Innovative Camping Cabins Coming to Spring Lake Regional Park
With 31 campsites nestled into oak woodlands near the lake -- not to mention the surrounding scenic beauty, swimming lagoon, lake boating and fishing, plentiful trails and family-oriented Environmental Discovery Center -- Spring Lake Regional Park has long been popular with campers.
That popularity is bound to rise in January, when three small, primitive and eco-friendly innovative cabins are coming to the Spring Lake camping lineup.
"The original idea was born from a discussion on the state level with the blue ribbon Parks Forward Commission," said Bert Whitaker, Park Manager for Sonoma County Regional Parks.
"Trends of camping customers indicated that we need to offer a range of experience in public campgrounds. A cabin removes barriers for some folks. Cabins can be made accessible for people in wheelchairs, for example. And the fee to stay overnight in a cabin can be far less expensive than outfitting a family with tents and sleeping bags or an RV."
To pursue a new vision for park lodging, Parks Forward Commission member Michael Woo, dean of the College of Environmental Design at Cal Poly Pomona, worked with his students to create four styles of affordable and eco-friendly cabins. One of the resulting designs, the "Wedge," received rave reviews in 2015 at the California State Fair and other events throughout the state.
The three cabins going in at Spring Lake are Wedge cabins.
"They're the first three to be produced," said Whitaker. "Each has a slightly different design, and we're looking forward to getting feedback from campers so that we can adjust the design of future cabins. Our goal is to have cabins in about 10% of the campsites here."
Here's a brief description of the three cabins that will be ready in early 2017:
- Cabin 25 sleeps 4 and is geared to families, grandparents and/or friends. It's ADA accessible, has 1 bunk bed and 1 double bed, 2 benches in the cabin and 1 bench on the deck.
- Cabin 28 sleeps 6 and is geared to large families, friends and/or groups. It has 3 bunk beds and 1 bench.
- Cabin 30 sleeps 4, and is a good solution for families, parents and/or friends. It's ADA accessible and comes with 1 bunk bed, 1 double bed, a bench and a desk.
The cabins are purposely simple, with no interior decoration, nor electricity, running water or bathrooms (facilities are nearby). Daily cabin rates range from $79 to $89, depending on season (major holidays are $99).
"We provide mattresses,” Whitaker said. “People can bring a sleeping bag or their own linens, just as with many other rental cabins. We made the Wedge cabins purposely rustic. In one sense they're fancy cabins, and in another sense they're a well-designed shed. People will know they're breaking away from their normal routine, that it's OK to turn off the cell phone and just enjoy being here. It's simple sophistication. You stand on the porch and you're surrounded by beauty and the sounds of nature. It's a good feeling."
To see architectural drawings of, and learn more about, the Wedge cabins, download "Wedge Cabins for Spring Lake Campground".
To learn details about cabin rentals, download a cabin guide.