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The interior of a camper cabin at Afton State Park is pictured here. The cabins rent for about $50 per night.

A simple cabin close to home

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The definition of the word "cabin" varies dramatically these days.

While cabins were once remote structures in the woods, many have now evolved to mean "second home on a lake with running water, a sauna and laundry machines."

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If you are more of a traditionalist, want to save money and don't want to travel far, then Afton State Park deserves a visit. The park boasts four quaint camper cabins that are open year-round. They have some modern amenities, such as power and heat, but that's it. There are comfortable bunk beds, a table and benches inside, a screened-in porch, a fire ring and picnic table, so you wouldn't exactly be roughing it. They're comfortable without being too luxurious. They're basic but not primitive.

The cabins rent for about $50/night and sleep four to six people comfortably. Reservations are required, and if you plan to travel during the summer weekends, plan ahead. The cabins typically get booked early. During the week, availability typically isn't a problem.

Since there is no plumbing inside, the bathroom situation is a little tricky. There is an outhouse for the four cabins. In addition, there is a visitor center open 24 hours a day that has real toilets and running water. That center is a short drive or a long walk away. A water pump is located near the cabins. Firewood is available for purchase at $4 per bundle.

Afton State Park is located seven miles south of Interstate 94

along the St. Croix River.

For more information or to make reservations, visit www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/afton/index.html

or call 651-436-5391.

A trip to Afton

While on your camping excursion, it's a short drive in to the small town of Afton. There are a couple wonderful restaurants, unique shops a great old-time ice cream parlor all located along St. Croix Trail in Afton

Husbands: If your wife is trying the camping trip with you, you may want to plan ahead and schedule a massage or a facial at one of the small day spas in Afton.

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