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Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076
Book Online or call VRBO Booking Assistance: 888-829-7076

Special Offer Now in Downeast Acadia! Blackberry Cottage~Sauna~Sunsets~Secluded

Bedrooms 1
Space 750 sq. ft.
Property type cottage
Minimum Stay 3 - 7 nights


About the property

One of two cottages located on private 100 acre gaited retreat. Many amenities.

*Please kindly note that Blackberry Cottage currently has a 3 day minimum. Please give at least 7 days advance notice. This cottage is for adults only.

Welcome to the Blackberry Cottage at Light Heart Retreat! Just a short drive to Acadia National Park, but a world away from the hustle and bustle of tourism, the Blackberry Cottage beckons you to nourish your soul here in the peace, solitude and beauty that abounds on 100 acres of water filled crystalline granite quarries and old growth forest at mystical, magical, Light Heart Retreat. This is a wonderful abode for writers and creatives, as well as nature lovers. Those who find themselves deeply needing rest and restoration, clarity and inspiration will receive what they seek here and more. Of course, outdoor enthusiasts of the more is better, harder/faster kind, are welcome here too. But don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to take a day off from hiking and biking to just be here, and take in the stillness and the beauty that surrounds you.

Cheery, cozy, comfy…and cute…that’s the Blackberry Cottage. The Blackberry heats with a glass fronted parlor stove, sufficient to the coldest days of the year and perfect for a chilly Maine morning. The full kitchen has a pine dining nook, island and pantry. The ample windows provide bird and animal sitings, including the hummingbirds that frequent the window boxes.

There’s a queen size bed in the east facing bedroom. The built in couch in the living room serves as a second bed for a friend. One of our guests prefers it, as she can go to sleep by the light of the parlor stove. This might also serve as a bed for a child who is old enough to have close proximity to the water.

The kitchen is well equipped for cooking, baking even, and there’s a roomy shower in the bathroom with plenty of hot water.

The Blackberry Cottage will keep you well contented if the weather keeps you indoors. There are the usual games and you're set up to watch DVD's. & Videos. There's a wonderful little free-standing library with movies and books. And there’s more...a wood fired sauna on the large quarry, walking trails, swimming, canoeing and fishing (catch and release). Your fire circle is located on a natural granite patio overlooking the quarries.

And more still...a meditation hut sitting high on the cliff side of Bragdon Quarry and the Sacred Stone Circle, another fine place for meditating, sending out your prayers and intentions.

You can travel the world and never find a place like Light Heart Retreat!

Light Heart Retreat is sanctuary for the nature lover’s soul and it tends to bring out the kid in our guests. We love to see them on the big swing!

Light Heart retreat is private, peaceful, secluded while being just 2 miles from Route 1 North. Owner is on site to answer questions. The only other guests will be at the Huckleberry Hideaway and the two cottages and owner's home are all situated for privacy and the area around each cottage is private to it.

The Blackberry will serve you very well. If you like more space and would enjoy the luxury of an outdoor hot tub, you may want to see #153078, the Huckleberry Hideaway which accommodates one or two couples. Both these cottages are for adults only with some occasional exceptions made for children.

Light Heart Retreat is located centrally for day trips to Bar Harbor, Acadia National Park, Blue Hill Peninsula, Camden/Rockport/Rockland, Lubec, Eastport and Campobello. Belfast is an awesome day trip too.

Light Heart Retreat has been discovered! Best to book your summer and foliage stays by March. Spring is a great time to visit Acadia National Park before the main tourist season arrives. There’s much to do to prepare the cottage and retreat amenities during the shoulder seasons. Please give owner at least one weeks notice for early Spring and late Autumn arrivals. More is better :)

*** Host screens guests before approving a reservation. So please let host know about yourself in your inquiry and why you have chosen Light Heart Retreat. Host reserves the right to decline an inquiry if through the screening process it is determined that Light Heart Retreat is not a good match for what the guests are seeking. Reservation requires signing a rental agreement which includes guest guidelines. These guidelines include drinking in moderation. This is not a place to come to and party. ***

Minimum age is 25 years old with some exceptions made.

Beat the crowds and book early to visit Acadia National Park in Spring or early Summer.

Come for a retreat and let your mind rest in the heart where heaven touches earth!

More Details

Joanna Pinney Buell
Member since: 2007
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 19, 2017

About Joanna Pinney Buell

Your host Joanna Pinney Buell has many years as a practitioner in the holistic health and spiritual healing fields. She is an ordained minister, an inspired cook, organic gardener, writer and Joanna designed the retreat houses, their own home, and the little library. Together with husband, David, she has deeply enjoyed seeing Light Heart Retreat work it’s magic on those who have chosen this special hideaway, off the beaten path and away from the crowds. David made his transition back to the Great Cosmos in March 2015. His gifts and contributions are everywhere…the tree swing, the beautiful trails, the stone circle, the granite benches and standing stones that David created and placed. It’s too bad you’ll have missed his piano playing and his poetry readings and his garden tours. However, you cannot help but feel David’s loving, kind presence guiding you to discover the gift of peace, beauty and soul’s purpose that await you here.

