Camping can be a bit of a hassle with packing all your equipment and then having to set everything up after a long day at work. Glamping takes the hassle out of it so you can still enjoy the outdoors without the hard work!
This Airydale Retreat review will show you why this place should be on your Central PA glamping getaway bucket list. No tent set up required, just show up and enjoy your weekend!
I had the pleasure of staying at Airydale this past May in exchange for my opinion of the property and I’m excited to share my experience!
Read on to find out what you can expect staying here, the nearby attractions, and what to know before you go.
Location: 10272 Big Valley Pike, Mill Creek, PA 17060
Based in Big Valley which has one of the largest Amish and Mennonite communities in PA
Canvas tents and glamping domes available
Nearby attractions: Thousand Steps Trail, Raystown Lake, Amish stores of Big Valley
Airydale Retreat is located in the southwestern end of Big Valley (formally known as Kishacoquillas Valley) which stretches from Siglerville down into Huntingdon County where you’ll find Airydale. It’s right off of PA-655 which takes you through the heart of the valley.
The closest towns are Mt Union, Huntingdon, and Belleville but Reedsville and Lewistown are only 30 minutes away.
You’ll be surrounded by gorgeous farmland and mountain ridges which are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Raystown Lake, the Allegrippis Mountain Biking Trails, and Greenwood Furnace State Park are also quick drives.
There are three different types of sites that Airydale offers and two of each type for a total of six different options available to stay at on property. Below is an overview of what each offers.
The Cardinal sites are the most popular options for families as they have a queen and two twin beds so they’ll sleep four people. The slide is also a huge hit with kids!
There is a small table inside and a nearby private bathroom with a flush toilet. A picnic table is located under the raised tent platform and this is where the outdoor kitchen space is as well. You’ll find basic cooking supplies and a propane stove here.
The Towhee sites are similar to the Cardinal since they are the canvas tent style but on a smaller scale. These are perfect for couples as it has a queen bed, table for two, and an outdoor kitchen.
Each one also has an outdoor shower and private bathroom nearby. There is also a small sitting area outside the tents with a couple of chairs.
This was the type of accommodation that I got to stay in and it was my first glamping dome experience. Don’t tell my husband, but this is now my favorite way to camp. 🙈
The domes have huge bay windows that let in tons of natural light. They also have indoor bathrooms and kitchenettes which is incredibly convenient.
With a small table inside and a couple outdoor seating areas, these domes are also perfect for couples. They each have a pellet stove or air conditioning so you’ll be comfortable no matter the weather.
Having the pellet stove was so nice in the 40 degree weather and it was simple to figure out how it works.
Airydale Retreat Amenities
The best part about glamping is getting to enjoy the comforts of a nice room while also being immersed in the outdoors.
Each site comes with its own fire pit and firewood/kindling is provided at a common area. Bring your own groceries for s’mores!
I already mentioned that each one has a private bathroom and cooking supplies. Linens are also provided so you don’t have to worry about bringing your own.
The domes were provided with a keypad lock so once you have all your belongings inside, you can leave the door locked and just use the code to get back in which I thought was a nice touch.
One big bonus - Airydale is pet friendly! Just note there is a pet fee and you cannot leave them alone.
Things to Do Near Airydale Retreat
There are plenty of things to do near Airydale Retreat! Here are a few suggestions in Huntingdon and Mifflin Counties.
1000 Steps Trail
The 1000 Steps Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the area and a bucket list hike in Pennsylvania. These steps were built in 1936 for miners to reach quarries at the top of the mountain.
With approximately 843ft of elevation gain over a distance of 0.5 miles, this hike is a great workout and leads to stunning views of the Juniata River and the town of Mapleton below.
Once you make it to the top, you can follow the Standing Stone Trail to the right over to the East Viewpoint or take a left and head out to Dinky Shed.
If you’re looking to experience a bit of Amish culture then make sure you’re in town on Wednesday morning for the Belleville Sale. Here you’ll find various vendors, a couple restaurants, a flea market, and produce and livestock auctions.
Vendors sell everything from plants and baked goods to produce and items for your home. Make sure you bring cash for the vendors and to pay for food.
The produce auction is in the morning and the livestock auction is held in the afternoon. You’ll find the vendors there from about 7 am until 11 am especially if it’s a hot day.
This is one of the best things to do near Lewistown so don’t miss out!
Is there anything better than getting out on the lake on a nice day? Raystown Lake is a quick drive from Airydale Retreat and the perfect way to spend the day.
Rent a pontoon boat from Seven Points Marina, get kayaks from Port Side Rentals, or take a dinner cruise on the Proud Mary Showboat (seasonal).
One of the most beautiful places to enjoy the lake is from Hawn’s Overlook which is just a short walk from the Ridenour Overlook parking area.
Stone Mountain Hawk Watch
Another great hike in the area, this one is much easier with a beautiful payoff as well. This hike also takes you along the Standing Stone Trail and you can park just 0.3 miles from the Hawk Watch platform.
At these coordinates, you’ll find the gravel lot and trailhead access. The trail is very rocky in places so be prepared for that. Once you reach the platform you can enjoy gorgeous views of the farms in Big Valley below and the mountain ridge across the valley.
In the fall, this platform is used by volunteers to count the hawks that are migrating and they have priority for using the platform.
There is one winery in Big Valley and another wine cellar and cafe located in Reedsville. You’ll find a few other wineries near Lewistown as well so this is a great spot for wine lovers.
The closest one located in Big Valley is Brookmere Winery where you’ll find a great variety of different wines to try plus PA beer and slushies. The one in Reedsville is Seven Mountains Wine Bar & Stonefly Cafe. Amazing food here, tons of wine choices, a full bar, and beer on draft.
The wineries in Lewistown include Hungry Run Wine Cellars, Hawstone Hollow Winery, and Burnt Timbers Winery. These are about a 30 - 40 minute drive from Airydale.
What to Know Before Visiting Airydale Retreat
The biggest thing to know before visiting is that you will likely have cell coverage for calls and texts but may not be able to do anything else. If you are on vacation and don’t need to be online then of course, that’s no problem, but for a workcation that’s important information.
The closest places to eat are about 15 - 20 minutes away so you will likely want to pick up your groceries or grab food on the way in. This is also important to remember for breakfast especially if you aren’t a morning person!
I did have coffee in the dome as well as a french press to make it so I thought that was a nice touch. Definitely a step up from what I have when we tent camp!
The domes have a small refrigerator but both Cardinal 1 & 2 and Towhee 1 & 2 have coolers so you’ll want to pick up some ice if you have cold groceries.
Wrap Up: Airydale Retreat Review
If you’re looking for the best places for glamping in Pennsylvania then Airydale Retreat needs to be on your list!
Between the luxurious beds, nice outdoor spaces, and private bathrooms this is the best way to experience the outdoors for a long weekend or more.
I hope this Airydale Retreat review was helpful in planning your own trip to the area! This was a fun place to stay as a solo traveler and I would love to bring my husband and pup back to share this experience with them.