The Little Retreat in the Forest is your Canadian secluded, woodsy, magical pup friendly forest escape. A very short drive north of beautiful Gimli, down a long winding driveway, waiting for you to restore and disconnect. Nestled in the spruce, with all the amenities, plus a woodstove, lots of wood, hammocks, fire pits, hiking trails, BBQ, swimming/skating pond, snowshoeing, my vinyl collection and no TV. Just you on 80 acres of Forest. Find us on FB/Instagram at @littleretreatintheforest.
Hi there and welcome!!
Updated April 1, 2020
Just a quick note that I’m open to stays at ‘the Forest’ during the current situation and have implemented cleaning and sanitization procedures especially those recommended by Airbnb. I’d love for your immediate household to stay here if you’re interested in my place :).
We are isolated, secluded and private, nestled away on 80 acres of land so we are far away from everything, and a great place to take a break as always. Please just disclose if you’ve been ill or had any symptoms, as you should wait the 14 waiting period until booking a stay. Guests have been great and everyone appreciates those paying it forward.
Note that you will self check in, as usual, and also while I normally encourage you to support local businesses in nearby towns (Gimli is 10 minutes away and Riverton is 20 minutes away) now is not the time to do that. In order to be responsible and minimize potential impacts on older populations and smaller health care systems, please bring everything you need from home and drive straight here your home to here, no need to go or stop anywhere. Just a one hour drive from the city :).
We will get through this together! Any questions message me anytime. :)
April 1, 2020
About my place!
I love this place and I am sure you will too. It is a simple, beautiful house in the woods. I call it the "Forest" or the "Little Retreat".
I am totally amazed at how many people (read reviews or the guest book and you'll see!) have just had awesome experiences reconnecting with their loved ones or themselves or nature when visiting. I guess it is how quiet and secluded is, but there is something amazing about the place. And I know that you love it because it is private, quiet and secluded and I will keep it that way :).
I have tried to keep the look and feel of the old cabin it once was. Before hydro and running water, it is rumoured that it was occupied by an old trapper as rumours go!
It has all the amenities now that it is a small suburban type house, except it is nestled on a beautiful 80 acres of spruce and aspen forest secluded down a 1/8 mile gravel driveway. Then there is the pond, and the new swimming pond with real sand.
I like to think that your reasons for staying here is a lot like my reasons for finding and preserving and being creative with the place - it is to preserve the forest and the natural surroundings and the forest medicines, to be as much like a northern trapper or a prairie homesteader and live more off the land as possible, to seek some solace and disconnection from urban and everything electronic, and also to eventually have some more earth centered and environmentally friendly and creative options for accommodations set away in a private forest as kind of an oasis to reset or stop time, at least for a couple of days.
I have a lot of plans for the future as well to make it even more of an amazing and whimsical oasis as guests call it, this year we worked on the campground by the tipi, and added a few new trails all marked really well. There are traditional Anishnaabe medicines in certain places in the forest that we have been told about too. I plan on adding a yurt and a few decks including a yoga deck when funds will allow.
Oh and last year after putting in the new roads which you will see, they go to a couple secluded spots - we decked out the 1970s trailer I recently picked up for additional accommodations, all southern style – and check out our other listings. I also added an outdoor shower and an outdoor bathtub which people love (spring summer fall only!).
I am working now on adding an environmentally friendly compost humanure toilet system/building for those of your group who are staying at the trailer or campsite or the tipi and voluntarily want to try it instead of using the cabin washroom – it is based on my explorations in southern Arizona and New Mexico. That’s just an option, your group can use the washroom in the cabin.
And I forgot, there’s the two sailboats – one is the rustic one by the driveway which I will be moving to a different spot and renovating into a cabin for myself on the first road (you’ll see it when you drive in, it’s set aside for me to the left of where you first come in but you are welcome to check it out if I am not out).
So I eventually I will also have an eclectic private set away place on the 80 acres of land for me to stay, separate from and a ways away from the cabin and the rest of the 80 acres that for you and your guests (to give you and idea how far away I’d be, if I am out (I’d let you know) you know how long a football field is? About 90 to 100 metres? The driveway is about 2 of those or 200 metres or so away from you, or a whole long city block, so I would be two football fields away from the cabin through dense forest! So if you go to the Winnipeg folk festival its about the distance from Main Stage to the popcorn vendor at the treeline at the back of the stage audience lol). I respect your privacy on the land and extremely conscientious of that, I know that’s why you’ve booked my place :).
The second sailboat is a 22 foot gorgeous Tanzer and will be ready as an additional option as a place to stay for your more adventurous guests in your group by July 2020 ("Little Sailboat in the Forest"!).
So you'll stay at my cabin “The Little Retreat in the Forest” which is the primary place to stay at, and last year I added the vintage trailer, Little Trailer in the Forest, and a fully furnished tipi, the Little Tipi in the Forest, and then the Little Sailboat in the Forest as I was saying! :).
