We had an amazing “camping” trip at the Big Bend Lodge on the Eel River in Leggett, CA a little over 3 hours north of the Bay Area. I say “camping” because they have little two room cabins you rent to stay there. It’s ideal for families and even more ideal for groups. We recently stayed with a group of six families. The adults had a fantastic time as did the kids. The lovliness of real beds and kitchens with refrigerators made the trip a breeze. An added bonus is that you can bring your puppy along for the trip. Our 1 year old labradoodle, Mina, had a fantastic time on the grounds playing with resident yellow lab, Biscuit.
The location has it all; chickens to feed, tire swings to swing on, a communal fire pit with plenty of wood to burn, a dirt basketball court, horse shoes and communal and private picnic tables. They have toys for the kids including life vests and inner tubes.
What made it even more fantastic was that the families split cooking duties and groups took turns cooking either dinner or breakfast, so you were only responsible for one meal (lunch was on your own).
We spent the first day exploring the river, catching frogs and collecting rocks.
Quickly the kids wanted to get in the water, so we got them into swimsuits and headed down to play. One of the parents brought many fishing nets and the kids had a blast trying to catch little fishies in the river.
The next day we adventured out to the Drive-Thru Tree in Leggett, CA just a few miles away. (Post to come on that). Then it was back to camp to create with rock art. The kids painted and drew on rocks for quite a while and we created this adorable kiddie campfire.
The Lodge also has a plum tree ripe with plums that the kids loved loved loved picking from. Some of our young entrepreneurs decided to set up a sign and start selling them to all of the adults. This little business kept them busy for at least an hour.
After dinner, we all had s’mores by the campfire and then after running off a little energy the kids all got tucked safely in their beds and the parents were free to hang out by the campfire in peace.
This is one location we’d love to return to year after year. There were two other families there we didn’t know, but they were very kind and the kids all played nicely together and had a blast!
Are there any other gems like this around? Please share!
If you like this post, here are some of our other camping adventures in Northern California:
- Leggett, California: Camping with Families Big Bend Lodge, CA
- Forestville, California: Camping With Kids Down By the River: Lessons Learned
- Costanoa, California: Camping with Kids?!
- Lake Chabot, California: Camping at Lake Chabot at 26 weeks pregnant
- Mt. Diablo, California: Happy Little Camper?
- Berkeley, California: Group Camping in the East Bay at Tilden Regional Park