Last spring my family went Yurting at the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, right here in beautiful Minnesota.
Cuyuna Country is stunning and unique. Many of the lakes are abandoned mines from more than 30 years ago. It is amazing to see an area that used to be run by mining companies and filled with stockpiles of rocks, is now home to crystal clear lakes and beautiful forests. The park is breathtaking. As one of Minnesota’s newest State Recreation Areas, Cuyuna’s 5,000 acres are mostly undeveloped, making it a nature lover’s dream. The area is very popular for both mountain bikers and trout fishers. We chose this park for the Yurt experience but were also excited to try trout fishing!
We had our two kids along for the trip, and they had a great time. At the time they were six months and almost three. The park has three yurts that are available year round, located along the west side on Yawkey Mine Lake. This is a small lake, that has a canoe launch and flat areas for shore fishing. When we booked our stay we chose the yurt furthest from the parking area for the most privacy. It was about a quarter mile walk to the car, and the bathrooms (vault toilets) were easily accessible. The walk from the car to the yurt was flat and smooth, making it simple to push the stroller down.. We did expect to have a view of the lake from our yurt, based on the map we had looked at prior to booking, but we did not. To access the lake we either had to climb through woods and descend a steep and slippery path (that likely belonged to a deer) or we had to walk back to the parking area to access at the canoe launch area.
The yurt was everything I had hoped for and more. The yurts are insulated canvas tents with wood floors, giving you a very comfortable camping experience. The yurts fit seven people in cozy beds and have no running water or electricity. Inside the yurt is a wood stove to keep warm and the firewood is provided at no charge during cold weather months. Each yurt has operable windows, a beautiful domed roof with a skylight, and a table and chairs. The yurts in Cuyuna Country are priced at $55 per day on weekdays and $65 per day on weekends.
Here are five family-friendly things we did on our Yurting Adventure!
1. Shore fishing and playing in Yawkey Mine Lake
This is the lake nearest to the yurts. We spent a lot of time at this lake, letting my daughter play in the water and fishing for trout. We didn’t have much luck fishing but it was a beautiful lake to spend our days by.
2. Shore fishing, rock throwing, red sand playing, BBQ at Huntington Lake
Huntington Lake has a beautiful picnic area. We found a great spot to BBQ overlooking the lake. After lunch we headed down to the beach to throw rocks, fish and play! The red sand is really fun for the kids!
3. Serpent Lake & Crosby Memorial Park
Serpent Lake is a place of many memories for me. We came here a lot as a family when I was growing up, so it was fun to come back! The park is truly amazing for youngsters- especially toddlers! I wish I had good pictures of the park, but we were too busy enjoying our time together to remember to whip out the camera. The park is full of cool art and interesting playground equipment that you don’t see at your everyday park! This park is a must if you are visiting this area with kids! You should probably go here even if you don’t have kids! Also make sure to take your picture with the serpent statue and visit the tank.
4. Louie’s Bucket of Bones and Park, Ironton
This was a fun spot to stop for lunch with its friendly service and great flavorful chicken wings. After lunch we checked out the park located nearby the restaurant. This was another really fun park, not as unique as Serpent Lakes, but still a great place for an afternoon play.
5. Campfire, s’mores & stargazing
What’s a camping(or in this case yurting) trip without campfires?! We had campfires nightly and enjoyed s’mores with our daughter. We loved sitting by the fire, listening to the sounds of nature and watching the beautiful stars.
I cannot wait to go back! I highly recommend this for a weekend family adventure or even a longer stay! Feel free to leave any questions in the comments!
Much Love & Happy Travels,