In keeping with the theme of small environmentally friendly alternative accommodations for you to try I also hope to put a tiny house or pod or two back out on the trails for you to visit and even stay a night if you choose, which will be completely off grid and rustic. And again just for you and your group to also book if you like. When my budget allows, year by year we are adding new and creative options for your group . Just a few things :).
I think it is perfect for your holiday if you are intending on spending your days in Gimli yet to leave town at the end of the day and restore in a quiet retreat on 80 acres of forest. Just read the guest reviews.
You can take a day trip by car to the beaches of Lake Winnipeg, but you get to retreat to the forest at the end of the day.
I'd say this place is perfect if you want a retreat to restore at in the forest, just sit and listen to the aspen and poplar trees, watch for birds, look at wildflowers some even just off the driveway, and walk our rough trails (the main trail is almost 2 km according to our measurements) and paths - if you are looking for beach time and Lake Winnipeg isn't far either (you can drive 4 minutes, bike 20, or walk it, down to the end of the road where you will be secluded at the Lake at the end of our Road).
In winter you can go skiing on the great ski trails of Camp Morton or hop on many local snowmobile trails that are close by!
On our land you can grab the snowshoes we provide and go out on the trails or make your own trails, just don't get lost which is really easy to do!
Oh and if tall grass (the yard and site and trails are being allowed to grow back in naturally with native grasses and plants and a few additions) and bugs (there are lots of them, depending upon the season, from wood ticks, mosquitoes, flies and all of mother nature's creations) bother you then maybe this isn't the place you are seeking out for your getaway :).
A little bit more about my place and how it works to book the Little Retreat in the Forest!
I will send you a detailed message closer to your stay with all kinds of information on my place, so hopefully I will answer your all questions! Message me anytime before your stay with any kind of question though! :). In the meantime please read the house manual and check out our social media pages.
A little about Airbnb too if you are new to it…
Most of the great really cool places on Airbnb you can book are good folks trying to make things available for different sorts of stays that you wouldn’t normally get to do, because they love sharing. I have stayed in quite a few alternative type places, from a vintage off grid trailer in the desert near Joshua Tree national park, a hut in the desert near Slab City CA (out of this world), an adobe home in Tucson Arizona, a sailboat in downtown Vancouver, a yurt in the mountains of northern Arizona, a tent at Monument Valley Utah, a float home and various cabins on Vancouver Island and Salt Spring Island, a school bus and a tiny house in Portland Oregon, an off grid Earthship in the high desert of Taos New Mexico, and various more standard type accommodations all using Airbnb.
So more on the outdoor washroom – it has an actual vintage claw foot tub and an outdoor shower, all outdoors, nestled in the woods 100 feet away from the cabin. Just you and the deer. The plan is for adding a separate sink (I bought an older Victorian type sink from a house reno) and outdoor composting humanure outhouse building at a separate location on the land for the environmentally friendly option if you want to try it, you’ll see them down south in New Mexico and Arizona where folks have explored that. Or use the cabin washroom, it’s up to you.
So right now as to accommodations options there’s also the Little Trailer in the Forest, a vintage trailer decorated in a southwestern style; and the Little Tipi in the Forest, a Tipi decorated Bohemian style with lights and a queen bed. Both will be available to your group to also book when you’ve booked the Little Retreat in the Forest - no other guests will be there. So you’ll have complete privacy.
With the Little Retreat I am aiming at sharing with you the quintessential private Canadian woods experience at my home north of Gimli, Manitoba and also share some alternative type accommodations for those who want to try that sort of thing.
So it’ll be private just for your group - I know how much you like booking my place and being private so I’m keeping it that way. If you have a group and want to book two separate accommodations, my plan is to make that happen. Check out my other listings for those options.
More about my place. I'd say the setting is serene and what dreams are made of (if you're a nature lover).
On the 80 acres you will find several ponds (oh my do watch for the mosquitoes in June and July!! :) ), rough trails I am working on that are flat in parts and that get your blood moving stepping over logs or rough ground in parts (if it is spring time bring your rubber boots it is the interlake boreal plains!!) and you might see deer roaming around.
I have made one pond into a swimmable pond, about 4 feet deep and fairly long, and you can float around in a kayak or swim. I even added sand so there is a beach now :).
So just relax or go for a swim, but it totally works and you'll have a blast. The clay bottom is actually really nice and soft on the toes, it's really soft clay just like the spa!
The house has all the modern day comforts but as John Prine directed me, I threw out the TV :) but kept the guitar and banjo lol (seriously!). I did however, equip the house with good satellite Wifi and two WiFi networks in case you need it an you are outside the cabin (works up to 400 feet away I am told).
The cabin has two bedrooms - one with a very comfy king bed, and one with a great queen bed (there's a kitschy old tv and VHS tapes in the closet but don't tell the kids or they will spend all their time on it lol?).
