Naked in Vermont: A Clothing-Optional Resort
An October visit to Abbott’s Glen Inn Reveals Foliage and Fun
By Max Hartshorne
I didn’t know that I needed this break. I had no idea, in the enjoyably cool weather of fall in New England, that I’d crave the chance to be free, naked and bathing in the sun in Southern Vermont. But I did.
Guests and hosts alike shared the phrase “It’s exotic, not erotic,” and “the two-minute rule of nudist living.” And it’s true that after just a few minutes, the prurience disappears and you no longer really care what your body looks like. Abbott’s Glen Inn is in West Halifax, at the very southern part of the Green Mountain State.
For seven years they have cultivated a loyal following of part time nudists who come there for the delectable food, beautiful grounds, conversation, and yes, a little naked dancing too. They offer tent sites and seven rooms inside in various configurations at different levels of comfort.
You’re much more interested in that plate of cumin infused roast pork, or the chance to sit in an Adirondack chair in front of a pretty lake and let it all hang out. Literally and figuratively.
57 Acres to Wander
The property is about 57 acres, and a woodland stream winds along the edge of the forest. There are well-marked hiking trails that take you over to the stream, and at the trail’s end a delightful circular sunning area is cut out of the weeds.
Just before you get there, a bridge with a little bell on it sounds when anyone is approaching. How convenient!
Abbott’s Glen reminds of me what I’d have hoped that my old prep school would be set up like. With sylvan glades protected from the faculty to tryst in, and a sunny circle of chairs where everybody can relax naked and read a book or talk. And no homework, just the assignment to get to know your fellow nudists and share your interests and relax.
The buildings are all reclaimed from the original farm. The carriage house has guest rooms, a large living room with a wood stove for hanging out, wine tastings and the evening dance parties.
Right across a path is the main building with upstairs guestrooms, kitchen and the dining room which looks out at the pond.
In addition, the big hot tub is in this building along with spacious stone floored bathrooms and multi person showers (one co ed and one for women only.)
The carriage house bedrooms utilize these bathrooms, so if you want to be able to walk from bed to toilet, you would want to be in a different building. For warm weather an outdoor shower is available for getting clean au naturel right in nature.
A Party of 20
Amy Abbott and Lindy Abbott met decades earlier at another naturist resort, and remet when they both lived in Burlington Vermont. Eight years ago, and both decided to pursue a mutual dream when they found land in Halifax, three hours south of the small capital city.
There were quite a few repeat guests like Maryanne, who said, “Amy and Lindy really foster an environment of comfort and ease. My husband and I love it here!”
The youngest guests were a couple in their 20s; a nurse and a flooring installer from Springfield, Massachusetts, who keep a pop-up tent camper here and come most every weekend.
There were a few couples in their 70s who travel to many naturist resorts and always come back to Abbott’s Glen.
Among the three PhD university psychology professors, one is the head of his department. The couple of financial advisors drove over from New York State and had to be back Monday for the opening of the stock exchange. Interesting conversation is guaranteed.
A man named Don from Connecticut who works for the post office told us he’d been to Abbott’s Glen twenty times with his wife and each time they met dozens of people that they really enjoyed talking with.
Was it the nakedness that created an open-ness among the guests? I think it has something to do with it.
Caters to Couples
The resort caters to couples, and in an environment like this, Lindy Abbott said that single males aren’t always a good fit.
“They start chasing the few unattached young women around, and that isn’t good.” A young female employee chimed in. “Not so good!” Like the Abbotts, she socializes with the guests, dancing naked with the crowd, so it’s just better not to inject the single male’s energy into a coupled crowd.
This isn’t the place to meet a date, but it’s sure a great place to take one!
Of course, everyone to me looked terribly normal; no one stood out in any way. (I’m not sure why they would, but it crossed my mind for some reason).
Dinner dress varied, most of the men wore their terrycloth robes (supplied by the resort) and let them slip down the chair, and most of the women wore shorts and nothing on top. Nobody came to the table or most anywhere else fully clothed.
Unlike in many other nudist resorts, at Abbott’s Glen, the food is a key selling point. It’s very, very good, but not fussy or pretentious. Hosts Amy and Lindy pride themselves on making their guests feel comfortable and creating an atmosphere of relaxed decadence. More chocolate cake anyone?
Friday nights is pizza night, made using a wood-fired maple sugar boiler, refitted with pizza stones. In the spring, Lindy makes maple syrup from trees on the property. After pizza there is a bonfire. The wood-fired sauna building is right there for your pleasure, any time.
Saturday night dinners are special occasions, with linens, candles and a bounteous spread. Guests can bring their own wine and beer, and it’s a sit-down affair for all 20 guests.
Local produce and meats are used extensively. They are happy to uncork your wine or bring you the right glasses for a beer.
After a dinner that lasts a few hours, enjoying conversation with our newfound naked friends, guests can adjourn to the carriage house across from the main building. Here, with a brightly blazing fire in the woodstove, a top quality sound system provides the music for dancing.
Dancing in front of a fire is always a treat. But mixing in topless women, joyous naked men to the pulsing beat, and well, now you’ve got a party! The liberation of dance and the feeling of being free to shake your booty, move your hips and wave your arms are magnified with everyone nude. I think this experience deserves a place on more people’s bucket lists!
Amy Abbott told us some of the ways that the resort deals with its toughest problem: the cold. In some ways it is more of a perception issue than a reality, but when people mention Vermont, getting naked isn’t the first thing that comes to mind.
“In January we sit outside in a living room that is formed by erecting three walls of heavy sailcloth around the bar. We created one wall hung with thousands of shiny CDs so that the sunlight is reflected toward the center. Even on the coldest days, it’s still warm there, enough so that folks often take breaks and lie in the snow to cool off.”
On our visit in October, we were blessed with lots and lots of sun, and despite the turning leaves, we had plenty of chances to suntan and lounge. Sunday morning found us joined by four other couples in the Adirondack chairs lined up near a large field. One couple entertained us by flying kites.
We asked some of our dinner guests about how they’ve come to enjoy clothing optional recreation and why. Missy, from Virginia, told us that it seemed to her that when she and others shed their clothes, they become more open, more honest, and less interested in hiding what they think and believe.
She said it’s as if the playing field has been leveled because we’re all naked, and there is no clothing to hide behind. Of course that would also eliminate any of the self-perceived status that may come from expensive clothes, or jewelry.
Two Challenges for Naked Fun
Amy Abbott said that there are two challenges that are different for women and for men when they first come to a nudist resort. For women, it’s the issue of safety. Often there is reluctance by one partner yet an enthusiasm for being naked from the other.
Commonly it’s the men who are comfortable and the woman who are shy at first. But more often than not, Amy said, the reluctant partner sheds their clothes as the comfort level increases, and by the end is as happy naked as their partner.
Lindy said that for men, sometimes their own size becomes an issue, as if it’s a competition and they are afraid of losing. But like the two-minute rule, in just a little while they see that nobody pays attention to genital size and it’s a non-issue.
Any Season’s a Good Season
Abbott’s Glen is most popular during the summer months, when they sell campground sites for $38 per night and sometimes have as many as 50 people dancing to a local blues band in the carriage house.
But the fall is still a good season to come, especially if you’re not from New England and still marvel at the spectacular fall foliage of that time of year. No matter what the season, at Abbott’s Glen you’re assured an interesting group of happy people, all wearing a smile.
Find Abbott’s Glen in Halifax, Vermont, near the Massachusetts state border.
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