Northern Wilds Magazine
Cedar Bound is one of several Northland businesses with an eye on the glamping trend. | CEDAR BOUND

Northwoods Glamping

Traditional camping has always been a mainstay of outdoor recreation, but the experience requires a number of supplies and extra effort before you can relax and enjoy nature. Recently, a comfortable and stylish new camping trend has emerged that removes these barriers, and it’s bringing more people into the woods than ever before.

Glamping, a portmanteau of “glamorous” and “camping,” combines the serenity of nature with the luxury of modern comforts. Unlike traditional camping, where roughing it is often part of the allure, glamping adds a touch of sophistication to the outdoor experience.

A Home Away from Home: Cedar Bound

“Forget everything you know about the traditional rustic camping experience,” says Bailey Aro Hutchence, co-founder of the Duluth-based company Cedar Bound ( “Glamping kicks it up a notch, offering connection to nature, but with creature comforts such as luxury bedding, bathrooms, kitchenettes, and more,” she continues. “We love how glamping offers more people the opportunity to experience the great outdoors, especially those who might otherwise be unable or unwilling to pursue a traditional camping experience.”

Cedar Bound is one of several Northland businesses with an eye on the glamping trend. Known for their unique two-story tent, they design and manufacture structures that combine the features of a tent with those of a cabin, creating a luxurious hybrid that can withstand the elements year-round—perfect for vacation rentals.

Hutchence developed the business idea with her husband, Hutch, in 2018. Originally intending to start a retreat on the North Shore, they pivoted toward manufacturing when the opportunity arose, and now their units are found in states across the country.

One of the best things about glamping is that anyone can do it, with minimal preparation. | CEDAR BOUND

“Our business model is somewhat unique in that we offer buildable kits of our structures, giving our clients creative freedom when it comes to utilities and finishings,” Hutchence explains. “We work with a wide range of clients, from those planning a single-unit retreat, all the way up to large corporations pursuing multi-unit developments.”

One of the best things about glamping is that anyone can do it, with minimal preparation. “Where a typical camping experience may not be feasible (or desirable) for some, glamping falls in the sweet spot between tent camping and a boutique cabin or hotel,” Hutchence says. From outdoor enthusiasts looking for a more comfortable excursion, to couples seeking a romantic getaway, to families wanting to introduce their children to the wonders of the woods, glamping offers something for everyone.

If you’re interested in your own glamping adventure in the Northwoods, there are several excellent options to choose from to curate your perfect night in nature.

Luxury Camping & Events: The Canvas Inn

For those located or visiting north of the border, the Canvas Inn will provide you with an unforgettable luxury camping experience. Self-described as “a pop-up hotel with a glamping twist,” co-founder Shawna O’Beirn and partner Jason established their business in 2021.

“Canvas bell tents create a lovely, intimate backdrop for our set ups, which include fully furnished sleeping tents as well as lounging and dining spaces,” O’Beirn says. “You get to experience all of the great things about camping, without sacrificing some of the comforts of home.”

Spending the night in a furnished bell tent truly enhances the camping experience and takes the relaxation aspect to the next level. | CANVAS INN

After growing up in the small town of Atikokan and often sleeping under the stars, O’Beirn’s passion continued when she moved to Thunder Bay. “There’s something special about this region that is truly unique, and the camping culture is a big part of that,” she says.

To create a glamping experience with the Canvas Inn, you choose the set-up location (in NW Ontario/Thunder Bay), and they handle the rest to suit your needs. The space must be flat with no low overhanging tree branches, and large enough to accommodate the tent and guy lines.

“What sets [glamping] apart from other forms of traditional camping is the aesthetic and comfort level,” O’Beirn says. “Spending the night in a furnished bell tent truly enhances the camping experience and takes the relaxation aspect to the next level, which is why we do this.”

To learn more, visit:

Hiking to your Haven: Boreal Backcountry Cabins

While comfort and luxury are the primary focus with this new camping style, some glamping accommodations are meant to be enjoyed and appreciated after a day trekking in the wilderness.

“We consider our business to be ‘adventure glamping,’” says Sonja Helland, co-owner, creator, and operator of Boreal Backcountry Cabins near Tofte. “The adventure starts out with backpacking in on the Superior Hiking Trail, and the glamping begins when you come upon our cabins with amenities in the middle of the woods.”

Boreal Backcountry Cabins in Tofte has two cabins available to rent, with a third planned for completion this fall. | BOREAL BACKCOUNTRY CABINS

Operating since 2022, Boreal Backcountry Cabins was founded by Helland and co-owner Scott Forbort after dreaming and planning for nearly 20 years. They currently have two cabins available to rent with a third planned for completion this fall, all built by hand.

