This family cottage, built in the 1930s and full of authentic vintage charm, sits nestled in a grove of white pines, right on the bank of the beautiful St. Croix River. Our portion of the river was the first to be designated a Wild and Scenic River by the federal government in 1972. This halted development on the water; the view of the opposite (Wisconsin) side of the river is of undeveloped forest and river flats laced with sloughs, where eagles, herons, beaver, and other wildlife can be sighted. The house is one of the only properties available for rent on this portion of the river, and the closest to the water.
Amazingly, this peaceful, rustic gem is less than an hour from the Twin Cities.
Extending toward the river bank is the front porch, which is screened on three sides and offers a view of the river and the pines that tower above. French doors separate this porch from the main living area, which, along with the dining area, is located in one large central room. The sofa is a comfortable hide-a-bed. (Please note that of the 8 people the cottage accommodates, this fold-out sofa sleeps 2 of them.) To keep you toasty on cool evenings, there is a Jotul wood-burning cast-iron stove in the center of the room, and a gas heater in one corner. One small bedroom opens off the living area, in which there are two small single beds, suitable for children and not-large adults. Past the dining area is a charming full kitchen, with front loading washer and dryer under the butcher-block counter space (there's a clothes-line strung between two trees, as well, with clothes-pins provided). An outdoor gas grill is also at your disposal. Off the kitchen, and one step down, is a small hallway leading to the three-quarters (shower, no tub) bathroom, master bedroom (with a full-sized bed at present — we hope to upgrade it to a queen soon), and best of all, a screened in sleeping porch, where guests have the feeling that they are really sleeping out in the woods. This porch has two twin beds that can be joined to make a king.
All three bedrooms offer views of the river. As an old cabin, it is furnished eclectically, with simple furniture, including a few unassuming antiques. There is a docking station with speakers for listening to your music/podcasts. With the exception of this and wi-fi (wireless Internet service), the place is low-tech. This house is one of a vanishing breed, a simple, sweet summer place that isn't 'retro' because it's the real thing.
Guests have use of a boat landing/swimming area with a dock. (A canoe and two sit-on-top-kayaks are also available for renters' use.) If you have a boat of your own to put in, there is a public boat-launch just upstream from us, and from there you may keep your boat on our shoreline. (Note that we are in a Slow/No Wake zone.)
The St. Croix is wonderful for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, birdwatching, hanging out on sandbars ... and just relaxing and watching the river glide by.
Although secluded, the house is one mile from a state park with many kilometers of hiking trails, five minutes from the historic village of Marine-on-St.-Croix, and twenty minutes each to Stillwater, Taylor's Falls/St. Croix Falls, and Forest Lake, which offer rock-climbing, antique shops, gourmet restaurants, paddlewheel river-boat rides, movies.
Some guests have even commuted to the Twin Cities while staying here! There is no public transportation in the area — you must have a car.
Well-behaved, mellow dogs welcome (and we ask that you please pick up after your dog). No cats.
If summer doesn't work out for you, consider post-Labor Day; that time of year is beautiful, too, as the leaves begin to change and everything is even quieter.
If you wish to have overnight guests over and beyond our limit of 8 guests, please discuss with us.
This house is strictly non-smoking.
Note for 2016: Although there is a tennis court, at present it needs to be resurfaced; it's a bit rough and cracked. It is useable by those who are not particular, but until we are able to have it resurfaced, we are not advertising it as a feature.
Keywords: St. Croix, River, Vintage, Antique, Old, Quiet, Peaceful, Quirky, Birds, Birdwatching, Nature, Wildlife, Woods, Paddling, Canoe, Cottage, Old-World, Charm
Dear Lewis Family,
Thank you for sharing your beautiful cottage on the river with us. Our hearts are full of memories and love from the moments we enjoyed in your sweet cottage. We had chilly evenings to make use of the wood stove...enjoyed canoeing on the St. Croix...exploring at the nearby state parks...playing leisurely games of monopoly...and just reveling in uninterrupted time together. Upon arrival at your cottage, both of our children asked if we could keep the cottage. And we will. A piece of this place will always be in our hearts. We hope to return someday..."yet knowing how way leads on to way"...if we never have the chance to visit again, please know, we have made memories in this cottage that we will always carry with us. Much Love.
Stayed at this delightful cottage in June. Convenient and easy to get to from the Twin Cities. Once there, practically lived on the screen porch - feels like you are outside right by the river (without the nuisance of mosquitoes). As noted, it is an older cottage but it has been well maintained and is clean. Loved the decor. The pictures on their site capture it well. It's a great place for a retreat, but parks, towns and activities near by if you want to venture out. The owners are friendly and attentive - ready to help with whatever you need, but they are also not intrusive. I've recommended this place to others and hope to return.
"...and on the evening of the Sixth Day, God finished creating the South House and property." As my friend said, "No wonder nothing was done on the Seventh Day, God was so relaxed!" Morning coffee on the screened porch, still and quiet other than the woodpeckers and a distant train. What a beautiful setting for a cottage in the woods - steps from the river, easy hiking and exploring, a short drive to the quaint villages of Marine on St. Croix and Scandia. Thank you for a wonderful stay -- I plan to be back!
Looking for the perfect place to relax, rejuvenate, and revel in the quiet sounds of life along a protected, wild river? This is your spot. I've stayed here twice - once with my 90-year old father, once with two sisters-in-law. Owners are on site and the nicest folks you'd ever want to meet. Plenty to do if you venture away from the cottage: watching eagles, heron, and turtles on the river, quiet walks right off the wooded approach to the cottage, hiking at O'Brian State Park, to-die-for fish tacos, treats, and groceries at the general store in Marine-on-St. Croix, weekend train rides out of Osceola, WI. Only downside to this place? Leaving.
Canoeing; nature walks; weekend antique-train rides down the valley from the nearby town of Osceola, WI (about 1.5 hr. roundtrip).