It used to be that camping meant pitching a tent and trying to find a flat spot inside to put down a sleeping bag, cooking meals over a fire and using the woods as a bathroom.

Oh, how times have changed! Today's campers have several options that allow them to enjoy nature without the bug bites, poison ivy and heat rash, including RVs, campers and motor homes.

Skidaway Island State Park has taken this trend to its ultimate peak with "glamping," or "glamorous camping." Three new cabins offer hot showers, cold air conditioning, microwaves, coffeemakers and stoves and soft, comfortable beds. Aaah!

"Many state parks have cottages that are usually two bedrooms, a kitchen and a bath that sleep up to eight people," park manager Holly Holdsworth says. "The cabins we have here are the first of their type.

"They are not full-scale cottages," she says. "We don't really have the space here for those."

But the tiny cabins have the best features of those cottages. There is a living area with comfortable seating, a full kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, a sleeping loft overhead that holds two beds, a deck, a screened-in porch with two rockers and a ceiling fan.

Diehard outdoorsmen need not despair. There is a fire ring, grill and picnic table outside for those hardy campers who are determined to cook outdoors.

Currently, there are three cabins - in blue, green and yellow - including one that is handicapped-accessible. And they're attracting all kinds of attention.

"People have been going crazy," marketing coordinator Laura Seifert says. "We're getting calls every day."

So far, the cabins have been advertised only online.

"We got 130 likes on one post," Seifert says.

"When we put it on the Georgia state parks site, we got 450 likes in one day," Holdsworth says. "People are very excited about them."

Locals as well as visitors are expected to use the cabins. "Local people will think about them when they have family coming through," Holdsworth says.

In addition to building the cabins, Skidaway Island State Park has updated several RV sites to full hookups with electricity, water, sewer and - are you ready for it? - cable TV. More RV sites will eventually be updated.

Camping is the No. 1 activity at Skidaway Island State Park. Of the total 200,000 people who visit each year, 120,000 of them are campers who come not just from Georgia but from all over the world.

"We get a lot of Canadians," Holdsworth says. "There are people from Germany, The Netherlands, Austria and England. A lot are touring the East Coast.

"More people camp here than at any other Georgia state park," she says. "We have 87 camp sites, including 17 with sewer hookup. The other 70 have power and water."

In addition to camping, the 588-acre park also offers 6 miles of trails, including a fitness trail. There's also an interpretive center, a group shelter and picnic areas.

Including site preparation, it took about 6 months to build the cabins. More will be constructed as demand for them grows.

The regular cabins each have one bedroom with a queen-sized bed and a sleeping loft with one double bed and one single bed.

"It's like a tree house," Holdsworth says.

Those cabins can sleep two adults and three children or five adults who are young at heart. (The sleeping loft is only 3.5 feet tall and accessed by a narrow staircase.)

"There's a surprising amount of space," Seifert says.

"I can see families getting a big bang out of them," Holdsworth says.

The handicapped-accessible cabin has an accessible table with two stools plus two sitting chairs. The bathroom is larger, thus taking up more space, so that cabin can accommodate only four campers.

Although the cabins offer the ultimate in comfort, campers will be roughing it somewhat.

While mattresses are provided, campers will need to bring their own bed linens. along with towels, dishes and cookware, but leave the pets at home, as they are not allowed.

"The idea was to keep our costs down and keep the cabins as sustainable as possible," Holdsworth says. "We'll put TVs in eventually."

"We were never able before to provide an alternative to our campground," she says. "This has all the comforts of home."

DETAILS

The cost is $125 per night.

Check-in time is 4 p.m. and check-out is 11 a.m.

Reservations are required; go to gastateparks.org/skidawayisland or call 800-864-7275 from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays-Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.