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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 an hour
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 23, 2018

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 Cattail Creek

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!


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 -
(39 traveler reviews)

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Winter Star Retreat - Private, Waterfalls, Hike the Black Mtns
average rating of 4.948718 based on 39 reviews

Wonderful Stay!

  • 5 of 5

Winter Star was an incredible spot. The great pics of the waterfall don't even do it justice! John and Sandy were absolutely lovely and thoughtful hosts as well. The only catch is the drive up--I have a Subaru impreza and I was still scraping the bottom with rocks and serious divots in the road. But the location and cabin is worth the bit of climb. We also enjoyed hiking in the area. Thank you Sandy and John!

  • Submitted: Nov 26, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: As mentioned in our description, the cabin is located in a remote area, high up in the mountains (at 4200 feet elevation) on a one lane gravel road that we constantly strive to maintain, but, with storms, we do get road damage during the year. Most vehicles, especially AWD and 4WD, are fine on Winter Star Road, but we do warn folks that low clearance vehicles are not recommended. We think the main reason this vehicle had any issues at all is that it was overloaded…..4 people, all their luggage, groceries, etc.
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1 0

Excellent cabin, wonderful location, great owners, everything we wanted and more!

  • 5 of 5

If you are looking to get away and enjoy the mountains, this is the place! This retreat has a wonderfully kept and well equipped cabin with everything a person (or group) could need. The ability to start your hikes from the front door is awesome. The waterfall and fast moving stream adjacent the property contribute to a pleasurable experience and memories that will last a life time. The owners go out of their way to ensure the best stay possible, and they succeed! We look forward to returning soon.

  • Submitted: Nov 21, 2017
  • Stayed: November 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

We loved it!

  • 5 of 5

We loved our stay at WSR! It was just what we expected.. and more! A quiet get away to recharge, enjoy nature and hike through the woods. They cabin is well kept and well equipped with everything you need. Sandy and John were very nice and super helpful. They really care about their guests (without being intrusive). We loved the absolute privacy, cooking our meals, go hiking, sitting on the lovely porch, relaxing in the hot tub surrounded by the color changing trees and listening to the creek running next to the cabin. And our dog loved it, too! It was just what we needed! Thank you.

  • Submitted: Oct 19, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0
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: August 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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0 0

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: August 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: April 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Hike the highest trail east of the Mississippi on the Black Mountain Range!




Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $200
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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