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The Ultimate Staycation

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. - A dozen thirty-something friends took the train up from Manhattan on a recent weekend to enjoy a brief vacation at the yurt complex in Mountain Lakes Park . They hiked, cooked outdoors in the fire pit and enjoyed each other’s company in the handsome wooded environment.

Rachel described the adventure as “a fancy version of camping out. It’s been warm during the day and it cools down at night. We’re having a great time.”

Ben, originally from England, pointed out that the park is "quite accessible. I brought my bike along on the train.”

Before coming to the campsite, however, the group stopped for provisions at the Goldens Bridge A & P. They bought hamburgers, Italian sausage, and the makings for s’mores. The Brits had never heard of s’mores but were duly impressed.

“It was a real treat to go into such a big supermarket,” said Rachel, who ordinarily shops along the streets of the city. Prices here were, “a lot cheaper than Third Avenue.”

The nearly-new yurts are available for rent by the day or by the week from May through June and mid-August through October. The cost is $90 per yurt per night. If you have a Westchester County Parks Pass, the price is $70. Each yurt sleeps up to ten people in bunk beds. The yurts are not heated and you have to bring your own bed linens. Dogs are welcome but must be leashed at all times.

Boats are available for hire by the hour or by the day. Biking is not permitted on the trails.

Men’s and women’s shower/toilet facilities are separate and entirely up-to-date. “The bathrooms,” remarked Rachel, “are outstandingly clean.”

The Manhattan twelve reported that they had had a marvelous time. No one mentioned running into any of our local bears.

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