You know those stories of raccoons trying to get into your tent at night to get your food or, scratching against your tent? The less-than-great sleep because you felt removed from the comfort of your normal bed and routine?
This is not one of those stories! This one is about sleeping in comfort and feeling a sense of relief at night when you shut the door to the forest just beyond the window panes.
Welcome to the world of “Glamping” in a Yurt at the beautiful Bruce Peninsula National Park (BPNP). Glamping is a new twist on an old style of camping that is more glamorous than dome tents and coleman stoves. The seventies had camper vans and folding trailers, hippies and weekend warriors. It was all about leaving the city but bringing some comfort with you. Now, we have Yurts for those baby boomer hipsters that have grown up as a new generation of glamorous camper.
What is a Yurt?
Inspired by the dwellings of nomads in the steppes of Central Asia, it’s a circular structure with a cone or sphere shaped roofline that occasionally in modern times has a skylight at the top. The BPNP has taken it to a whole new level with hardwood floors, wooden furniture, storage spaces, a large bunk bed and a large Murphy (fold-down) bed. It comes complete with a large deck for entertaining, a barbeque for cooking with 2 propane tanks and a place to burn wood outdoors. Imagine a modern version of an aboriginal village and then you’ll have a visual picture of many of them together, it is pretty neat.
During the spring my friends and I went Yurt camping for a weekend and we really enjoyed ourselves. The amenities were great and included hot showers and a sink to wash dishes - a real treat while camping. Oh, there's also warm showers for the morning at a communal facility. Our weekend began with parking, carting all of our supplies with a pull cart to the Yurt and then standing there in amazement. It was gorgeous and at the same time surreal!
Our highlights had to be sleeping in comfortable beds as opposed to thin air mattresses, being just steps away from the lake and canoeing, and the hiking trails that led us to the world famous Grotto.
During our stay I met our neighbours and it confirmed my suspicion that Yurt camping can be done by almost anyone. There was an elderly couple, a family with a new born, a young couple, and some young guys that wanted to escape the city for a bit. It was like a private little community in the nicest park around!
Tips on How to Prepare Yourself
- Under no circumstance should you feed a squirrel
- Bring sheets, plus sleeping bags - yet, with the heat you won't need them!
- Read the instructions carefully that are provided from the National Park
- Put your parking permit in your window
- bring your own cold storage devices, maybe 2 coolers and ice
- bring large plastic rubbermaid containers to turn into a soapy water, and a rinse basin.
- Bring fresh water. Not little plastic bottles. Jugs.
- Bug repellant optional. I suppose it depends if you want to get bugged - Spring is great for almost no bugs
- Bring towels, you may want to swim (Cyprus Lake is gorgeous).
- Bring Life preservers and safety equipment for canoeing (rent canoes 10min away in Tobermory at Thorncrest Outfitters)
- Seriously, do not feed that squirrel. He will never leave...he was inside my cereal box!
There are more instructions on the BPNP website that will help to keep the Yurts in awesome shape for you and others.
(From April 23 - October 20) call 519-596-2263.
If you want to experience a great vacation that is as unique as it is interesting, then you should call up the people at the park and book one of these yurts early in the season. It was incredible.
Contact for Tours available: 519-387-8687