CAMPING CABINS: New Place For Staycation

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This isn't exactly roughing it, but these cabins will bring you closer to the outdoors.

If camping in a tent or an RV isn't your thing, you'll soon have a new option in Polk County. In the middle of the woods, you'll see the sights of nature and hear the sounds of construction.

"We've had cabins in mind for many years," said Construction Manager Wayne Johnson.

Crews are working on four cabins near Shelter Five of Jester Park.

"It's a new camping experience, we like to call it for Polk County. We do not have any cabins right now," said Kami Rankin with Polk County Conservation.

One will sleep eight people. The other three will sleep six. All will be fully furnished. Johnson says the cabins will include a microwave, stove, refrigerator, full kitchen.

"Within the cabins we will have pots and pans, table wear, bedding and towels, things they need, so you don't need to bring a lot of that from home," Rankin said.

The cabins will be ready for use by Memorial Day weekend. And people are already making reservations.

"They want to get out in the outdoors, and that's our theme, leading you outdoors," Johnson said.

All four cabins have decks that include views of nature and some of the amenities in Jester Park, including the new Discovery Pond, which is just across the street.

“It's a newly renovated pond that's really conducive to a lot of recreational activities. There's a new trail that goes around it connecting here to the cabins and other woodlands in the park," Rankin said.

"Just down the road from here within walking distance we have a bird blind, elk and bison exhibit and natural play-scape that are really popular for park users," Rankin said.

The 2012 Polk County Water and Land Legacy Bond helped pay for the nearly $800,000 project. But, planning started in 2009.

"These have been in the works since we did the master plan for Jester Park, and there was a lot of public input that kind of helped get this in motion. And, we saw a need people really had for cabins such as these," Rankin said.

The cabins will be available year round, so visitors can enjoy all four seasons in the great outdoors.

You can reserve the eight person cabin for $110 dollars/night. A six person cabin is $80. You must reserve the cabins for two nights.  You can start making reservations on the park website here.

Polk County Conservation will host an open house June 8, if you'd like to check out finished cabins.  The open house will be held from 1 until 4 p.m.

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