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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance +44 (0) 800 917 5992

Country Retreat Nestled in Wooded Valley

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

4 bedrooms, 2 baths, large gathering area, open kitchen, living room, sunroom

This spacious home is nestled in a wooded clearing, giving you privacy and delight in the life of the forest surrounding you. We offer all the comforts of home since we also come here for our haven getaway. We have collected art, antiques and nature treasures. Enjoy reading my son's journal of the beavers living in the valley with maps of the dams and lodges!

Red Oak post and beam construction have created an open kitchen, dining room and comfortable living room. A separate family room offers an extensive library and entertainment center plus another sleeping area for 2 with use of downstairs bathroom. Large windows and a sun room give views of perennial gardens, bird traffic to the bird feeder and bath, cheeky chipmunks and squirrels running on the garden fence and silent deer. Sunlight warms the golden hues of the oak floors, wainscoting, furniture and butternut cabinets.

3 bedrooms upstairs and a hall space have beds for 8, dressers and closets. An upstairs bathroom has a claw foot tub for a cozy soak.

Because we are opening our home to you with so many personal touches, we ask that you don't come here for a drinking party weekend. We have had one unpleasant experience where lots of damage was done by inebriated guests. We almost stopped renting at that point!

The yard offers a picnic table and lawn chairs, a badminton net, a stone fire pit for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs and relaxing by the fire's glow in the dark forest with its night sounds. There is a small charcoal grill. In season, the garden may have tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, peppers. The yard and grassy clearings in the woods have scrumptious wild berries to pick; red raspberries, strawberries, black caps mid summer and big blackberries in August and September. You can see eagles and hawks soaring above and in the spring and fall, flocks of geese pass over with their plaintive honks.

Explore West Beaver Valley. Hike dry runs for crystal rocks, fossils and hidden waterfalls cut deep in the rock. Climb the bluffs to rock outcroppings with caves and wild inhabitants! Follow West Beaver Creek, rich with rare songbirds, herons, kingfishers, a mallard hiding her ducklings in the weeds, a beaver may slap the water to warn of you! Wade or be brave and swim in a deep pool, refreshing! Take a tour of Schech's Mill and buy some stone-ground cornmeal. Enjoy the beauty of the mowed trails in Beaver Creek Park and watch or fish the trout under the bridge, all within a mile!

More Details

Lynn Selness
Member since: 2015
Speaks English
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
19 May, 2018

About Lynn Selness

I'm Lynn. My childhood was spent in New Jersey and next I landed in the midwest where I married, had 7 children and lived for 25 years. In 1999 we all (13 of us then) moved to CA to run a bamboo nursery where the whole family could work together. We had a bunch of teens and early 20's kids by then, and we rented out our MN home. This went rough on my MN house so I reclaimed it and have been restoring it for some years now. Our CA experience was tough and I lost my husband, so I have been supporting my 2 youngest children, Forest and Meadow, for the last 15 years. I established a goat dairy in the Santa Cruz Mountains where I still reside. I was so happy to be able to return to my MN home, I was always homesick for it in CA and now love coming back whenever I can escape the farmwork. Now I have 6 precious grandchildren in CA and a great-granddaughter so I treasure my time there also.

Lynn Selness purchased this house in 1985

Why Lynn Selness chose Caledonia

Building our home was my heart's desire, to live in this scenic valley, the same wilderness valley I had first moved to in the state in 1976. I had lived near the source of West Beaver Creek surrounded by wooded hills with my baby Willow. Years later we had 5 children and bought 5 acres, cleared the house site and milled the oaks for our home in the “big woods”. I loved gathering limestone rock to terrace the hillside, build the steps, even the entry floor. From pouring the footings to shingling the roof, it was a creative work of joy with help from many friends. My last 2 children were born here and 2 grand daughters. We homesteaded for many years, raised the 7 children with our gardens, chickens and goats.

What makes this house unique

I hope you sense the tranquility and beauty of nature all around you here. The fragrances of the valley, the earthy dampness cooling the summer evenings, the magic of fireflies twinkling in the deepening woods shadows, the call of the whippoorwill, owls hoot to each other, the coyotes yelp, a lone cry of a wolf, all are spellbinding. Every season here is rich for me. I find God's voice speaking to me and refreshing my spirit in this place.

I love the friendly small town feeling of this community. They celebrate their Norwegian heritage with colorful holidays like Nordic Fest in Decorah, IA, Syttende Mai in Spring Grove, and their farm life with harvest festivals, Steam-engine Days, horse and tractor pulls. I love the cultural aspects, Shakespeare Festivals in WInona, La Crosse's Art and Music Festival, Riverfest, Lanesboro's plays, and my favorite, Spring Grove's outdoor Black Barn plays. I love visiting the Amish farms with their produce stands, maple syrup, furniture and basket shops and bakeries.

My family have always enjoyed the outdoor activities, bike trails, canoeing the Upper Iowa and the Root River, the Mississippi backwaters around the islands. There's a bird sanctuary near Alma where during migrations, swans, pelicans, Canada geese and Snow Geese gather in noisy flocks. There are little towns up and down the Mississippi for shopping, music, great restaurants, wine-tasting. My kids loved the caves near Harmony, where you climb deep into the earth, a little too deep for some of us! We never run out of fun things to do!