Joanna Pinney Buell purchased this cottage in 2003

Why Joanna Pinney Buell chose Acadia

We designed and built this cottage to accommodate a writer who wanted to spend 6 months in our large, family cottage (no longer available). We didn't want the families to lose out and saw a need for a second cottage that could serve an individual or couple on retreat. It was in our hearts to share this special place where we live with kindred spirits and that we have!

The Blackberry Cottage is a great value at its price. Guests have all the same benefits that the guests of the larger Huckleberry Hideaway cottage, except they don't have the outdoor hot tub. All guests may enjoy the wood-fired sauna, the forest trails, swimming in the quarries, canoeing, fishing, the holistic reading and media library and their own campfire pit. And let us not forget the magnificent and mystical standing stone meditation David's granite sculptures...Joanna's really good home-baked bread. This location is very accessible to the best that Downeast Maine has to offer, too.

What makes this cottage unique

The Blackberry Cottage is a great find and value with so much more to offer being part of Light Heart Retreat and sharing in retreat amenities. It's private and secluded while only 2 miles from Rte. 1. The Blackberry Cottage, overlooks the blue quarry water on it's east side and overlooks a lawn, filled with daisies in June to the west with a long view to hills and Taunton Bay.

One of our guests looked out the kitchen window to see a doe and her fawn grazing the lawn. Another spotted a moose in the driveway at 5 AM. Turkeys, otters, mink, deer...Osprey, eagles, falcons and warblers all enjoy visiting the retreat.

We list 2 patios and there is actually a third. We've located the fire pit on a natural granite patio, overlooking the quarry, just a few steps from the backdoor of the Blackberry. Nothing like sitting by a fire and watching the sky for shooting stars and seeing the stars reflected bigger than life in the quarry water. And did I mention the summer serenade of the frogs?

A stay at the Blackberry cottage is wonder-filled! Romantic for a couple, safe for a single woman on retreat with owners on site. Owner is here if needed and utterly respectful of privacy otherwise.

There really in no place like Light Heart Retreat. Where can you go on retreat, have the comfort of a well designed retreat house, privacy, quiet, solitude, beauty, beauty, beauty...a wood-fired sauna, library and not be sharing it with 30 or more other guests?

It's just us and the guests of the two retreat cottages on 100 acres with a gated entry. We offer so much that is of REAL value here. The retreat is 30 minutes from Acadia National Park. The Park is phenomenal, but can be crowded. Bar Harbor is a favored destination and with the many cruise ships in can be crowded in the high season. Cottages on Mount Desert Island cost 3 times our fees for a similar size rental. But why compare apples to oranges?

Guestbook comments from the owner

We arrived here a couple much in need of respite. We have had the opportunity to gain so much more than that. We leave here today rested and renewed. One of my favorite quotes is,

Life is not measured by the number of breaths that we take but by the moments that take our breath away.

Thank you for doing just that by sharing the place where heaven meets earth, with us.
Jul 2012
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Franklin Cottage Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 750 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 5:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 2
  • Min. age of primary renter: 25
  • Not suitable for children ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed ...
  • Non smoking only ...
  • You'll find a more thorough list of guest policies and description of refund policy as part of the rental agreement.
Location Type:
  • Lake ...
  • Rural ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Activities Guide
  • Alarm Clock
  • Backpack
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Filtered Water
  • Fireplace ...
  • Firewood
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Local Activities Guide
  • Local Maps
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telescope
  • Thermos Bottle
  • Tiled Stove
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Wireless Internet
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Blender
  • Coffee Grinder
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Freezer
  • Kitchen ...
  • Lobster Pot
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom - toilet , shower
  • Towels provided. Timed heater. Full size shower. Bring your toiletries and hair dryer please.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 2
  • Bedroom - 1 queen
  • 1 room with one queen bed, large built-in daybed in living room to accommodate 2 adults sleeping separately in the cottage.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books ...
  • Books for Adults
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Games ...
  • Music Library
  • Radio
  • Television ...
  • VCR
  • Video Library ...
  • Bicycles ...
  • Binoculars
  • Canoe
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Gated Community
  • Golf ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Small Cooler
  • Tennis ...
  • Walkway to Water
  • Yard
  • 1 bicycles
  • 4 garden chairs
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • Low Allergen Environment
  • Singles
  • suitable for elderly or infirm
Pool / Spa:
  • Sauna ...
  • autumn foliage
  • bay/sound
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
  • zoo
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • outlet shopping
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • whale watching
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • deepsea fishing
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • golf privileges optional
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surf fishing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water tubing
We spring clean between each set of guests. 1 queen, daybed in living room. Nice bedding, plenty of towels. Great kitchen--well equipped for making meals; spices, herbs, plastic wrap, etc. Large pots for lobsters and clams. Propane parlor stove; blender, coffee grinder. Board games, DVDs & videos available in library. Happy to supply sand chairs, field guides, coolers, iron--need something, please feel free to ask. We'll do our best to provide it for you. You have your own fire pit. Sauna available with 24 hours notice. You'll be shown how to run it. Guests find a home baked bread and seasonal floral arrangement upon arrival. Our guests tell us, You've thought of everything!' 2 canoes for guest use, one on each quarry. Meditation Hut. Walking Trails. Stone Circle. Granite Sculptures. Very private. One of two cottages at Light Heart Retreat with gated entry.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(12 traveler reviews)

