Recap of Our Adventures at The Ledges & Abbott’s Glen in Vermont
Our YNA Trip To The Ledges and Abbot’s glen in Vermont:
Last weekend, we did our first ever YNA meetup in Vermont. The purpose was to visit two places we’ve never been to – The Ledges and Abbott’s Glen Clothing Optional Inn & Campground.
It always seems to be a journey getting out of New York City on a Friday afternoon, but many of us headed up to Abbott’s Glen to arrive that night. Of course arriving Friday also made it easier to have a full day at The Ledges on Saturday.
First off, there’s one thing we all discovered that night that I feel I should mention – there’s little to no cell reception around Abbott’s Glen. Our satellite GPS still got us there, but it got a little tough for those using a smartphone! There is WiFi and landline phones at Abbott’s for those who need to connect to the outside world. However when you can get away to the country and disconnect, I know there’s definitely some appeal in that too.
Upon arrival we met the manager, Liz. Despite it being so late (around 10:30pm), she still gave us a warm welcome, checked us in and gave us a tour of the grounds.
As a group we camped together in their orchard next to apple and pear trees. (They also do have individual campsites.) After pitching our tent, we went to warm up by the bonfire manned by Lindy, one of the owners. It was quite the chilly evening!
Saturday was when we really got to see the grounds and facilities, and the whole place exceeded our expectations. The grounds are so well-manicured and show off beautiful Vermont nature. It’d be hard not to feel at ease among the flowers, greenery, trees and the pond.
Inside their main house is a 5-person hot tub, indoor showers and restrooms. The sauna is outside in its own little house, and it’s just perfect. It’s the first time I’ve ever seen a wood-burning sauna. They keep a bucket inside to pour water, and you can almost turn it into a steam room. Across from the main house is their “Club Sugar Shack” where they have pool table and couches and chairs. In the corner is a wood-burning stove to keep it cozy.
Most of us tented while a few others got fancier with rooms. I didn’t personally see a room, but from what I heard, they are spacious, clean and comfortable.
As a side note, I’m learning that it’s not very common to find higher-class B&B’s or nudist resorts in the U.S. In most places, room rentals are just super, super basic and probably haven’t been updated in many years. A lot of times you’re lucky if the room smells okay and has a decent mattress. Really the only time I’ve seen resorts as nice as this one was in California. Places like Meadowlark Country House and the Terra Cotta Inn. (Abbott’s provides bathrobes in the rooms just like Meadowlark.)
Back to the recap. So eventually we piled into cars and made our way out towards The Ledges, which is only about 6 miles away from Abbott’s. It’s a curvy road with ups and downs, but Beth Nolan actually biked it! On the way we also stopped at the Jacksonville General Store to pick up lunch and snacks. It’s a butcher shop with good meats and cheeses, as well as a small grocery store.
After driving down a dirt road, we reached the parking lot. It’s pretty small, so it’s good we carpooled. Unfortunately it was still quite chilly out. We seem to have picked the coldest weekend of August to take this trip. But, it wasn’t raining and the sun did shine on us for periods of time.
We got on the trail to walk along the reservoir towards the section known as The Ledges. It’s an easy hike, though there are lots of roots and rocks so good shoes are recommended. After a few minutes hike in, we reached the magical sign that says “You can be naked now” in so many words.
Simple nudity is technically legal before and after these signs, as per Vermont state law. However, this doesn’t mean you can or should go naked anywhere and everywhere in Vermont. Certain towns have their own ordinances against public nudity, and The Ledges itself underwent a period of controversy during which nudity was banned for two years. NAC (Naturist Action Committee) had to fight very hard with a team of naturists to get it back. Naturists should stick to nature areas in VT, always be aware of local laws and exercise caution when going nude in non-traditional areas. See this page for more about Vermont law and Ledges etiquette.
Some people couldn’t wait and stripped down right after the sign. The trail led us into a clearing at the water, and we started to see other naturists. We knew we’d reached The Ledges! On this length of the reservoir there’s a sandy / rocky beach and then you can climb up onto the actual rock “ledges.” Despite the cool temps, there was still a fairly large crowd of people there.
It’s nice to bring a chair, raft or even a yoga mat to have something soft to sit / lay on since it is all rock. We settled in and met some more YNA people who came to meet us there.
A little further down the trail there’s a cliff jump and a swing. A few people went to jump or swing into the water. Despite the cool weather, many still went for a nude swim. The water was cold, but clean and deep. This entire area is pristine and beautiful.
I went for a short hike with a few others and followed the trail about a mile further until reaching the “you should put your clothes back on” sign. By hiking we realized just how big this area is. The reservoir itself is 8 miles long, and the official clothing optional section is quite large. If people want more privacy and quiet, there is plenty of shoreline to find that. I think it’s also important to note the reservoir water level fluctuates throughout the season, and when it’s high it reduces much of the available ledge area. In August the level is low, and it’s the best time to go.
After a few hours, the cloud cover increased, and we’d had enough. We packed up and went back to enjoy another evening at Abbott’s. On Saturday nights Lindy does music in Club Sugar Shack, and they clear an area for a dance floor. We played pool, games, danced and had a lot of fun.
Sunday was again cloudy, but it got a little nicer as the day wore on. We had no plans but to relax and enjoy Abbott’s Glen before heading home. Beth also did a naked yoga class late that morning.
Jordan and I explored the hiking trails and North River that runs through the property. It takes about 30 minutes to walk all their trails through the forest. The river water was clean and shallow, though I think the owners mentioned some serious flooding going on a month or two ago. Back here they have a little beach where you can relax and wade into the river.
Not too long after our hike, we packed up and headed out, as did others. A few more stayed around to enjoy a couple more hours at this little VT haven. Suffice it to say we all thoroughly enjoyed our stay at Abbott’s Glen and our adventures at The Ledges. We look forward to returning someday!