LANSING, MICH. – Tiny homes are appearing in Michigan state parks and recreation areas as part of the Department of Natural Resources’ ongoing efforts to expand accommodation options for campers.

The Waterloo Recreation Area, located in Chelsea, opened its first cottage this spring, and several other parks are expected to follow suit with their own cottage offerings in spring 2022, including Clear Lake State Park, McLain State Park, Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park and Sterling State Park.

Small homes are typically less than 400 square feet and are built on trailers. Popularized over the past decade on social media and TV series, including HGTV’s “Tiny Luxury,” teen homes are part of a movement that advocates for smaller, more energy-efficient living spaces, according to the DNR.

The Little Waterloo House, located in the park’s Sugarloaf Lake Campground, offers a patio with lake views and amenities such as air conditioning, ceiling lights, and a fan, as well as a kitchenette with a mini-fridge, microwave and coffee maker.

“The little house has brought in new visitors who would not have stayed at Sugarloaf Campground before because they may not have camping gear,” said Jim O’Brien, Unit Manager at Waterloo Recreation Area. , in a press release. “It’s a great way for people to test camping out before making a major investment. “

Mini-homes are one of the many new types of accommodation that the DNR has added to its campgrounds to keep pace with changing travel trends, such as the ever-growing popularity of Airbnb and the “Glamping”.

In some cases, the MRN has partnered with private companies to offer these new accommodation experiences, such as safari tents, geodesic domes, cabins and comfortable cabins. A portion of the proceeds from these rentals goes to MRN.

In addition, the DNR is working with a professional designer to refresh some of its existing overnight cabins and lodges.

“Understanding the allure of Airbnb, many state parks and recreation areas are offering unique new overnight accommodation options, some offering in-home amenities,” said Chuck Allen, park analyst. and leisure activities of the DNR. “These locations are modernizing and exploring accommodation options for the next generation of travelers, including cottages, public-private partnerships, and revitalizing aging infrastructure with a more modern experience.”

A complete list of current accommodation options can be found on the Accommodation page of the MNR website. Accommodation reservations can be made up to 12 months before the scheduled arrival dates; visit and click on the “Hosting” tab, then choose the accommodation you are looking for.

The exterior of the new cottage at the Waterloo Recreation Area. Michigan MNR photo


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