Blue Moon Rising is a magical community of rentable tiny hobbit houses that overlook Deep Creek Lake and is only 45 minutes from Morgantown.


Looking for a once in a blue moon vacation experience? Look no further. Perched on the hillside on 125 acres overlooking Deep Creek Lake, Blue Moon Rising—14 hobbit-like tiny houses that are uniquely designed using sustainable building practices—provide vacationgoers an enchanting respite, a base to explore the area, and an opportunity to experience the microhousing phenomenon.

In 2008 Lisa M. Jan, who also owns a nearby restaurant and bar called Moonshadow, decided to create a destination that proved that it was possible to fabricate a beautiful, charming, and comfortable community without sacrificing nature. “Our cornerstone is that nothing goes to waste,” she says. “Each tree that was felled was reused elsewhere.” Even the soil removed while excavating foundations was reused. After mixing it with clay, water, and lime, it became the plaster coatings on interior and exterior straw bale walls on the main building at the entrance overlooking the lake, aptly called The Leap.

The focal point of the property is the hillside abodes, called waldens—tiny
houses designed and built by Hobbitat in Cranesville, Maryland. Each building was fabricated using reclaimed, recycled, and eco-friendly products. Jan’s guiding principle for the property is the three Rs—Reclaimed, Recycled, or Recyclable. And that is evident at every turn.

With names like Luna Bleu, Kaya, and Funkomatic 513, each cabin is unique. Some have twin beds tucked into a loft with a queen bed in a cubby off the kitchen, while others have twin beds that serve a dual seating purpose in an open room with a wraparound kitchen. Occupancy for the cabins ranges from two to four people, depending on the size. Many of the cabins feature antique windows and reclaimed front doors, and each is filled with thoughtful and whimsical details that personalize them. In Bella Donna, longleaf heart pine reclaimed from Andrew Carnegie’s former locomotive shed is used on the floor and shelving, porch posts are from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, and the front porch light is handmade out of a well bucket from India. All cabins have an outdoor seasonal shower as well as an indoor one. The bathrooms are generous, given that each house is under 300 square feet. And most have porches that are prime for sittin’, where you can contemplate what it means to live lightly.

Although each cottage is outfitted with dishes, glassware, coffee pot, hot
plate, refrigerator, and toaster ovens, there is also a community building that looks like it was transported from a movie set for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs that offers a larger gathering spot. A community fire pit is also located on the property and serves as a comforting social spot.

When you arrive at BMR, you park your car at the entrance and a staff member takes you and your luggage to your cottage by cart. “In line with our low-impact mission, parking is only available at the entrance to the community,” explains Jan. “We don’t want car exhaust, intrusive headlights, or slamming car doors to disturb the peace of the cabins.”

For those with four-legged companions, BMR is Fido-friendly. There’s an additional $20 fee, with no restrictions on size as long as your dog is friendly. So pack the leash and enjoy hiking the property and surrounding areas with your furry family members.

With a woodland setting and teepees that serve as cocktail areas, BMR has
also become a popular spot for smaller destination weddings. Couples can
reserve the entire property and make their wedding a weekend event everyone will remember. As a special thank you, couples who get married here get half price on future bookings for life, and all guests who attend get 20 percent off their stay, if they come back. In fact, BMR gives all returning guests a 20 percent discount on future bookings.

Whether you want to channel your inner Bilbo Baggins or gather your tribe for a family or company retreat, Blue Moon Rising is a place you’ll return to again and again. Just read the guest books in each of the houses. Folks collect cottages like they are boy scout patches. And although it is currently closed to the end of April due to COVID-19 restrictions, they are accepting reservations for later dates. Visit bluemoonrising.org


posted on May 13, 2020

written and photographed by Nikki Bowman Mills

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