Le Petit Bois, Digby County - Two yurts in Church Point that were built in 2014 to provide summer camps for youth are attracting a much larger clientele.
Brigette Robicheau, volunteer treasurer with Les Dames Patronesses de la Colonie de la Jeunesse Acadienne (CJA), says she receives weekly, if not daily, phone calls from tourists looking to book the yurts for weekends or extended stays, all year round.
“Last winter was extremely popular and they are especially popular during Clare's big events such as Gran Fondo and Festival Acadien,” she said.
The yurts were built by Les Dames in partnership with Universite Sainte-Anne, in le Petit Bois, where there is a set of trails with interpretation panels that encourage visitors to learn about the natural and cultural history of the site.
The summer camps for youth are conducted in French during weekdays. Robicheau says they are quite popular.
“We have lots of returning local campers as well as francophone families that join us from away.”
Most people are surprised by how roomy the yurts are, she says. Most guests prefer to rent a whole yurt rather than just a bed in one, sometimes for retreats or workshops.
Each yurt is built in the style of a traditional nomadic habitat or dwelling from Central Asia.
They consist of wooden slats that support chevrons on compression hoops. A seamless canvas covers the outside of the yurt , while a fire-proof canvas protects the inside.
Insulation is inserted between both canvases and a transparent dome allows inhabitants to see the stars at night. The yurts are open twelve months a year and they are equipped with a wood stove for the winter months.
Wood is provided inside each structure but guests are requested to bring kindling. While some bedding is supplied, guests are encouraged to dress warmly and bring extra bedding during colder months. Each yurt contains 10 bunk beds.
There are two showers and two toilets in both female and male washrooms on site. The red yurt is wheelchair accessible.
There is power but no fridge and there are picnic tables outside.
Robicheau says the structures are as popular with travelling families as they are for friends who are celebrating holidays/birthdays and other events.
Her favourite thing about them is that you can hear the ocean from inside.
“The trails along the woods and towards the lighthouse and shore are lovely too,” she said.
A self-guided tour is available for visitors who are curious about the history, birds, animals and habitats of Le Petit Bois. Thirteen locations along the trails are outfitted with interpretive sign posts, each bearing QR codes that can be scanned with a cellular device. The QR codes link to web pages filled with interesting facts, photographs and stories. For visitors without access to a cellular device, a booklet containing the same information is available at the Rendez-vous de la Baie visitor centre, located on the campus of Université Sainte-Anne in Church Point.
More about the le Petit Bois yurts
Or call 902-778-1319