About a mile north of Port Leyden, nestled in the trees along the Black River is a little cove with a trio of wide-bottomed round tents held aloft with a tall center pole. They are the color of cream and connected by footpaths lined with smooth river rocks.

That cove is not just any cove. It is Kelpytown Kove, 3468 Kelpytown Rd., Port Leyden, a “glamping yoga retreat,” created by Lowville native Heather E. Hurd.

The thick cotton canvas Bell tents, imported from England, are designed to create a luxury camping experience – glamping - which Ms. Hurd has whole-heartedly embraced at Kelpytown Kove.

Each tent has two or three queen-size beds bedecked with plush blankets, mandala throw pillows and whimsical accouterments.

A large wooden deck with uninhibited views of the river offer a unique location for early morning yoga, before the farm-to-table breakfast is served.

The Kove, as Mrs. Hurd lovingly refers to it, started welcoming women to retreats focused on self-empowerment, personal growth and renewal at the end of the summer.

“I always wanted to be a yoga teacher but I had a really super good job. I was making good money and hitting my goals and I thought if I got to my ultimate goal, everything would be wonderful, but I still felt a little empty and I had the yoga burning inside of me,” said Mrs. Hurd.

She and her husband bought and moved onto the six acres of riverside property about four years ago, where they still live with their daughter, but it was the tents themselves that helped her realize what her new business needed to be.

“My husband bought me one of the canvas Bell tents for our anniversary (about two years ago). I glamped it out and I just couldn’t stop thinking about how I wanted to do this – open a retreat center and be the yoga instructor and finally take the leap.”

In January 2021, she left her job and began building Kelpytown Kove.

The final flourish was the completion of the bathhouse she said she “had to complete for my ladies,” leaving enough time for two of the Kove’s “signature retreats” at the end of the season, each of which filled up quickly with only seven spots available.

“My target market is definitely women,” she said, ““Because you are a person. You’re identity isn’t just your children or your family or your job or whatever … I want (to create) a unique experience where women can come remember who they are and relax and just get that second wind.”

Each retreat involves meditation and yoga led by Mrs. Hurd and workshops offered by guest teachers brought to the north country for the purpose as well as other modalities like somatic sound healing, reiki and massage.

There are four organized retreats held at Kelpytown Kove.

The one-night Rainbow Retreat, focusing on the exploration of chakras, is held in June and August, while the Kove’s signature Rest Retreat is a three-night restorative retreat held in July, August and September.

“Spring Clean Your Spirit” and “Awaken Your Spirit” are multi-night retreats held in June and July, respectively, which focus on helping participants tap in to their authentic selves and using holistic practices to break out of habits that can hold a person back instead nurturing balance and the ability to manifest dreams into reality.

“I think yoga is a fantastic practice but it can be so much deeper, too. My basis (for creating the Kove) was wanting to empower women,” said Mrs. Hurd

Mrs. Hurd has been practicing yoga for 10 years and last year, became a certified instructor. She is also certified in Reiki and as an instinctive meditation teacher.

When there are no scheduled retreats, the Kove becomes a “yoga bed and breakfast” and each experience is a mini yoga retreat.

“You come, you rent out a tent, so you can have the tent to yourself or you can bring a friend or two friends for the larger tent, and in the evening is a charcuterie board and a relaxation meditation and then in the morning is a beautiful wake up yoga session followed by a farm to table breakfast,” she said, “We even have the chickens right out here.”

Her connections to other local businesses make it possible to offer clients a number of other “holistic offerings” to be incorporated into these experiences.

You could also just sink back in the Kove’s hot tub or sit by the fire, breath deep, and let new energy bring you to your next level.

For more information or to book your retreat visit www.kelpytownkove.com

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Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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