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday house in Caledonia in Caledonia Township

Property Type:
  • house
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 15:00 / Check-out: 11:00
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • rural ...
  • Ski-In ...
  • Ski-Out ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Garage
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower
    Bathroom 2 - Toilet , Bath (no shower)
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Meadow's Room-bedroom 2 - 1 Large Double Bed
    Jesse's Room- bedroom 3 - 1 Single Bed
    Sewing Niche (in hallway) - 1 Single Bed
    Master Bedroom 1 - 1 Extra Lg. Double Bed , 1 Large Double Bed , 2 Cot , There is a baby crib and a cradle for an infant
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theatre
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • Kayaking
  • ski
  • Snowmobiling
  • caving
  • swimming
I have a masseuse who will come to the home and give massages if scheduled ahead.


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(24 traveller reviews)

75% Complete
20% Complete
0% Complete
4% Complete
0% Complete
Country Retreat Nestled in Wooded Valley
average rating of 4.6666665 based on 24 reviews

Tranquil Country Home

  • 4 of 5

We found this property to be very relaxing and peaceful. The big country kitchen had everything we needed and we were so glad to see some spices were there for our use as well. The weather wasn't conducive to walking outside but we enjoyed the view from within. The front steps are definitely treacherous and although add to the character of the home they were not very safe. The only other thing that we could suggest is to have hand soap in the bathrooms that was not watered down. Otherwise the beds were very comfortable and we have plenty of sleeping room for the 5 of us. We did get to chat with the caretaker as we were leaving so he gave us some history on the house and that was interesting. Thank you so much Lynn for sharing your home - it is simply lovely and we would come back at some point if we were to go to the area again.

  • Review Submitted: 20-Oct-2017
  • Date of Stay: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm aware of the "rustic" steps. I gathered the rock myself and built them along with all the retaining walls by the gardens and the entry floor. We came to the valley with the dream of building our home with our own hands from as much of the natural materials as we could gather. We cut the red oaks to to make our clearing in the forest and designed the post and beam home with those trees. I have the caretakers building a railing to make the steps more secure from some trees in the woods near our home. Soon it will be done for your safety and comfort! I'm sorry about the watering down of the hand soap, I'm a little too protective of the amount of soap that goes into my septic tank. Some guests have used exorbitant amounts of soaps on their weekends. (whole large bottles of bubble bath and laundry soap, I cringe when I think of the tank full of bubbles!) I know that city folk don't know about septic tanks but I care for mine carefully. Sorry for my perhaps idiosyncrasies!
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Very nice place , but with accessibility issues.

  • 4 of 5

We enjoyed our stay very much. The well-stocked home in a lovely setting was enjoyed greatly by the seven of us. Our only concern was the accessibility of the home. We are in our 60s and 70s and found the stone steps with no rail very difficult to use. An open-up couch downstairs would also be a good idea for sleeping for those with mobility issues.

  • Review Submitted: 11-Oct-2017
  • Date of Stay: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Yes, Carol, I tried to get my railing built by the front steps just for your visit, but my carpenter was not able to do it in time. Soon it will be complete! Also I've been shopping for a pull out couch for the family room since it has privacy and will find one soon. You've brought up another good reason to have one! Thanks. Lynn
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Chicago, IL

Secluded house surrounded by trees - a great retreat!

  • 5 of 5

I rented this house for a weekend with old friends, and I'm very happy I did. The house has a great layout for cooking and relaxing plenty of beds, and the stars are very very bright at night. The owner was responsive with emails, and I would recommend the place to anyone.

  • Review Submitted: 31-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Peaceful getaway

  • 5 of 5

The property is remote and peaceful--expect to see lots of nature! We found it a great space for accommodating our larger group of 9 close friends. The owner takes great pride in her home and is great to interact with.

  • Review Submitted: 04-Aug-2017
  • Date of Stay: July 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the appreciation! I'm so glad your large group was comfy there. I love to know my home is purring filled with dear friends!
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0 0

Excellent place to stay

  • 5 of 5

I was looking for a place to stay near Caledonia for work. I found Lynn's place on vrbo. It ended up being the perfect place for me! It is a spacious home in the country but still a short drive from town. Lynn was easy to communicate with and was accommodating to my somewhat unique travel plans. I would definitely stay again—for work or play!

  • Review Submitted: 19-Feb-2017
  • Date of Stay: January 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Gorgeous cabin, ideally for a family or two couples

  • 5 of 5

This place has so much charm and character! It's tucked away in a beautiful area near a lovely state park, and the old farmhouse itself is fantastic. Really cozy, and the living area downstairs is perfect for hanging out. As other individuals have mentioned, it will only work out well if you're close with the individuals you're staying with, as one of the large bedrooms upstairs doesn't have a door (this rental is more of a 2 bedroom than a 3 bedroom, as the third bedroom is only accessible through the bedroom that doesn't have door). The set up worked really well for us (we were two couples and a baby), so no complaints- I would just like knowing those kind of details if I was trying to plan something for a larger group. :) Lynn was really friendly, flexible, and easy to communicate with, and you can tell that there is a lot of love and work put into this beautiful family home. We definitely hope to stay here again sometime and were thankful for such a great weekend getaway!

  • Review Submitted: 01-Nov-2016
  • Date of Stay: October 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your lovely review and your helpful comment on the bedroom arrangement. I will clarify the description on my site.
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Nearest Barpub
7 Miles
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Caledonia, MN
Nearest Restaurant
7 Miles
Caledonia, MN
Car: necessary


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday house in Caledonia, USA

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event Price
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
for 2 nights
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add £10 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Property Damage Protection £43.81
Refundable Damage Deposit £148.52

Families with children under 6, no additional fee for the children

If you would prefer not to purchase the insurance, (for $59), I will have to increase your refundable damage deposit to $1,000. Let me know and I can adjust your quote.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund for cancellations more than 7 days before check-in date.
  • 100% refund for cancellations more than 14 days before check-in date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.
Ask Owner a Question