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Glamping Under the Stars at Airydale Retreat

Airydale Retreat is a glamping getaway in Huntingdon County Pennsylvania. Hidden among farms and woodland, this countryside retreat focuses on simple living and the outdoors. Guests come here to relax and rediscover the feeling of childlike wonder.

Airydale Retreat

Airydale Retreat sits on a family-owned property in the small town of Airydale, Pennsylvania. They officially opened their doors in 2019 under the motto “Live simple. Live outdoors.” The property is continually evolving with new glamping units and facilities added every few months. The property currently consists of 2 glamping tents, 2 two-story glamping tents, and 1 geodome.

These unique properties are all designed and built by Airydale Retreat owner Matt Zook. Fun concepts like a glamping slide and a forest geodome are all manifestations of Matt’s creative vision and love for the outdoors. Not everyone enjoys passing the night in a sleeping bag on the ground, and that’s ok! Airydale’s glamping tents provide all the creature comforts you might need to eliminate the hassle and discomfort that is sometimes associated with traditional camping. Through this property and its unique selection of stays, Matt hopes to provide visitors with a venue for experiencing the outdoors in a way that is comfortable for each individual.

Family Glamping Airydale Retreat

The Cardinal 2 Glamping Site at Airydale Retreat

A dirt path winds through the property opening up to an area of open woodland. Green grass covers the ground while warm sunlight streams through the open canopy of trees. The glamping site is situated alongside a natural wooded slope. Rather than leveling the ground, Airydale embraces the natural features of the land resulting in a unique hillside glamping unit.

The large canvas tent has minimal furnishing consisting of a queen-sized bed, bedside stands, and a round table with chairs. It is enough to feel comfortable while maintaining the rustic feeling of camping. Three windows bring a bit of the outdoors inside with views of the surrounding woodland and the neighboring geodome. The tent opens up to a large balcony overlooking the wooded area and private fire pit about 10 feet below.

Although there is a small set of stairs leading from the platform to the camping area below, the built-in slide is what makes this Pennsylvania glamping experience one-of-a-kind.

We choose to camp not only because of our love for the outdoors but because of the nostalgia it brings from our childhood.

Riding a corkscrew slide from a tent to a campfire is rejuvenating in a way that evokes a sense of childhood playfulness and innocent amusement. A time when nothing else mattered but getting muddy, climbing trees, and playing in the local park.

The ground floor of the glamping unit is ideal for cooking, socializing, and relaxing by the fire. A private outdoor shower is tucked away within the unit, below the staircase.  It has heated water making the shower a rejuvenating way to enjoy the outdoors.

Dining and On-Site Amenities

The site is equipped with campfire cooking tools and other glamping essentials including a cookstove, cast-iron cookware, a cooler, and disposable utensils. Fire building materials are also provided including tinder, kindling, dry firewood, and a lighter. Inside the glamping tent, visitors are provided with towels and extra lanterns which can be taken outside at night.

At the time of our visit, amenities were limited to those provided at our immediate site. Future plans include a community area for visitors to play games, meet others, and enjoy a large bonfire. Airydale is also exploring farm-to-table on-site dining options. In the meantime, there are a few dining options available in the neighboring communities.

  • Standing Stone Coffee Company | Huntingdon
  • Juaniata Brewing Company | Huntingdon
  • Ye Old Dog | Belleville.
  • Fresh produce and baked goods throughout the Amish communities | Menno

Leisure – Things to do while staying at Airydale Retreat

Explore Pennsylvania Amish Country

Airydale Retreat is located in a valley of the Appalachian Mountains known as the Kishacoquillas Valley. This region has a large population of Amish and Mennonite residents who speak a German dialect known as Pennsylvania Dutch. The main road connecting the small towns, Big Valley Pike, is lined with farmhouses, large barns, and expansive fields of crops. Many of the residents in Allensville and Menno sell hand-made furniture, freshly harvested produce, and baked goods straight from their homes.

Amish furniture is some of the best quality furniture you can find. Because the Amish refrain from using many modern technologies, furniture is made by hand. Each piece is thoughtfully and carefully made rather than mass-produced, therefore they are built to last through many generations.

Keep an eye out for hand-made signs along Big Valley Pike indicating what goods are being sold where. If something tickles your fancy, turn onto the road and follow it down to where someone will come out to assist you.

The first time that Scott and I turned down one of these long exposed driveways we were a bit intimidated. We did not know what to expect. We were hyper-conscious of cultural differences and actions that might unintentionally be received as disrespectful. After purchasing a quart of snow peas from a woman and her two daughters, we realized there was nothing to be intimidated about at all. We proceeded down Big Valley Pike where we purchased a dozen brown eggs, asparagus, and a delectably tasty Shoo-Fly Pie. Visiting Amish country is continually recognized as one of the most interesting things to do in Pennsylvania, and we agree that it should not be missed!

