect all the way up to Quebec — or, you can just zip into town on your snowmobile to visit nearby restaurants and shops. Each trailside cabin (one-, two-, and three-bedroom available) comes with a fully-equipped kitchen, satellite television, and Wi-Fi. Bonus: Several winter deals are available, including the Ride and Stay package that includes cabin accommodations, as well as snowmobile rentals and helmets. (You can rent winter gear, including jackets, boots, and gloves, for an additional cost.) The two-night package begins at $450 for two people. www.cabinsatlopstick.com
Glam it way up — practically off the charts — with a cabin stay at the elegant Winvian Farm, a collection of 18 private cottages surrounded by 113 acres of nature in Litchfield Hills, Conn. Book Log Cabin, a 920-square-foot, traditional peeled-log-constructed getaway with a Jacuzzi, radiant heat pebble floor in the bathroom, twig-trimmed furniture, Wi-Fi, flat-screen TV, and a wood-burning stone fireplace to cozy up in front of after a day of cross-country skiing on nearby White Memorial Conservation trails. There’s also Winvian’s award-winning, seed-to-table restaurant and a spa sanctuary — but you don’t have to mention any of that when telling your cabin-in-the-woods-in-freezing-temperatures survival story back home. (Wink, wink.) Rates for the Log Cabin begin at $559 per night, including breakfast. www.winvian.com
The Christmas Farm Inn & Spa
Christmas Farm’s collection of eight cabins in Jackson, N.H., is cradled in one of New England’s top cross-country ski areas, the Jackson Ski Touring Foundation — and you’ll discover miles of cross-country ski trails just outside your cabin door. (There are also nine alpine slopes nearby.) You’ll want to book the handcrafted Log Cabin, a two-bedroom cabin with knotty-pine paneling, slate-hearth fireplace, four-poster mahogany bed in the first-floor bedroom, and a double and twin-bed up in the second bedroom in the mezzanine. An on-site restaurant and pub with an award-winning chef at the helm dishes out specialties like P.E.I. Mussels, and the Aveda-concept spa might be the deal breaker for those on the fence about a winter cabin getaway. Double room rates through March begin at $199 per night and include breakfast. www.christmasfarminn.comLaurie Wilson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction: Because of inaccuracies on the AMC website, an earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the age of and rates for High Cabin.