Saturday, January 9, 2010

Secret hide aways: State Park cabins, yurts

One of the best kept secrets in Michigan is that the State Park system rents wilderness cabins and yurts to stay in during both winter and summer. They're scattered around the state, but my favorite are in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the western Upper Peninsula.
It’s the largest state park in Michigan, with 60,000 acres and it offers a wide range of activities, from cross-country and downhill skiing to backpacking and mountain biking.
For years, many cross-country skiers have headed to the park in April for spring skiing at its best. Temperatures hit the 40s and there’s still snow on the ground.
During the winter, the DNR rents yurts, which are 16 feet in diameter and are equipped with bunk beds, mattresses, a cook stove, axe, bow saw and cooking and eating utensils. Reservations are suggested. Rates are $60.
There are 17 rustic cabins scattered around the park. The most popular is the Lake of the Clouds cabin, which sleeps up to eight. Rates are $60.
For larger parties, there’s the Kaug Wudjoo Lodge, which originally was the park manager’s home. It has a stone fireplace and a rustic interior, and sleeps up to 12. Rates are $1,225 a week. Reservations are required.
For more information, call 906-885-5275, or go to the DNR website,

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