I love the idea of staying in a cabin. Yes, that’s right. The idea is often way more appealing than actually staying in a cabin. I’m a mountain girl and a cabin just feels right when you’re staying in the mountains but my experience is that you can’t judge a cabin by its online photos. I’ve had so many experiences where a cabin looks super quaint online only to find that somebody got really creative with their camera when capturing said cabin.
When Blue Moon Rising invited me to experience a few nights in their cabin community in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, I immediately went to the website to comb through their online photos. I wanted to examine each of their fourteen uniquely crafted cabins in order to pick out THE cabin to call home for two nights. But their photos made each cabin, or essentially each tiny house, look so quaint and charming that I just couldn’t decide on my own. So I enlisted the help of my son.
Each cabin has its own unique floor plan, decor, and sleeping arrangements. So we started by eliminating the four cabins that only had one queen bed (Moonshadow, Kaya, Orion, and Evergreen). Of the remaining cabins, we could choose between two queen beds or one queen bed and two twin beds. With my family of three, we could have chosen any of those but I like my space. So we looked at only the cabins that had a queen bed (for my husband) and twin beds for me and my son. Surely we’re not the only family that doesn’t like that much togetherness?
After creating a pretty long short list, I let my son choose: Bella Donna, which the website described as follows:
The most prominent feature in Bella Donna is the antique, half-oval window illuminating the main gathering area. Light passes through the spider web pattern and cascades onto the center island. The kitchen area, adorned with custom heart pine shelves, has been placed in a bump out allowing ease of movement around the dining island.
A queen sized bed is located on the first level with private window and reading light accented with trim of heart pine. The two twin beds are located in the bunk area providing for a better view out the antique gable windows.
For the bathroom floor we decided to try an eco-friendly product called marmoleum, a non-toxic linoleum product. Additionally, the crew at Hobbitat, always looking to innovate, have re-purposed a traditionally exterior product to complete the metal bathroom shower. This will have to be one of the many surprises you will find when you stay at Bella Donna.
With our cabin chosen, we only had to see if the pictures painted an accurate picture of our home for two nights.
Upon arriving at Blue Moon Rising in McHenry, MD, one of the towns surrounding Deep Creek Lake, we parked at the bottom of a hill and walked to the guest house. After checking in, our host pulled around a golf cart to help us load up our luggage and supplies from my car and take us up the hill to the doorstep of the Bella Donna cabin.
Our first impressions? Perfect, serene, exactly as the website described and pictured, and… a little hot. While the cabins have all the comforts of home, like indoor plumbing, fully provided linens and towels, and even free wifi, there’s no air conditioning! But we quickly settled in and waited for the cool mountain air to arrive in the evening.
My son and I climbed up to the loft while my husband settled into the downstairs queen.
While we weren’t looking, he snuck in a nap so we decided to explore the grounds. If you’re like me and you like hiking as long as you don’t break a sweat, you’ll love the hiking trail we found right outside our doorstep. The Fern Gully Trail was a short mild hike down the hill weaving through the forest of hardwoods and hemlocks and the ferns covering the forest floor.
And when we emerged we spotted the communal area known as Phoenix, housing a large kitchen, eating area, nearby picnic pavilion, outdoor seating, grills, and a nearby fire pit. Although it was our little family of three, it’s easy to see why this cabin community is often the site for weddings, family reunions, and even girlfriend getaways (who wants to go with me?).
From here, we marched back up the hill and surveyed each cabin the surrounded the cul-de-sac forming the Blue Moon Rising community.
The cabins themselves are a destination but if you’re looking for more to do, you’ll find plenty of family-friendly activities in the Deep Creek Lake area and lots of amazing food in town. But if you choose to stay closer to your home away from home, the staff will help you light a fire pit so you can relax, enjoy the view, and maybe take in a little wildlife.