So you don’t have a tent or RV? Don’t let that stop you from camping.
Growing numbers of campgrounds offer rental accommodations, including park model cabins, yurts and teepees. Some even have furnished tree houses for rent.
“They are popular, especially for those people who don’t have any camping gear,” said George Reagan, who owns and operates Frontier Campground in Ocean View, N.J.
He says his campground was the first on the Jersey Shore to offer furnished tree houses, which come equipped with comfortable beds, a full kitchen and half bathroom.
“Our tree house guests can cook up scrambled eggs. Fix dinner. We have a covered deck outside. They can sit out there even if it’s raining or snooze or do whatever they want to do,” Reagan said.
While tree houses are popular with children, they have a special appeal for adults, too. “It’s funny to see how people react to them,” Reagan said. “Some of them still have this childhood dream of sleeping in a tree house.”
But if you haven’t had a chance to sleep in a tree house yet, you’re in luck. Several campgrounds across the U.S. have them, including the KOA campgrounds in Petersburg, Mich. and Cadiz, Ky. and Olympus Village Camp-Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.
Some campgrounds even have tree houses available for rent in winter, including The Treehouse Camp at Maple Tree Campground in Rohrersville, Md.
“We have 10 three-season tree houses and eight four-season tree cottages, the cottages being what we make available for winter camping,” said Treehouse Camp owner Louise Soroko.
The tree house cottages come equipped with mattresses, wood burning stoves as well as tables and chairs, Soroko said, adding that the wood burning stoves can be used for cooking as well as heating during the winter months.
“It’s a cozy rustic retreat,” she said with a smile, adding that the campground also has 12 secluded tent sites.
Some of the more rustic tree houses are available at the Monroe Co. / Toledo North KOA campground in Petersburg, Mich., which has two tree houses. “Our one room tree house has a double bed and one set of bunk beds. Our two room tree house has two sets of bunk beds.”
Both tree houses have TVs in them and both have a picnic table, fire ring and charcoal grill at ground level.
At Lake-in-Wood Campground in Narvon, Penn., families and other big groups often rent the park’s tree house as overflow space for guests who don’t have their own RV or for people in their group who simply want the experience of camping in a tree house, said Jerome Bakker, the park’s owner.
Lake-in-Wood also has other unique rental accommodations, including a double decker bus; a covered wagon; a teepee; a yurt; a caboose; and a Gnome home, a Gnome-themed park model cottage, each of which are located near clusters of RV sites so that people who travel in groups.
Bakker said people who rent the tree house or other unique accommodations often come back the next year and rent something else. “It keeps them coming back,” he said.
Tree houses, however, have proven to be so popular other campgrounds are planning to add them, including the Ventura Ranch KOA campground in Santa Paula, Calif., which hopes to have one rentable tree house in place by this summer and possibly more next year, according to park owner Scott Cory.
Frontier Campground is also expanding its offering of tree houses and is planning to add tents on platforms.
Meanwhile, The Treehouse Camp is busy developing an even more unique rental accommodation: A Hobbit House. “It will be like an underground cottage,” Soroko told GoCampingAmerica.com, adding that she hopes to have the unit available sometime this summer. The Hobbit House will also be furnished with a wood burning stove so that it can be rented throughout the year.
Photos provided by Ventura Ranch KOA, Monroe Co/Toledo North KOA, and Lake-in-Wood Campground.