Yurt Camping at Hidden Valley Nature Center

Hidden Valley Nature Center (HVNC) is a roughly 1,000 acre preserve in Jefferson, Maine managed by the Midcoast Conservancy.  It features 20+ miles of hiking trails through a variety of habitats, as well as lake access and year-round educational programs (for more information, see https://www.midcoastconservancy.org/preserve/hidden-valley-nature-center/).

HVNC also offers a variety of affordable overnight camping options, including tent sites, cabins, and two yurts.  Yurt rentals are $80/night.  Midcoast Conservancy members get 40% off so yurts only cost $48/night. 

My older son and I did a reconnaissance mission last night to explore the North Yurt (aka Wayward Yurt) to determine whether or not the entire family would enjoy staying there.

To reach the North Yurt, we hiked 0.8 miles on a relatively wide trail (see trail map here).  There were a couple of sections where the trail was muddy from the recent snow melt, and a short inclined portion.  There is a shorter, steeper trail that offers a shortcut to the yurt which we used when we departed.  The shorter trail would be difficult to use if you were carrying a large amount of items or using a cart or sled to move your gear.

We found the yurt to be nice and secluded.  There is a little sign along the trail that you can flip over to indicate that the yurt is occupied, which we liked.  The yurt is on a ridge line with nice views of the surrounding areas.  There is a fire ring, a covered picnic table, a little bench on which you can use a stove, and a nice outside deck that made for a pleasant place to sit after dinner.  We lucked out in that the temperatures were in the 50's-60's that day and it was still early enough in the season that bugs weren't an issue.

The inside of the yurt was spacious and offered 3 bunk beds for a total of 6 sleeping areas with mattresses (double sized beds).  It has a wood stove (along with a carbon monoxide detector, a smoke detector, and a fire extinguisher), a kitchen table and a desk, indoor/outdoor carpeting, a push carpet cleaner, broom and dust pan.  For meals, it had a Coleman propane stove (bring your own small propane tank), a cooking pot, a tea pot, and a small charcoal barbecue for cooking outside (bring your own charcoal).  HVNC provides wood for the wood stove (bring your own fire starting materials). 

There is an outhouse around 100 feet from the yurt.  It has a pit toilet and they provided toilet paper and antibacterial.  There is no running water. 

There is no electricity at the yurt.  There is also no lighting so bring your own lanterns and flashlights.  I had decent cell service with Verizon but my son's AT&T phone did not have coverage. 

We really enjoyed our stay here.  After the hike in, we set up camp and then made dinner.   After dinner, we relaxed out on the deck and then went in for the night.   It was extremely quiet throughout the night, with the only sounds being a few coyotes howling.

In the morning, we packed up and headed out early.  We will definitely return. 

View from the Yurt.

The North Yurt.

View of the yurt from the door.

View of the deck from inside the yurt.
Trail to the outhouse.

View of the sky from the deck.
View of the sky from the deck.
View of the setting sun from the deck.


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