When John Hutchins decided to open a camping resort on 750 acres of mostly wooded peaks and valleys in Franklinville, a European camping scheme came to mind, “glamping.”
Hutchins could not take credit for coining the term, but his American version of “glamour camping” at The Woods at Bear Creek is finally in place and set to start in about a month.
Europeans, while glamping, insist on amassing elaborate gear in and around only tents when enjoying their glamorous camping; Hutchins’ version of upscale camping arrangements will include elaborate lodging, with heating and air conditioning, TV, WI-FI and other hotel-like amenities.
“We wanted to make thing comfortable for wives to accompany husbands on outings,” Hutchins said of the plan, which could also mean wives could enjoy their versions of outings, everything from hikes to spa visits to hunts.
Those 750 acres include 13 miles of nature trails; the Cattaraugus County equestrian trail begins at the Woods at Bear Creek across from the Bear Creek State Forest. Hutchins added that the property is a spur of the Appalachian Trail.
The hiking trails will be set up as cross country trails during the winter. The Woods serves as an epicenter of snowmobile trails for riders from all directions.
The area offers several hunting options; anglers need not leave Bear Creek to enjoy some fishing. A 20-acre spring fed lake with a center depth of 48 feet has abundant populations of bass, perch and sunfish.
“You can usually get a fish just about everywhere you cast,” Hutchins said of the fishing prospects for anglers with family members at all skill levels.
An Open House is set for this weekend at the only Glamping site in Western New York. The facility will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Visitors can enjoy free wine and cheese tasting, hayrides, zip-line rides, live music, hiking-trail tours and other events while checking out the facility’s many accommodations.
Special rates will be offered during the Open House.
The Woods at Bear Creek is at 3510 Bear Creek Road off Route 16 in Franklinville. For more details and reservation planning, call 297-8401 or go to woodsatbearcreek.com.