Remote Wilderness Cabin, Ely, Mn, Birch Lake, 12 Mi Se of Ely
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- Minimum stay:Contact owner
- Pets considered:Yes
- Wheel chair accessible:No
Ely cabin description
Rustic, cozy Gabbro Cabin stands on its own large private peninsula, facing its own intimate, picturesque bay, and its privacy is guaranteed by surrounding National Forest land. Gabbro is accessible only across two miles of Birch Lake.
Gabbro is a remote cabin, providing what owner Sharon calls “wilderness with a bed.” A crucial value of Gabbro Cabin is its break from technological dependency: no telephones, TVs, internet, or other plug-ins to compete with family fun and adventure. Gabbro's variety of fun activities, remote location, and isolation from electronic distractions have made it a terrific family vacation spot for annual returnees. The same gifts make Gabbro a marvelous getaway for couples.
The cabin has two bedrooms, each with a double bed and overhead single bunk. The cabin’s propane-powered refrigerator, oven/ stove, and inside lamps provide comfort and efficiency without infringing on the experiential wildness. The wood-fired Finnish steam sauna provides bathing luxury, and the cutting-edge outhouse provides private necessity.
Gabbro guests enjoy swimming, saunas, fishing, canoeing, hiking the peninsula’s trails, and wilderness relaxation. Wildlife abounds: eagles, loons and other waterbirds, warblers and other songbirds, otters, beavers, and brazen chipmunks can all be seen around the cabin area. Moose, deer, wolves, mink and martens all reside in the surrounding forest. Rental kayaks and boat motors can be arranged.
The pristine waters of Birch Lake offer excellent walleye and smallmouth fishing, many miles of unbroken natural shoreline, and direct access to the Boundary Waters.
Come and celebrate Boundary Waters magnificence at Gabbro Cabin!
Keywords: Remote, Water-access, Sauna, Boundary Waters, Wilderness
- Vacation Rental
- Guests Provide Their Own Meals
- Pets Considered
- Non Smoking Only
- Children Welcome
Bedrooms: 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 7, Beds for 6-7
- Double Beds (2), Bunk Beds (2)
Bathrooms: 0 Bathrooms
Kitchen & Dining
- Cooking Utensils
- Wood Stove
- Outdoor Grill
Location & View
- Wildlife Viewing
ReviewsWrite a review
We just returned from our first stay at Gabbro Cabin- what an incredible week we had with our 2 young children! The location is beautiful and the lake traffic is wonderfully mellow. We were blessed with exceptional weather and even the breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay (mostly!). We opted to go motor less and don't regret it at all. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the nearby bays and even ventured up into the Kawishiwi. The sauna was perfect! Big enough for the kids to splash around in their buckets of cool water while the grown ups got a good sweat.
- Guest Driftless Mama (Viroqua, WI USA)
- Date of stay 06/30/13
- Review Submitted 07/10/13
Recommended for: Romantic getaway, sightseeing, age 55+, pet owners, families with teenagers, adventure seekers, families with young children.
Owner response: Thank you! We're glad you had such a great vacation at Gabbro. It's very gratifying to us that families like yours can enjoy Boundary Waters fun at our cabin and peninsula. We hope you'll be able to come again!
We have been in the Ely area many times, and decided to find a cabin for this adventure. We really enjoyed our week at Gabbro Cabin, and decided to go motorless--which meant we were secluded on 'our' cove of Birch Lake for the week. The person who dropped us off was extremely nice and showed us how everything worked, including the sauna (we were not sauna people before the trip, but we are now!). We found everything we needed at the cabin. It is small and rustic in nature, and provided a backdrop for a week of family fun. We used the rowboat and canoe extensively. The owner provides drinking water from Ely, MN and dishwater is obtained by taking water from lake and boiling. There are propane lights, stove, and fridge---which is good-sized if you are planning types of foods to bring. There are games for rainy days (scrabble, cards, chess, etc.) and a good selection of books and guide books and maps. We really enjoyed the screened-in porch-type tent for dining outside. The bay around the cabin has loons, beaver, ducks, herons, and (reportedly!) some fish. We caught northerns in the grass. It was nice to hear almost nothing for a week except nature and our squeaky oars of the rowboat. Our 15-year-old son enjoyed canoeing the bay and exploring. If you have a bit of adventure in you, this cabin is a great choice. If you are used to tenting, this will be the lap of luxury!
- Guest Larkin P.
- Date of stay 06/23/13
- Review Submitted 07/01/13
Recommended for: Romantic getaway, girls getaway, sightseeing, age 55+, families with teenagers, adventure seekers, families with young children.
