Try a cool new way to camp…stay in a YURT!

About five years ago, I heard from a few colleagues at the state Department of Conservation and Recreation about how great it was to stay in a yurt and that the state should consider installing more of these across state parks in Massachusetts. Like many of you, I said to myself “what the #$%@ is a yurt?”.

Since this time, DCR has expanded the use of yurts in parks across the commonwealth from October Mountain State Forest and Otter River State Forest in the Berkshires to Nickerson State Park in Brewster. The agency has plans to add more given the strong demand for this old, new way of camping.

According to Wikipedia, a yurt is a “portable, felt-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Turkish and Mongolian nomads. A yurt is more home-like than a tent in shape and build, with thicker walls.

In fact, yurt camping has gained lots of popularity lately as a more comfortable way for families to camp than a tent, with a lot more amenities. It’s also much cheaper than a hotel and gets you closer to the outdoors. DCR yurts are typically furnished with bunk beds, mattresses, table chairs, lighting outdoor water and wooden floors. They typically fit six people. If you are lucky enough to get a yurt (they’re now booked 6 months out), they cost about $30 per night.

A local company, White Mountain Yurts, based in Wakefied, NH is building lots of yurts around New England in a variety of sizes and styles. They include Pagett Farm in Maine and Green Alpaca Yurts in Strafford, NH. These locations are right on hiking trails and come with kitchens. Shawnee Peak in Bridgton, Maine – a regular ski spot for our family – has also installed yurts at the top of the mountain!

Here’s some more information about yurts if you’re interested. We are going to try and add this to our list of activities this summer…if they’re not sold out!

If you have any more feedback on yurts, please let me know.




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