CAIRO — When Anna Plattner and Justin Wexler opened the Wild Hudson Valley Farm in Cairo to the public last year for educational nature walks and boat trips, the married couple quickly envisioned a way to expand their offering. with accommodation for the night.
The co-owners of Wild Hudson Valley have launched a soft opening of a 95-acre eco-camp located next to Catskill Creek in Cairo.
Plattner and Wexler have farmed on the Wild Hudson Valley property since 2015 and began offering on-farm workshop classes in 2021.
Before the Eco Camp opened, the site offered daytime programming, but now visitors will be able to stay overnight at the Cairo Farm.
“We often have people traveling from very far away and it was sort of a natural extension of our walks and workshops to accommodate overnight guests,” Plattner said. “We can give people a more immersive experience and turn it into a full weekend of fun and learning. We offer canvas tents with everything set up. Not because we’re trying to follow the glamping fad , but because we really want to provide accommodations for people who might never have really stayed outside before.
Plattner said the eco-camp was full with reservations in the second half of June and had already booked guests through September.
“With overnight accommodation, we are reaching a new market that is outside of the region, instead of people who live within driving distance of where we are,” she said. . “We definitely see a lot of people coming from the New York area. Not necessarily from the city, but from Westchester and surrounding areas.
The eco-camp on Lake Mills Road will be open from Memorial Day weekend until Indigenous Peoples Day in early October each season.
“At the end of the day, everything we do with Wild Hudson Valley is about nature education,” Plattner said. “Justin and I both have a background in ecology and anthropology. Through our guided walks and workshops, educational events and talks on wild harvesting and now our eco-camp, it’s a way to inspire people to be better stewards of our planet and learn more about the rich natural history that we have in the Hudson Valley.
Plattner said the owners of Wild Hudson Valley Farm strive to provide a memorable trip for visitors who make the pilgrimage to the farm from Cairo.
“We want people to be comfortable and have a good experience in nature,” she said. “So we provide hot showers and bathrooms and canvas tents with beds on raised platforms and sheets and everything. So when you spend time outdoors, you don’t worry about your tent leaking.
When visitors aren’t participating in the guided tours offered by the farm, campers can explore the site’s woods and winding trails that wind through ancient flood forest along Catskill Creek.
“Our goal is to provide a comfortable setting for even the most inexperienced campers, and we take great care in selecting quality, eco-friendly equipment,” Plattner said.