Owner response: We're glad your and your family had such a good week! Like you, we find Gabbro Cabin a perfect northwoods retreat and center for water wilderness activities. We hope you'll return to Gabbro in the future. Yours, Tom & Sharon
A Perfect Mix of Wilderness and Comfort
A Perfect Mix of Wilderness and Comfort
My wife and I were looking for a remote northwoods wilderness experience with lots of solitude. We have always tent camped in the boundary waters but this time wanted something that afforded a little more comfort than tents and sleeping bags. The cabin was exactly what we hoped for. It is extremely well maintained and is in a setting that is miles away from civilization. The only way to and from the cabin is by boat so no noise from vehicle traffic and other campers. Conveniences like gas powered stove, fridge, and lights are very nice to have in a place that is surrounded by miles of national forest. A perfect location for activities such as canoeing (canoe provided), bird watching, fishing, hiking, and wildlife/outdoor photography. I looked at many properties in this area and none offered the remoteness, lakefront access, beautiful views, and "creature comforts" as much as this cabin. The whole experience including the business side of the deal was excellent. Highly recommended.
- Guest Mark (McKinney Texas)
- Date of stay 07/23/12
- Review Submitted 08/09/12
Recommended for: Romantic getaway, sightseeing, age 55+, adventure seekers, families with young children.
Our favorite vacation
Our favorite vacation
Our family has been going to Gabbro Cabin for 14 summers. We love the sauna and jumping into the lake afterwards, the northern lights, blueberry picking, hearing wolves howl, swimming, fishing, no technology, relaxing with a book, quiet nights, shopping in Ely and time with family and friends. Our kids are now teenagers and still love going to Gabbro Cabin. We look forward to it all year.
- Guest westhaav (Two Harbors, MN)
- Date of stay 07/24/11
- Review Submitted 03/25/12
Recommended for: Romantic getaway, girls getaway, age 55+, families with teenagers, adventure seekers, families with young children.
Owner response: Thank you. Like you, we've been able to live into our love for the Boundary Waters environment, wilderness ethic, and water-and-woods summer vacation fun in our vacations to Gabbro Cabin and its peninsula and bays. It's a unique pleasure in our lives to make this "canoe trip with beds" experience available for others. Thank you again for your review letter!
Gabbro Cabin on Birch Lake in Ely, Minnesota
Gabbro Cabin on Birch Lake in Ely, Minnesota
My family and I started renting the Gabbro Cabin 14 years ago as a way for my wife, and then, young family to experience a "Boundary Waters" like experience without trucking around diapers and children's equipment. That was then, and as the experience has become a regular occurrence for our family, we can't even think of a summer without planning and arriving at the cabin. Our time there has been a fabric of my children's growing years as an addition to the other trips we make, both wilderness and urban alike. We adore all that the cabin has to offer from the sauna, fishing, swimming, star shows and anything in between. We have always found the hospitality of the owners and caretakers helpful and accommodating and plan our trip yearly as the new year focuses into view. We are thankful for our opportunity to return and only hope that we can continue our experience in subsequent years.
- Guest Robert Shoemaker (St. Peter, MN)
- Date of stay 02/12/12
- Review Submitted 02/12/12
Recommended for: Romantic getaway, girls getaway, age 55+, families with teenagers, families with young children.
$1200 per week (+ taxes 9.875%) Rates are weekly, Sunday-to-Sunday. Rates are based on 6-person (or fewer) occupancy Additonal people: adults $125/wk, children over 5 $90/wk Pets $10/day per pet 50% deposit to secure reservation, balance due before going to cabin Full deposit refund less $50 for cancellaton 90 days in advance
Note: Until confirmed, rates are subject to change without notice.
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Year Purchased: 2000
About the owner: Tom and Sharon Arendshorst have owned the Gabbro Cabin peninsula on Birch Lake since 2000. Residents of Holland, Michigan, Tom is a retired ophthalmic surgeon and Sharon a retired pastor. Tom was introduced to the Ely area as a Camp Voyageur youth in 1960; he and Sharon are longtime Boundary Waters/Quetico canoeists, and love the remote peace, Northwoods beauty, sense of retreat and abundant opportunities for wilderness fun that rise around Gabbro Cabin.
Why the Owner Chose Ely:
Gabbro Cabin has unique assets: it is remote and blessedly private because it is surrounded by National Forest, but it also gives access to many miles of waterway, shoreline, fishing, and exploring. The peninsula's size provides hiking trails and varied habitat for wildlife. Being at Gabbro is accessible 'wilderness with beds.'
The Unique Benefits at this Cabin:
The Ely area offers unique access to boreal wilderness via the maze of lakes and connecting waterways of the Boundary Waters region. We purchased this remote cabin to give our family a 'home' from which we have been able to annually retreat from 'civilization,' refresh our spirits, and taste the compelling draw of wilderness. We are pleased others can share this bounty!
- Primary: 616-335-3132
- Secondary: + 616-566-1751
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Musing on the Dock of Gabbro Bay
West End of Gabbro Bay, Sunset
Rear View of Gabbro Cabin
Our Glorious Finnish Steam Sauna, steps from the lake!
Gazebo: Den and Patio
Peninsula Hiking Trail
East End of Gabbro Bay
Gazebo Dining: Elegance in the Rough
'State of the Art' odorless Outhouse-with-a-View
View South from the Cabin
Peninsula HIking Trail
Fryin' the Catch
Blue Water, Blue Sky
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This listing was first published here in 2011.
Date last modified - Friday, May 24, 2013