April 29, 2014 (Potrero) --For the first time, Potrero County Park is offering cabins to visitors who want to enjoy the natural beauty of San Diego County’s southeast region.
County Parks and Recreation celebrated the grand opening of two new disabled-friendly cabins Monday. Each one, with porch, measures 390 square feet, sleeps five and features heating, a ceiling fan, a restroom, and a small seating area.
The park already offers RV, tent and group camping, but these cabins will now give outdoor enthusiasts another option at the 132-acre site. Anyone can reserve the cabins but people with disabilities will find the building and restroom are built to ADA standards, there are wider doorways and getting from car to cabin has been designed for easier access with hard, flat surfaces that lead from asphalt to concrete paving and then directly to the porch.
The two buildings also feature energy-efficient windows, insulation and water heaters for the sinks. The area is susceptible to wildfires so the siding is made of cement and molded to look like wood, and the roof is metal.
The new cabins are nestled amongst coastal live oak trees, some more than 100 years old, in a valley ringed by rocky hillsides. Picnic areas abound and visitors also will find ball fields, playgrounds and hiking trails nearby.
“Everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy nature,” said Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob. “These cabins are the fourth and fifth to be donated by Cabins by the Lake, an organization which is working to put at least one disabled-friendly cabin at each of the eight campgrounds in the County Parks system.”
Cabins by the Lake founder Mike Dunlap started the non-profit after he learned a wheelchair-using relative in Wisconsin enjoyed camping at the one cabin built for accessibility at her state park system every year. He wanted to give the disabled community in the San Diego area the same opportunity to discover nature at County park campgrounds.
Guajome Regional Park in Oceanside was the first to get a disabled-friendly cabin, a pre-fabricated structure measuring 400 square feet, in 2010. The following year, two more cabins measuring 200 square feet opened at Dos Pico Regional Park in Ramona. Since then, more than 500 reservations have been made for the three cabins.
“There is a large demand for cabin camping experiences at County Parks. To find cabins for those with disabilities is rare,” said Parks Director Brian Albright. “By working with Cabins by the Lake, Parks is able to give many more visitors the opportunity to discover the beautiful outdoors and everything it has to offer.”
County Parks plans to begin taking reservations for the new cabins in early May. Potrero County Park is also celebrating the completion of two new trails last year: one, an interpretive trail and the second an exercise trail with a several fitness stations. For more information about County parks, visit sdparks.org.