September 16, 2021

Camp in Chic Style — No Posh RV Needed

Stuff We Love
By Lynda Wheatley | July 24, 2021

Used to be that a stay in one of the state park’s rustic cabins or yurts felt like high style for those of us with nylon Target tents. That’s quickly changing. Motivated by the popularity of platforms like Airbnb, and of “glamping” (i.e. glamorous camping) trends, the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division’s Innovation Team is spearheading efforts to enhance state park lodging all over Michigan, bringing to its campgrounds and forests several luxe tiny houses, safari-style canvas-walled tents (on raised platforms! outfitted with real beds!), geodesic domes, and dozens of well-outfitted cottage cabins and full-amenity cottages. They’re also reimagining some mini cabins with the help of a local professional designer Lee Day of Day Designs in Traverse City. Day helped design the first fully reimagined mini cabins in the state park system, at Ionia Recreation Area in Ionia County. Located in the modern campground and backing up to the woods, the refreshed mini cabins each sleep three people comfortably, with room for up to five with the provided bunk cots. Each has a new covered front porch and includes a kitchenette, a reclaimed wood hearth, electric stove, a ceiling fan, electrical outlets with USB ports, and a bar area with stools. The cabins come with the use of a canoe stored just a short drive away. Campers might be able to see Day’s handiwork closer to home soon: The DNR says Traverse City State Park’s mini cabins are on the list for a similar “reimagined” update this year.


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