We also have the double futon bed/couch in the living room, and a single futon chaise. So that makes up to 7 people sharing beds including the bedrooms. I’ve brought out a twin day bed for a group that needed another bed, and there’s a cot, and a playpen if you have a newborn - it’s a little cozy with 7 people so make sure you are OK with that and you really like each other :).
So we can sleep a total of 7 comfortably I’d say and a little cozy (see pictures of the cabin it’s not a huge place, especially if it’s raining outside and you have to stay in!) if those work for you!
It’s a cabin but really a modern house, with running water from the well and a full bathroom including a tub and all the electricity you need, with a full kitchen with cooking implements like any suburban house and stove, oven and microwave and electric kettle, drip coffee maker and a french press, coffee grinder, blender, Soda Stream, my older juicer, tons of utensils, really cool glassware including martini glasses and parfaits, a selection of teas in the cupboard, coffee beans, filtered water dispenser for drinking water, a dishwasher (although hand washing dishes seems to save water and is easier on the holding tank!).
There is also the old cabinet record player which plays awesome, so bring some of your vinyl! My old collection is there including some old hank Williams, talking heads, rolling stones, bob dylan, van morrison and other cool stuff.
There are 2 decks to choose from, depending on whether you are wanting sun or shade throughout the day. At night I love to cozy up inside with a nice fire in the woodstove and read or just chill. The west one is big enough for yoga or just laying around and hanging out.
Yes I love the woodstove and so do most folks that come out, go outside and chop some wood amongst the spruce trees with no other people in sight. Just except the stars at night, be what you imagine it’s like in some remote cabin (you kinda are, once it’s dark it’s pretty dark and the neighbours are really far away).
With that, and I really try and take it seriously (ask my mom!), is cleaning. Now there’s dust and soot of course, and the walls end up with black marks from people’s days there, which we try and wipe up between guests as much as possible, and we have a cleaner from a nearby town and it gets cleaned (beds made, rooms vacuumed, water checked, kitchen cleaned) sometimes a few times a week, so it’s pretty clean. We do ask guests to tidy and wipe, and wash your dishes for the next guests (and me), but we do all the rest. Just bring yourselves, your food, and whatever you think will make your stay fun.
We provide a bunch of cool stuff, from bikes in summer (two were cruisers from my parents), five sets of snowshoes and kid ones for winter, plus inside the cabin there’s games (including scrabble), cool books and the vinyl. Even a Bluetooth iPod dock but you’re staying way from technology right? There’s a meditation cushion, a essential oil dispenser and some tester oils. Or buy one or a tea, I thought they’d maybe help your stay - from Chad and Nancy at Hollow Reed in the city.
Where to go from there? It is also only about a 5 minute drive to the end of the road at Lake Winnipeg, or you can bike which I'd say is about 15 minutes and I provide a couple good bikes too :). There may be a couple other people there at most but that is it, so pretty private. It’s not grand beach and a stony shore and you’ll need water shoes to swim, but to sit it’s beautiful and you can walk the shore for a long time without seeing people.
Or drive into Gimli 10 minutes away and go to the busy public beaches and check out the scene or get some awesome food. Best of both worlds.
Or if its winter go to the awesome and fairly renowned Camp Morton ski trails which are groomed really well by a local group.
If you stick close to home there’s lots to do. Your group will be the only guests on the 80 acres, the trails, beach, and wandering around (please be careful especially if you go off a trail, trust me, especially on a cloudy day or night, you can get easily turned around and lost).
At a lot of Airbnbs you meet the host and they show you around. I say it under guest interaction on the Airbnb page too, at mine I leave you to it yourselves. Sometimes a neighbour may drop by (but they generally know there’s guests and when I’m around or not), you know rural life everyone knows when you drive by lol.
I love the land and love camping and Van life too, so in summer I get away from the city. I might park and camp my VW Westfalia the odd night 1/8 mile away from the cabin (at the north end of the 80 acres of land, the first road like I was saying above) or be working on my sailboat/cabin on the first road here and there. But you’ll know from me ahead of time. I always message about my guests about everything and communication with me and being available for you if you need it is super important to me (and so is privacy if you don’t need to communicate and you got the instructions all sorted I will just message you before check in and at check out!).
And like I was saying above I’m working on setting the place up to be associated with a few other cool places to stay on the land, right now for group bookings at the same time as the cabin.
Check out my Instagram page too at @littleretreatintheforest and the Facebook page.
Your closest neighbors are about an 1/8th of a mile away on either side so I don't imagine you will have much interaction with them. Sometimes rural folks do drop in and are interested in seeing if we need anything done but those interactions are usually fairly minimal and they know not to come by unless I have invited them. It is possible someone might come by to see if the driveway needs plowing in winter or the like, but it’s so seldom at that.
Camp Morton, Manitoba, Canada