RI builds “primitive cabins” in Burlingame, Washington Management Area



CHARLESTOWN – If you’re looking to get through the next summer to the fullest but the thought of sleeping on the floor in a tent seems too hard for you, the state’s Department of Environmental Management may have a deal for you. :

The department is building 12 cabins – six at Burlingame State Park in Charlestown and six in the George Washington Management area in Gloucester – that campers can rent during the summer. They will join an inventory of 20 cabins, all in Burlingame, ranging in age from ten years to over 25 years.

The new cabins are built on concrete foundations, which should improve their longevity. Some of the existing cabins, built on wooden beams resting on the ground, are showing signs of rotting, according to Kyle Cahoon, regional park manager for DEM.

Scott Conlan, left, of Red Oak Remodeling, and Markus Gray work on the newly poured concrete foundation for a new cabin at Burlingame State Park.  The state is also building new cabins at the George Washington State Campground in Gloucester.

Don’t think of glamorous digs when you hear the word “cabin”.

DEM spokesman Michael Healey called them “primitive”.

The accommodations are simple: four walls, a roof, a floor, a door and bunk beds for four people. No running water. No electricity. No heat. No cooking appliances. The beds don’t even come with mattresses; campers should bring all the cushioning they want.

A bit of luxury: the cabins each have a porch.

Campers are allowed to pitch a tent next to the cabins and the maximum site occupancy is six people. (Pets are allowed.)

Several of the cabins will be ADA compliant for accessibility.

An overnight rental costs $ 50 for Rhode Island residents and $ 75 for others.

The cabins are built by Red Oak Remodeling, based in Coventry. The project costs the state $ 509,720, which is drawn from an investment projects fund supplied by general state revenue. The capital fund is used for repairs, renovations and construction of state facilities.

Concrete foundations look like square swimming pools several feet deep, but they are filled with earth, then a concrete slab will be poured over it, and a wooden floor built on top.

Regional Manager Kyle Cahoon shows the footprint of a cabin under construction at Burlingame State Park.  The state plans to prepare it for short-term rental next summer.

Why is DEM added to its campground cabins?

“We are responding to a request. A growing segment of our campers prefers the experience of a rustic cabin over that of a tent or towing a trailer, ”said Healey. “Some people like to have a roof over their head and walls around them, while still being outside and away from it all, so these cabins fill a niche.”

He said reservations for existing cabins were filling up quickly.


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