Need a weekend getaway off the grid this summer? A rustic setting with no Wi-Fi or cell service or other brain disrupters, and in a rustic yet beautiful setting? Then glamorous camping, or glamping, is the way to go. For a single night or several in a row, here are some glampsites right here in Kentucky, including treehouses!
EarthJoy Tree Adventures
Just outside Maysville, EarthJoy Tree Adventures offers tree climbing experiences for folks to get a different perspective on the world from 40 feet up, and yoga retreats to get grounded. It’s on the 200-acre family farm of Shelly and Bill Byrne. A true respite from the concrete jungle, you can rent overnight stays in the Kentucky Climber’s Cottage. Built in late 2014, the two-story timber frame treehouse has barn doors and a loft bedroom with a king-sized bed. There’s no plumbing up in the tree, but there is a separate bathhouse on the property. And feel free to hike a four-mile trail through a creek bed, and rest a spell in a three-person tree hammock the Byrnes set up.
A yurt, y’all. You can rent a yurt at Jessa and Nathan Turner’s 100-acre farm in Red Lick Valley, 20 minutes east of Berea College’s campus. They have a domed yurt 18 feet in diameter that sleeps up to six people. It has reclaimed hardwood floors, a woodstove and large deck. A treehouse yurt named Abi’s Arboreal Abode & Hammock Haven, or AAAHH, sleeps up to four. Both accommodations are served by a fancy outhouse with solar-heated showers and skylights. Or bring sleeping bags for up to 10 people for a back-to-basics camping experience in a 24-foot tepee. Primitive campers and ultimate glampers alike have access to the courtesy kitchen and all appliances, including stove, refrigerator and a coffee-maker with organic, fair-trade coffee. A farm-stand fridge has produce for sale such as eggs, fruits and veggies grown on the farm. HomeGrown HideAways operates as a social enterprise, donating a portion of proceeds to different charities, one of which is the Red Lick Volunteer Fire Department, where Nathan Turner is a member.
The Canopy Crew
Red River Gorge, Stanton, Ky.
Django Kroner has been building treehouses since 2009. He started the Canopy Crew in 2013 to build custom treehouses for people all over the world. He also has two (soon to be three) treehouses already built and available to rent in Red River Gorge. The Sylvan Float treehouse feels as if it is floating through nature for the one or two people it can host to enjoy scenic views from the wraparound deck and lofted bedroom. To get to the Observatory treehouse requires a slight hike of 200 steps above the forest floor, but talk about taking an adventure to new heights. It’s worth the climb to be able to fall asleep under the stars in the great outdoors –with protection from the elements, that is, as the glass bedroom is 50 feet off the ground.
Getaways, hideaways, campsites and glampsites are a great way to recharge your batteries. Check out the Kentucky Department of Parks for 17 lodges and 31 campsites among the 49 state parks in the commonwealth. Also, the Kentucky Department of Tourism has a list of certified Kentucky Trail Town communities that are big on outdoor recreation.