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Special Offer Now in Downeast Acadia! Blackberry Cottage~Sauna~Sunsets~Secluded
average rating of 4.9166665 based on 29 reviews

Fabulous, serene, private property with walking trails, sunset views, swimming quarries, heaven!

  • 5 of 5

Look no further for complete privacy retreat to reenergize or check out surrounding Maine town day trips. You will never want to leave! Cottage had everything imaginable to treat you to rest and relaxation, even puzzles and games. A small cabin library of wonderful books on the property, a steam room and mediation hut. Completely rejuvenating!

  • Submitted: Sep 7, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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New England visit

  • 4 of 5

The cottage was everything that Joanna advertised and more. She provided us with a nice treat upon arrival and even went out of her way to make a gluten free treat for my wife. Very classy. The property is nestle in the woods just off a spur road and is very quiet. The cottage is right off the quarry where the morning reflections were wonderful. The cottage was clean and the bed was very comfortable. The kitchen is well stocked with the necessary items to cook meals and relax. I would highly recommend this property for two people wanting a nice getaway. It is located near both Schoodic as well as Acadia NP. The drive to both places is picturesque and easy.

Thank you Joanna for a wonderful experience.

  • Submitted: Oct 15, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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great spot to reconnect with nature

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I rented the Blackberry

Cottage for one week and had a very relaxing time away from our hectic city life. We enjoyed walking through the forest, swimming in the quarries or just sunbathing on the granite terrace in front of our cottage.

We did venture into the beautiful surrounding areas several times, but couldn't wait to return to the retreat every time.

Joanna is a wonderful host and the cottage is perfect for a couple in need of recharging their batteries and re-connecting with nature.

  • Submitted: Sep 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Aug 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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A place to renew body, mind and spirit

  • 5 of 5

If you love quiet walks, reading by the water in an Adirondack chair, or swimming in crystal clear quarry - this is the right place for you. My wife and I rented the Blackberry cottage the first week of July, 2016. We arrived exhausted after changing jobs and selling our house, but the peace and beauty of this place gradually did its work and we emerged renewed and happy.

This place has a magical feeling with granite sculptures scattered around the quarry and a stone circle reminiscent of Stonehenge. Ask for directions to the meditation hut overlooking the second quarry. The cottage is cozy and comfortable with everything you need for cooking.

The owner, Joanna, is a lovely soul who greeted us our first night with her homemade banana bread. She is very helpful with directions to restaurants, hikes, and stores. We enjoyed swimming in Donnell Pond and hiking up the nearby Black Mountain which has views as good as Acadia National Park without the crowds. But, if you want to hike in Acadia, it's just a 40 minute drive.

  • Submitted: Aug 20, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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A beautiful, peaceful spot infused with Joanna's warmth and kindness

  • 5 of 5

We arrived at Blackberry Cottage exhausted and sleep-deprived (after selling our home and in the process of moving to a new city). Joanna, lovely soul that she is, received us with abundant hospitality and made sure we had everything we needed. The cottage overlooks two quarry ponds and is a perfect spot to relax and renew; we spent a week there and would gladly have spent another. Swimming, hiking, blackberry picking in the area, biking around the Schoodic Peninsula and visiting the Schoodic Environmental Research Center, driving over to Acadia and then coming home to a quiet retreat spot -- what could be better?

  • Submitted: Aug 17, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you so much for this very kind and descriptive review, especially that you wrote it during such a busy time in your lives. You two were such wonderful guests. I loved having you here. It really warms my heart when I see guests exploring here, swimming in the quarries and know that they've sought out the very special places that exist on this side of Frenchman's Bay. I hope you'll be back. Best wishes and many blessings in your new home and work.
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Perfect in every way!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I arrived at the Light Heart Retreat exhausted. With aging parents, and children just starting off on their own, this was our first vacation without family since, well it seemws like forever! I mention this because you should know that our expectations and hopes for this getaway together were very high, possibly unfairly so.

