Salamander Hollow of Warwick wins campground honor

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 05-13-2023 10:14 PM

WARWICK — Salamander Hollow Healing Habitat recently received the Massachusetts first-place prize from Hipcamp, a website and mobile app offering outdoor stays and camping experiences, along with being named a national finalist.

The private, honeybee and human sanctuary’s ranking was based on 2022 bookings, reviews and ratings from customers.

“I was so super-psyched and heartwarmed, for sure,” co-owner Mary Canning said, adding that she is grateful to those who left positive reviews. “It was spontaneous. We didn’t lobby for it.”

She has described Hipcamp as the Airbnb of camping and glamping (glamorous camping). Private landowners primarily list campsites, glampsites, RV spaces and cabins for users to book. In 2022, Salamander Hollow was a Best Hipcamp Massachusetts finalist.

Canning purchased the property’s approximately 17 acres in the mid-1990s with her late husband Dr. Harry Goldman, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2003 and died the following year. Canning, who also owns Follow the Honey apiary, married Ingo Winzer on New Year’s Eve in 2010 and the couple lives on Mayo Road in Orange.

“She just likes creating special places,” Winzer said of his wife of 13 years. “I’m behind the scenes. She’s the one doing the work.”

Canning opened Salamander Hollow — complete with a sleeping loft library, tipi and Slovenian beehive house — in February 2021.

She said she lives by a creed of, “You cannot own the land, the land owns you” — lyrics from the song “Solid Ground,” by Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean. Still, she and Winzer had to monetize the property and get people to visit in order to honor the land.

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Canning said glamping — which includes comfort and amenities not usually associated with traditional camping — is the best of both worlds, because guests get an escape in the great outdoors while still having access to internet, hot showers, lodging and indoor plumbing.

“Some people want walls,” she said.

More information about Salamander Hollow Healing Habitat and how to book a stay is available at bit.ly/3I5Zg8s.

Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.

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