“We provide an opportunity for hikers on the Superior Hiking Trail to stay in a furnished, heated, solar powered cabin with mattresses,” Helland explains. The outdoor essentials are furnished as well, including a picnic table with chairs, a fire pit with a grate and firewood, and even a solar powered well and shower. Instead of roughing it against the elements, you can enjoy the comforts of this small haven surrounded by a big, beautiful maple forest.

The location also serves as an excellent base camp, greatly appreciated as a cozy place to rest after hiking to nearby destinations like Oberg and Leveaux Mountain, and Carlton and Britton Peak. For more information, visit:

Easy Glamping: North Shore Camping Co.

Nestled into the hills of Beaver Bay near Lake Superior is a sight to behold. A true ‘glampground,’ North Shore Camping Co. features 30 cozy, furnished wall tents situated on platforms, accessible via trails in the woods.

“There’s nothing to pack other than your groceries and personal needs list—we take care of everything else,” says Kate Williams, project manager. North Shore Camping Co. is “a way to experience the Northwoods wilderness in comfort, while getting a taste of real camping.”

The concept for the project has been in the works for years, and construction began in 2020. Powered by Cove Point Lodge across Highway 61 on Lake Superior, the glamping business began operating in early 2023.

North Shore Camping Co. in Beaver Bay features 30 cozy, furnished wall tents situated on platforms. | NORTH SHORE CAMPING CO.

“Glamping at North Shore Camping Co. makes everything easier and more comfortable than a traditional camping set up, so that guests can get right to and pay attention to what most are seeking and really there for, which is the experience,” Williams says. “From bedding to cribbage boards, to cookware—it’s all there for you.” That means no planning, packing, unpacking, cleaning, and putting away camping gear, so you have more time for your vacation.

A unique perk available to guests at North Shore Camping Co. is access to both the basecamp lodge near the tent sites, as well as the amenities of Cove Point Lodge, including the shore of Lake Superior and an indoor pool.

The wild side of glamping is still the focus, however. “We have a deep love of the outdoors, and it’s our mission to connect people with nature,” Williams says. Learn more at:

An Immersive Experience: Klarhet

Glamping isn’t about surviving in nature—it’s about thriving there. Klarhet embodies this philosophy perfectly, offering unique and luxurious accommodations combined with a taste of farm life to create an unforgettable leisure holiday.

Located near Lutsen in the hills overlooking Lake Superior, four fully furnished, elegant geodesic domes are nestled in a 25-acre regenerative farm and ‘food forest.’

“Klarhet is focused on three pillars: environmentally friendly tourism, delicious and responsibly sourced food, and natural wellness,” explains co-founder and creative director, Nicole Leand. “Our aim is to bring our combined passions to life for others to experience.”

Leand began building Klarhet with her husband and co-founder, Kirk, in 2020. “We have little to no background in farming and have learned everything we know through the magic of the internet, lots of books, and firsthand experience,” Leand shares.

Glamping isn’t about surviving in nature—it’s about thriving there. | KLARHET

Several animals call the farm home, including dairy goats, free-ranging chickens, three livestock guardian dogs, and “two friendly barn cats.” There are also perennial fruit trees and shrubs in a growing garden, which will soon help supply a farm-to-table food truck.

Guests will enjoy a “nature-immersive experience with unforgettable star-gazing,” and “hands-on farm animal encounters, all in a geodesic dome appointed with luxury amenities,” Leand explains. Domes feature modern restrooms with walk-in showers, organic Turkish linens, a fully stocked kitchenette, and more. Soon they will offer in-dome dining and “on-site foodie experiences.”

A newly constructed community building is nearing completion. Called a “zome,” the large geodesic dome structure features a center point with windows, creating the perfect place for incredible indoor star-gazing, and both educational and private events. For more information, visit:

Old Forests, New Glampers

If you’re new to the concept of glamping (or camping in general), don’t be intimidated—give it a try!

“Glamping is a fun, unique way to introduce kiddos (and grow-ups) to the outdoors,” says Hutchence. “[It] is so much more than a real mattress inside a tent.”

“Just do it,” Leand says. “Nature immersion is scientifically proven to significantly reduce stress and reconnect you with a more desirable version of yourself. Baby goat cuddles are a pretty magical mood booster as well.”

“Be open to what nature has to share with you,” Williams says. “Call ahead, ask questions, and

the week prior—take a look at the weather forecast and pack appropriately. The great outdoors is calling…”

You can find more information about glamping and what each business offers by checking out their websites.

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