Detach Primitive in Rockford provides an opportunity to unwind in a yurt, a tipi, a cozy A-Frame, or a Hobbit House within 50 acres of wooded bliss.
Our friend Dianna Stampfler of Promote Michigan invited us to an open house at Detach Primitive in Rockford. She knows we love exploring new places in Michigan and figured this gem would be right up our alley. Dianna knows us too well as we fell in love with Detach.
Located just 20 minutes north of Grand Rapids at 3981 Summit Ct NE near the happy little town of Rockford, Detach Primitive is close enough for a quick getaway yet feels remote. Google maps took us easily to the dirt parking lot that is your gateway to relaxation at Detach.
We were greeted by Dianna and our hosts from Detach, Jarred Sper, Stephen Sper, and Kyle Sischo. They were all smiles as we donned our name tags and got to know each other a bit while enjoying wine from St. Julian Winery.
Jarred, Stephen, and Kyle each led a group of us from the parking lot toward the campsites. We paired up with Stephen who explained how Detach took flight in the midst of the pandemic. Given that everyone was locked down and searching for ways to get away safely, it sounded like a good time to put the ideas behind Detach into action.
Stephen took the scenic route, which ambled up through the higher wooded area along the western edge of the Detach Primitive site. The higher ground and dense tree cover provide a sound dampening effect for the camping sites located more centrally within the property. One part of the trail runs through a majestic stand of pines. These beautiful trees make a spectacular backdrop for a hike or snowshoe while staying on the property.
The campsites are between .5 and .75 miles from the parking lot. Detach Primitive provides wagons and sleds to help you get your sleeping bag, clothes, and any other camping gear you may bring up to your site. Each site includes zero-gravity camp chairs, hammocks, a picnic table, extra-large cots with mattresses, a wood stove for heat in the winter, and an outdoor fire ring with cut firewood. Fresh spring water is located at hand pump stations, a short walk from each site. Basic toilets are also located nearby the camping sites.
Checking out the Sites: A-Frames
Our first stop after strolling through the woods was one of three A-Frames. Each A-Frame has two cots for a total sleeping capacity of 4 people. The A-Frames are within a short walk from each other, so you could gather a group of up to 12 people. However, you may find that it could be tight quarters and more comfortable with two people per A-Frame.
Inside of the A-Frame is cozy and welcoming. I could definitely see myself relaxing by the wood stove after a day of snowshoeing or outside at the fire after hiking or biking. Our hosts had arranged for awesome snacks with beer from Cedar Springs Brewery. We met excellent folks while enjoying rockstar beers in this tranquil setting.
Our next stop on the tour of Detach Primitive is a tipi. There are three tipis available. Each tipi can sleep two people on a couple of large cots. When I saw the cots, I immediately thought of being an eight-year-old in the woods of Manistee. My aunt and uncle would take us camping in their canvas tent, and the memory of struggling for comfort on a cot remains to this day. No worries here as I stretched out on the cot, and it had plenty of support for my old back.
Once again, our hosts from Detach had set up a fantastic spread of food with cans of delicious beer from Rockford Brewing on hand. The setting at this tipi was magnificent, with the fire overlooking a small stream.
It was here at the tipi that we met the family goats. Sadly, I can’t remember their names, but they enjoyed the local foliage. They are also quite adorable.
Up from the tipi, we visited on a short but steep path is the Yurt. The Yurt will hold up to 6 people or offer four folks plenty of room to sprawl. The windows make the Yurt feel bigger with nice views of the surrounding forest. Like all the other sites at Detach Primitive, the Yurt is nicely furnished and would make for a great place to spend a week away from it all as you work on the next great American novel. As an added bonus, the screen door makes a nice clack upon closing, which will surely lead to great inspiration.
From the tipi site, we meandered down to the Hobbit House, which is under construction. The plan is to cover the top and door frame with earth and moss to give it a Bag End feel. I think everyone visiting this site was geeked about staying here when it is finished. The big picture windows provide amazing views, which I’m sure will be ablaze with color in the Fall. If you see a wizard approaching, it will be best to plan for adventure.
White Pine Trail – Gateway to beers?
One cool tidbit we learned is that Detach Primitive is located about a quarter-mile from the White Pine Trail. This means you could incorporate Detach as part of a longer multi-day ride along the trail or use it as a basecamp for a beer tour.
Looking at MapMyRun, it would be about a 3.7-mile ride down to Rockford Brewing (roundtrip: 7.4 miles). If you head north just shy of 4.5 miles (roundtrip: 9 miles), you can grab a beer at Cedar Springs Brewing. If you are looking for wine and spirits, St. Julian is about 2.5 miles north (roundtrip: 5 miles). If you want to hit the trifecta, a run-up to Cedar Springs, then back down to St. Julian and Rockford Brewing before swinging back to camp is a nice 17-mile ride with great beverages and food along the way.
Other bike-to-beer options would be a 5.3 (10.6 roundtrip) to Third Nature Brewing or go for the gold with a 9-mile (18 roundtrip) out to Archival Brewing on the northside of Grand Rapids. With any of these beer and bike options, just be sure to take care, drink lots of water, and know your limits.
We had an awesome time at the Detach Primitive open house and look forward to returning for an actual stay. Perhaps a wizard will be staying in the Hobbit House? Check out our gallery for more pictures from our adventure at Detach Primitive.
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