Enjoy the Outdoors

State Parks – There are three state parks within close proximity of Airydale Retreat. This means endless options for hiking, mountain biking, and geocaching. The Standing Stone Trail is one of the area’s most popular hikes and was previously recognized as “Trail of the Year” by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. A 3.5-mile section of the trail has become known as the Thousand Steps hike because of the 1,000 + steps placed into the mountainside. Once used as a pathway for quarry workers to commute to and from work, the trail now appeals to outdoor enthusiasts seeking a physical challenge. Other notable trails include the Balanced Rock Trail at Trough Creek State Park and the 4.6-mile loop at Greenwood Furnace State Park.

Raystown Lake – Raystown Lake is an 8,300 acre reservoir in Huntingdon County, originally built as a hydroelectric project. Despite it being the largest lake within the state of Pennsylvania, it is considered somewhat of a hidden gem. Visitors can take part in a number of activities including kayaking, boating, fishing, jet-skiing, and more. Highlights of the area include taking a dinner cruise on the Proud Mary Showboat and enjoying a panoramic sunset from Hawn’s Overlook.

Other Attractions in Huntingdon, County

Lincoln’s Caverns and Whisper Rocks

Located just 20 minutes from the Airydale glamping retreat is Lincoln’s Caverns and Whisper Rocks. It is the only cave tour in Pennsylvania that allows visitors to explore two separate cave systems. Visitors walk through the various rooms and passageways while viewing geological formations including “Frozen Niagara”, the largest example of flowstone in the northeast USA. Unique to this attraction is the large number of events held within the caverns including blacklight tours, concerts, and even subterranean visits with Santa.

Final Thoughts

Airydale Retreat is one of the best places to go glamping in Pennsylvania. The owners designed the property with three core values in mind: nature, community, and wellness. Surrounded by Pennsylvania woodland and miles away from the nearest city, you are sure to experience all three of these things. Come to Airydale Retreat to embrace the outdoors mixed with a dash of comfort and adventure.

Website: Airydale Retreat

Location: 10272 Big Valley Pike
Mill Creek PA 17060

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Airydale Retreat


Cecilia is a bubbly Filipino-American with an affinity for constant change...that or a 10 second attention span. Refusing to sit still, she travels the world, in pursuit of adventure, excitement and meaningful experiences. She holds a Masters degree in International Development and Public Policy, and a BA in Business Management.

This Post Has 20 Comments

  1. Hannah

    What a wonderful place to stay! I LOVE glamping! I’ve never stayed somewhere with a slide though…that looks like so much fun! Thanks for the wonderful guide, it would be a wonderful experience to stay here!

    1. Lovicarious

      The slide is what drew us into this place too! I love that each glamping site was made from the creative vision of the owner. He had an idea, drew it up, and started building. That is what makes this place so unique and worth the visit.

  2. Krista

    I still haven’t been glamping but I really want to – there are so many cool places to stay! Airydale Retreat looks incredible, and is definitely going on my list now!

    1. Lovicarious

      This was our first glamping experience and Airydale Retreat certainly set the bar high. We can’t wait to go back and check out the geodome!

  3. Tanya T

    I am not a camper, but I would certainly enjoy this experience. It has all the conveniences of being outdoors and creature comforts combined. I would also enjoy shopping local at the stores in town. Amish baked goods are sooooo delicious!

    1. Lovicarious

      We purchased a freshly baked loaf of bread from one of the Amish stands and it was amazing. Why doesn’t my bread ever come out that delicious?! Glamping at Airydale is a great compromise for someone who is not a camper. You still get a bit of luxury mixed in with your outdoor experience.

  4. Laura

    Wow! This place is so beautiful! I would love to stay here with my little twins!

    1. Lovicarious

      Airydale retreat has several different types of rentals however the Cardinal glamping site where we stayed would be great for kids. The slide is such a fun and unique addition to the site.

  5. alex

    omg this sounds amazing!

  6. Go Wander Wild

    I loved reading about your experience in Airydale Retreat. Your descriptions really made it come alive for me. Happy travels!

    1. Lovicarious

      So glad to hear that! Airydale Retreat is such a unique and memorable place. Hope you have the opportunity to visit there!

  7. Josy A

    This sounds right up my street, what a wonderful place to go glamping and hiking! I looove the look of those giant tents – it’s fab that they have a campfire and cooking tools, so you get the most fun part of camping, but with a super comfy spot to sleep. ;)

  8. Emma

    I’m not much for camping, but this I could happily do. What a beautiful place to stay, and looks so fun. I love that you have such a quiet, but big open space to easily relax and get away from it all

  9. Tiffany+Smith

    I’ve never done glamping before…just tent camping. This sounds amazing! And I love that they have dog friendly options :)

  10. Kritika Panse

    That’s a fine mix of comfort and adventure. Love the outdoor and if backed with a comfortable stay, speaks volumes. Wonderful post.. pictures kept me glued! Thanks. The little one looks cute! Love!

  11. Finnoy Travel

    Great Post ! I have read your other posts which are really informative for any traveler before camping. Articles that have meaningful and insightful comments are more enjoyable. Thanks


    The thought of glamping sounds so romantic and cozy. I would love to try that out one day.

    1. Lovicarious

      It’s a great intro to camping. All the outdoors but with all the comfort of an indoor stay.

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