Maine Huts and Trails: Stratton Brook Hut Opens

The Maine Huts and Trails (MH&T) newest hut, Stratton Brook, opened in late 2012.  Stratton Brook became the fourth hut along the 50-mile MH&T trail system.  It is located at an elevation of 1,800′ and nestled between Sugarloaf and the Bigelow Mountain range.  The hut offers overnight lodging and meals to outdoor enthusiasts who are biking, skiing or hiking along the trail system.  With a heavy emphasis on sustainability, Stratton Brook was certified as a “Green Lodging Environmental Leader” by the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection.

Colby Co. provided mechanical engineering services to support the design of alternative energy heating and plumbing systems at Stratton Brook. The heart of the heating system is a wood boiler coupled with an 800 gallon water storage tank. The storage tank is essentially a “thermal battery” that allows excessive heat from the boiler to be stored until it can be used at a later time. Radiant floors are the primary means of heating spaces, both for the central hut and external bunkhouses. Solar thermal panels were designed to provide domestic hot water for the showering facilities. An instantaneous propane water heater polishes the hot water to the required temperature during periods of low sunlight or high usage. Photovoltaic panels were also incorporated to provide electrical power. When the generated power exceeds the electric demand and battery storage capacity the system diverts power to an electrical coil in the hot water system to maximize the harvesting of the suns power.