Growing up in Vermont, I have fond memories of camping. It was primitive camping: no picnic tables, no grills, no bathrooms. I loved it. I didn’t mind the bugs, summer heat or even sleeping on hard, uneven ground.
I have camped far less as an adult with my husband, Brian, and our two daughters, now 7 and 12. I want to do more of it, but wimp out over weather concerns and giving up the comforts of home. Yet I enjoy being outdoors, unplugging, unwinding — especially with my husband and kids. So when I recently had the chance to stay in a yurt at Cloudland Canyon State Park, I seized on the opportunity.
Yurts are circular dwellings, somewhere between tents and cottages. They have real furniture, and at Cloudland Canyon, this includes bunkbeds and hand-carved wooden tables that look like pieces of art. Made of wood and canvas, the elevated yurts at Cloudland are weather-tight, built with wood flooring, and designed to ensure that wildlife stays outside. Well, except for a couple of small, brown scorpions that paid a visit. Luckily, Georgia scorpions are more benign than their desert-dwelling cousins.
Read more about staying in yurts, which are avaiable at five Georgia State parks by going to