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Winter Star Retreat - Private, Waterfalls, Hike the Black Mtns

Bedrooms 3
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Cabin, 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths, (Sleeps 6)

Winter Star Retreat is a remote, rustic cabin located high in the Black Mountain Range of western North Carolina. The cabin offers a unique, relaxing experience for our guests.

Winter Star Retreat is located on Winter Star Creek in the Cattail Creek Community of Yancey County. We are less than an hour from Asheville NC and about 30 minutes from Burnsville, the county seat of Yancey County. The cabin is at 4200 foot elevation on the west side of the Black Mountain Range, the tallest mountain range east of the Mississippi. It is nestled beside a fast flowing creek that splashes over boulders and through rock pools surrounded by rhododendrons. The cabin is set in a lovely hardwood forest just outside the Pisgah National Forest. The setting is very private and quiet. The only noises you’ll hear are the birds and the creek- which will lull you to sleep each evening!

The cabin has three lovely bedrooms. Two have queen-sized beds and the third has a pair of twin beds. Maximum of six guests please. Two full baths are provided. One, with shower, is en-suite with one of the bedrooms.

Excellent hiking and mountain biking trails begin at the cabin’s doorstep. The trails follow the old logging railroad right-of-way which was used in the early 1900’s. A popular half day hike takes you to the 100 year old Isom Mica Mine. This can be extended to a full day loop hike that ascends to 5600 feet. Both hikes provide spectacular views of the Black Mountains and upper Cane River valley. Other trails connect to the Black Mountain Crest Trail on the top of the range and to Mount Mitchell, at 6684 feet the highest peak east of the Mississippi.

Fly fishing (with NC permit) is just minutes from the cabin as are kayaking, tubing, and rafting on the Nolichucky River (in season).

But best of all, just relax on the spacious deck next to the creek in the hot tub and enjoy the peace and solitude!

NOTE: Winter Star Retreat is an older rustic cabin. The ceilings in some of the rooms are only 6 feet 5 inches high- so if you are over 6 foot 4 this may not be the place for you! Maximum number of guests is six. Children must be at least 10 years of age.

The cabin is located on a rough gravel road. The road is not suitable for low ground clearance vehicles such as sports cars. Normal sedans, large and small SUV's, etc. normally will not have any problems negotiating the road. Contact us if you have any concerns.

Even at our remote location we have high-speed Internet available for our guests. We also have limited cable TV. A video monitor and DVD/VCR player are provided so bring your favorite movies! Local and long-distance phone service (to the lower 48 states) is provided free of charge. Enjoy the opportunity to really unwind without distractions!

Children must be at least 10 years of age.



Explore the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway for breathtaking views!

Visit Mt. Mitchell State Park to enjoy the 360-degree view that can extend to the Smoky Mountains. Take a short hike and enjoy lunch at the Park's Restaurant (restaurant open May through October).

Visit the famous Biltmore House and Estate, a bit more than an hour away.

Keywords: Cabin

More Details

John & Sandy Whitehouse
Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
October 15, 2017

About John & Sandy Whitehouse

My husband and I retired to the western North Carolina mountains in 2005. We enjoy outdoor activities, particularly hiking in the woods and mountains. We both volunteer for the Carolina Mountain Club as trail maintainers, working on the Appalachian Trail, the Mountains to Sea Trail, and many others.

John & Sandy Whitehouse purchased this cabin in 2007

Why John & Sandy Whitehouse chose Pensacola

While hiking in the Black Mountains near our home we discovered the cabin which we now call Winter Star Retreat. We were so taken with the cabin and its natural setting on the creek that we immediately contacted the owners and purchased the property. We spent 18 months renovating the cabin and we now want to share it with you!

What makes this cabin unique

Winter Star Retreat is very private with no immediate neighbors. The creek is an endless source of wonder with water cascading over rapids and small waterfalls amid rhododendrons. The surrounding hardwood forest is gorgeous with wildflowers in spring and summer. Incredible views of the Black Mountain Range are a short hike away. But most of all we love the quiet and beauty while we enjoy sitting on the deck overlooking the creek!


Hike the highest trail east of the Mississippi on the Black Mountain Range!


Cattail Creek Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 10:30 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 6
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • pets considered ...
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Mountain View
  • Rural
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Romantic
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wood Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
  • 2
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 6
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 2 twin/ single
  • Queen size Beds (2), Twin or Single Beds (2)
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Video Library
  • Balcony
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • 4 garden chairs
Pool / Spa:
  • Hot Tub ...
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • horseshoes
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • wildlife viewing
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(36 traveler reviews)

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Winter Star Retreat - Private, Waterfalls, Hike the Black Mtns
average rating of 4.9444447 based on 36 reviews
Goose Creek, SC

Definitely coming back here!

