June 20, 2009

Michigan parks seeing rise in yurt usage

The supervisor of Craig Lake State Park says a growing number of visitors have been using the Michigan park's yurt, a traditional Mongolian shelter.

Park Supervisor Doug Barry said numerous visitors to the 7,000-acre site have been renting the yurt installed a year and a half ago on the shores of Teddy Lake, The Grand Rapids (Mich.) Press reported Saturday.

I see a lot of those adventurous young people renting them, but I also see a couple dads and a couple sons out for fishing trips, Barry said.

The 16-foot diameter shelters once used by ancient Mongols can be rented for $60 a night, Barry added. The round structures have no interior walls and use cables to retain their shape.

Porcupine Mountains State Park administrator Robert Sprague said his Michigan park has also seen an increase in the use of its available yurts.

We were really bowled over by how popular they turned out to be, Sprague told the Press of the park's four yurts.