And, WHOA!! The Light Heart Retreat and Joanna's loving care went far beyond our hopes and dreams for a restorative, restful, and relaxing week away. We arrived with no difficulty, thanks to Joanna's superb directions, and the Huckleberry Hideaway was prepared and waiting for us. Joanna gave us some time to get unpacked and arrived to show us exactly how to use the hot tub (Ahhhhh...) and the wood stove (mmmm...), and give us a general lay of the land. I'll admit that I half-suspected she may have made the rain stop and done her magic to keep the remainder of our stay sunny and 75-80 degrees, despite the forecast for a week of chilly and grey weather!

As other reviewers have noted, the cottage was exactly as described. There was nothing that wasn't available just as expected. The property was clean and everything functioned perfectly.

A few steps beyond our cottage was a stunning quarry with lilies in bloom, chairs to watch the water, and a fire pit. Beyond that we found the library housed in a small cabin filled with everything from novels to books on meditation, healing, gardening, and all manner of peaceful pursuits. We didn't try the sauna or the canoe on this visit but I'm confident we will next time! There is also a very private quarry on the property that is amazing and even has a screened meditation hut to keep out the bugs! It was delightful.

Don't let the "distance" from Acadia and the more populated areas dissuade you from staying at the Light Heart Retreat! First, Joanna showed us a short cut that allowed us to make the trip to Bar Harbor in 30 minutes. We visited restaurants there and in Ellsworth without any trouble or any traffic.

We also spent four days out of our week hiking the trails in Acadia and after some very strenuous climbing and hikes, there was nothing better than coming "home" to our personal hot tub and the quiet of staying off the beaten path.

Joanna, thank you! You were a gracious hostess and made us feel so welcome. We can't wait to see you again next year!

Warmest wishes,

Sarah & Brian

  • Submitted: Jul 19, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Dearest Sarah & Brian~ Much gratitude for this thoughtful and kind review. It was a great delight to have here. It gives me such a good, warm feeling to know that guests are enjoying their cottage, Light Heart Retreat and the area. This is a special place and it magnetizes the most wonderful, kindred spirits. I look forward to your return and may the remains of this year go well for you and your family members. Sarah, I haven't forgotten about the bread recipe. I will mail you a copy. Blessings for peace, prosperity, freedom & joy, Joanna
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Nearest Airport
40 Miles
Bangor International
Nearest Barpub
6 Miles
Ruth & Whimpy's
Nearest Ferry
25 Miles
Winter Harbor
Nearest Golf
8 Miles
Nearest Train
50 Miles
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
US Highway 1
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
Chester Pike's Galley
Nearest Beach
15 Miles
Lamoine State Park
Car: necessary

Visit Acadia for site seeing, hiking, horse back riding, a whale watch, schooner ride, cross-country skiing in the winter. Many craft shows, fairs and local festivals through out summer and fall--wonderful local crafts people with great galleries. Rent kayaks or bikes. Visit nearby Schoodic Point. Sail on a schooner from Bar Harbor or go whale watching. Schoodic for the Arts Program: great, short workshops in storytelling, music, art...Eat lobster in the rough. Visit Theodore Roosevelt's Campabello. Attend the Rockport Blues Festival, first weekend after 4th of July. Bangor American Folk Festival, last weekend in August. Weekend contra dances. So much to do, see and eat!''

Visit the Botanical Gardens in Booth Bay Harbor.

Live outdoor music, evenings in downtown Ellsworth on the riverfront and in Bangor on the Penobscott see top name performers on outdoor stage.

Visit light houses and the area around them. Our favorite is at Pemaquid Point.

Best beach is worth the trip or visit it coming or going from Maine: Popham State Park near Bath.

Spend a day on Rte 1 between Ellsworth and Bath for miles of antiquing and flea markets.

Other Activities: Glider Planes at Bar Harbor Airport--Many Local Festivals and Art Galleries

Our favorite thing to do is to head downeast on Rte. 1 with a Maine Gazateer and go treasure hunting for little beaches and walking trails.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Cleaning Fee $100

Light Heart retreat is Primarily for adults. Host screens guests before approving a reservation. So please let host know about yourself in your inquiry and why you have chosen Light Heart Retreat. Host reserves the right to decline an inquiry if through the screening process it is determined that Light Heart Retreat is not a good match for what the guests are seeking.

Due to the nature of the preparation required before guests arrive, please submit your inquiry at LEAST 7 days before arrival.
Minimum age is 25 years old with some exceptions made.

A third guest may be added if two are using the Master Bedroom, and additional guest may be added for $15 and use the built in couch.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.

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