  • 5 of 5

Everything about this place was absolutely wonderful. It is quiet, secluded, and beautiful. John and Sandy are delightful people, and everything you could need is readily available. We plan on coming here again and again.

  • Submitted: Aug 24, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Heaven on Earth

  • 5 of 5

This is our second time staying at WinterStar. We love the peaceful and tranquil setting. Definitely away from it all. Owners are wonderful to work with. Kitchen is well stocked, linens and towels provided. Feels like home. Even the dogs love it! Can't say enough great things. Hiking right outside the door or hang out on the deck with a good book. Hope to return again.....and stay longer!

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great place to get away from it all.....

  • 5 of 5

Has everything you could possibly need, all you need to bring is your own food... The drive is a little rough but so worth it, as others have mentioned you need the right vehicle with good tires.... The owner's are very nice, and very fast on responding... Loved my overall experience and my girls did too...

  • Submitted: Apr 11, 2017
  • Stayed: Apr 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Saint James City, FL

Luxury AND Remoteness !!!

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed at Winter Start Retreat the first week of October. We were blown away by the beauty of the property tucked away in the Black Mountains. Take the owners' word for it - You need a 4-wheel drive vehicle to SAFELY navigate the two or so miles of stoned road leading up to the property. The switchbacks have steep drop-offs that could do some serious damage, so it's not recommended to approach at night. (We've navigated Colorado mountain roads, so we have a point of reference).

The home is nicely decorated, roomy and CLEAN. The kitchen suited our needs. We grilled steaks out on the grill, used the oven to bake potatoes, and cooked up bacon and eggs for breakfast on the stove. All appliances are fairly new and clean and worked well. There is every comfortable amenity you could ask for, except cell phone service. There is a landline for emergencies, so if you're ok with being "off-grid" and more than 30 minutes to cell service, then this is for you. If you're a TV freak, there's only one TV in the main living area and it is small. I must admit, it's been a while since we've just experienced nature without distractions, and it was WONDERFUL. We enjoyed the waterfalls just in back of the property, and had a nice evening fire at the fire pit on the secondary deck above the falls. Very peaceful and serene to watch the fire crackle with the sound of the waterfalls. We spent a couple of days hiking to the recommended points around the property (waterfall further up and mineral mine). Bring your hiking boots. Suggest getting more detailed directions to the mine as there are some forks in the trail not mentioned in the directions. The hot tub felt WONDERFUL after a long day of hiking and the indoor wood stove was cozy. We stayed a total of five days and spent a couple of them driving to nearby towns and to places along the Blue Ridge Parkway (Linville and Crabtree Falls). If you want to see good color in the Fall, recommend waiting until the second week of October. Burnsville doesn't offer much, except for an Ingles Supermarket which is HUGE & WONDERFUL. As the owners advise, you really need to stock up on food and your choice of drink before heading up to the mountain for the first time - nothing between Ingles and the cabin. The hosts were accommodating, knowledgable and informative. We only had the pleasure of meeting Sandy, and she was terrific...she and John rescue dogs, so that's speaks volumes. Highly recommend!!!

  • Submitted: Oct 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Just a couple notes to go along with the review. As noted we do not have cell service. However we do have free long distance on the landline and free Wi-Fi with broadband internet access (25MBs). The newest Apple cell phones will make calls over Wi-Fi. Also you can easily stream entertainment to your mobile device, tablet or laptop. We have many guests that access the cabin with 2WD vehicles. The problem is usually our driveway rather than the gravel road. We agree that 4WD or All Wheel Drive is recommended.
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Amazing gem on a mountain.

  • 5 of 5

My wife and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary ate winter star. The hiking was amazing and right out the front door. The cabin had everything you could want and more. We enjoyed the waterfall while relaxing in a hot tub as often as possible during our stay. I highly recommend this place. Everything was perfect! Enjoy

  • Submitted: Aug 16, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
Brooksville, Florida


  • 5 of 5

We have stayed in many mountain cabins and this was by far our favorite! The waterfall is so peaceful and the feeling of getting away from everything is phenomenal. The cabin itself is super cute and immaculately clean. The bed is super comfy and the owners are wonderful. We went on a climb that was so amazing on the advice of John..well worth the climb to get the view from the top. The upper deck is a perfect place to unwind. I can't say enough about how much we enjoyed our time here. We were so sad when we had to leave. We will be going back next summer for two weeks..absolutely amazing vacation!

  • Submitted: Jul 21, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $100
Tax Rate 10.0%

Three night minimum stay. Rates subject to change. Higher rates may apply during holiday/peak periods. Maximum of two pets permitted with owner approval. No additional fees for pets. No cleaning fees. Children must be at least 10 years of age.

VRBO is now charging a 9% service fee for handling your payment. If you wish to avoid this fee you may pay directly by check. Contact the owners directly at

Check-in is 3 to 6 PM.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

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