Cabot Cabin, NH 2021
Cabot Cabin, NH 2021

Cabot Cabin, NH 2021

Cabot Cabin, NH 2021

The Cabot Cabin has served as a refuge and destination for outdoor adventurers for generations. Volunteers on this project will backpack in and camp right onsite while we tackle our scope of work!

DATES:  June 6-11 and June 28 – July 3.   Sessions start at 9am on the first day and end at roughly 5pm on the last day.

PROJECT PARTNER: White Mountain National Forest

HistoriCorps projects are free for volunteers! HistoriCorps will provide all meals, tools, training, and equipment, and a campsite. Volunteers are responsible for their own transportation to the campsite, sleeping equipment, work clothes and boots, and other personal gear. Most projects have one spot per session for a “Kitchen Helper” in addition to our project work volunteer spots.

The majority of project costs are covered by our project partners and grants, but as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, HistoriCorps relies on donations to continue training volunteers and youth to save significant historical sites across America for generations to come. Your donation of any amount will make an incredible difference! Increase your impact – make a generous gift today.

Project Site Description & History

Mount Cabot is one of New Hampshire’s well-known and sought-after “4,000-footers,” meaning its peak is over 4,000 feet of elevation. The trails that access the peak are especially popular in the early summer, before it gets too hot! Lucky for us, our project is scheduled at a pleasant time of year for New Hampshire’s north country. As described by the Appalachian Mountain Club, “The route to Cabot’s summit provides several opportunities to take in magnificent scenery.” Additionally, the route is part of a scenic backpacking “loop trail” that includes two other New Hampshire mountain features, the Bulge and the Horn.

The Cabot Cabin, also called the Cabot Firewarden Cabin, once served as a home for fire lookouts. As fire management technology improved, the use of traditional fire lookout towers and staff declined; and today the cabin serves as lodging for overnight backpackers, and as a destination for day hikers. Forest fire lookouts are inspirational not only for the unparalleled (and almost always stunning) views they offer of the surrounding forests, but for the people who dedicated their lives to watching over the forests. Organizations like the Forest Fire Lookout Association keep the memory and spirit of fire lookouts alive, and this HistoriCorps project serves as a way to preserve the history as well.

Several forests offer primitive or rustic lodging for overnight backpackers. In fact, the Cabot Cabin is in comparison a luxurious option! Sharing these “huts” as they’re sometimes called is a well-loved and unique part of backpacker and hiker culture. Many were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps, a New Deal program that employed young men during the Great Depression, and are today maintained by volunteers, nonprofit organizations, and land management agencies. HistoriCorps is partnering with the White Mountain National Forest to undertake specialized historic preservation work on the Cabot Cabin this summer. Because we’ll be working on the cabin itself, we will be camping outside around the cabin.

Volunteers will hike up to and camp on Mount Cabot near the cabin. We’ll stay up there all week, and will hike out together on the last day. Suffice it to say, this project will provide a fantastic opportunity for volunteers that love hiking and backpacking to indulge themselves, as well as serve as a great way for new backpackers to go on their first overnight trip with HistoriCorps’ support! Volunteers will be responsible for carrying up water (2+ liters) as well as small, miscellaneous things as possible.

Location and Logistics

LOCATION of CABOT CABIN

ACCESS:        Tent camping only       Hike in Required

PROJECT DIFFICULTY: 

**NOTE: The hike up to Mount Cabot is moderate to difficult, so volunteers should be in good hiking shape. Mount Cabot is one of New Hampshire’s many peaks, reaching over 4,000 feet tall! The project work, however, is not as physically demanding as the hike.

SCHEDULE:  Volunteers will meet at the trailhead at 9am on the first day of their session. We’ll leave our cars there for the duration of the project. We’ll begin hiking once everyone has arrived. It’s about a 4.5-mile hike uphill to the cabin! We should arrive at the campsite on Mount Cabot by early afternoon. HistoriCorps will provide lunch. Volunteers should plan to carry their own gear and water (2+ liters) as well as expect to help carry any crew supplies, such as food or water.

Scope of Work

Volunteers will work alongside expert field staff to learn and practice the skills and techniques necessary to preserve the historic Cabot Cabin. We are focusing our efforts where the deterioration is greatest: The foundation and roof. We’ll also work on restoring the interior of the cabin.

  • Remove vegetation around cabin
  • Jack building so we can access the dry-stack stone foundation
  • Repair the foundation by re-laying fallen stones
  • Replace deteriorated roof shingles and decking
  • Remove ceiling boards (interior) and silver-backed insulation on walls
  • Remove bunk beds
  • Repair deteriorated window framing
  • Paint interior walls (what a difference that will make!)

If we finish our primary scope of work, we will:

  • Repair siding shingles
  • Repaint the exterior
  • Repair the threshold and porch

Sign Up!

We look forward to working with you! Due to available water resources, we are capping each session at no more than 6 people. As such, please carefully check your calendar before registering; your commitment means everything to us!

Choose your session:

The cozy Cabot Cabin looks like a home one might find in a town, rather than atop a mountain.

An historic photo of the Mount Cabot Fire Lookout Tower. The tower was taken down in 1964. 

The summit of Mount Cabot offers striking and expansive views of the White Mountains. This photo is shared by Charles Danforth on the Hiking Project.

The cabin interior could use some HistoriCorps help! We’ll be doing a bit of demo and painting inside. We’ll also work on the foundation and roof.

Youtuber ChrisGoesOutdoors (11.7k subscribers) posted a video of him hiking up to and exploring the Cabot Cabin! Fast-forward the video to 5:37.

Need-to-Know and FAQ

We’re so glad you’re interested in joining this project! If you’re new to our community, review the Volunteer FAQ first! Please note the following logistics and policies:

  • Review our COVID protocols, including mask requirements, here.
  • Volunteering with HistoriCorps is free! We will provide all meals, tools, training, equipment, and a campsite or shared indoor lodging. Dinner is not provided on the first night.
  • Volunteers are responsible for bringing their own gear, sturdy work clothes and boots, and appropriate sleeping equipment. Check the average temperatures before you start packing – the nights and mornings may be colder than you anticipate! Then, read this advice about how to stay warm when tent camping in colder places.
  • Campsite accessibility varies by project. Some projects can accommodate tents only; others can accommodate medium-large RVs. Please review the project site description above for more information, and if you’re still not sure, email volunteer@historicorps.org for help.
  • If this project does not offer showers, you might want to consider bringing a solar shower or research other methods to clean up after the work day.
  • Volunteer crew sizes generally range from 4-8 volunteers, with two HistoriCorps staff that lead and train volunteers in the work.
  • Safety is one of HistoriCorps’ top priorities, and volunteers can contribute to a safe working environment by ensuring their physical fitness is adequate for the work. See above for this project’s scope of work and difficulty level. Please, call us if you are not quite sure if a project is a good fit for your skills or fitness level. We may be able to suggest a project more suitable and enjoyable for you.
  • Dogs are generally allowed to accompany their humans in project campsites (actually, we love having dogs join us around the campfire!). Dogs are not permitted on the job site for everyone's safety. HOWEVER: HistoriCorps also follows the rules and regulations of our project partner. If the project partner does not permit dogs onsite then HistoriCorps is no exception. Please ask HistoriCorps or the project partner directly if you have any questions about whether Fido is welcome.