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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Country Retreat Nestled in Wooded Valley

Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

4 bedrooms, 2 baths, large gathering area, open kitchen, living room, sunroom

This spacious home is nestled in a wooded clearing, giving you privacy and delight in the life of the forest surrounding you. We offer all the comforts of home since we also come here for our haven getaway. We have collected art, antiques and nature treasures. Enjoy reading my son's journal of the beavers living in the valley with maps of the dams and lodges!

Red Oak post and beam construction have created an open kitchen, dining room and comfortable living room. A separate family room offers an extensive library and entertainment center plus another sleeping area for 2 with use of downstairs bathroom. Large windows and a sun room give views of perennial gardens, bird traffic to the bird feeder and bath, cheeky chipmunks and squirrels running on the garden fence and silent deer. Sunlight warms the golden hues of the oak floors, wainscoting, furniture and butternut cabinets.

3 bedrooms upstairs and a hall space have beds for 8, dressers and closets. An upstairs bathroom has a claw foot tub for a cozy soak.

Because we are opening our home to you with so many personal touches, we ask that you don't come here for a drinking party weekend. We have had one unpleasant experience where lots of damage was done by inebriated guests. We almost stopped renting at that point!

The yard offers a picnic table and lawn chairs, a badminton net, a stone fire pit for roasting marshmallows or hot dogs and relaxing by the fire's glow in the dark forest with its night sounds. There is a small charcoal grill. In season, the garden may have tomatoes, herbs, cucumbers, peppers. The yard and grassy clearings in the woods have scrumptious wild berries to pick; red raspberries, strawberries, black caps mid summer and big blackberries in August and September. You can see eagles and hawks soaring above and in the spring and fall, flocks of geese pass over with their plaintive honks.

Explore West Beaver Valley. Hike dry runs for crystal rocks, fossils and hidden waterfalls cut deep in the rock. Climb the bluffs to rock outcroppings with caves and wild inhabitants! Follow West Beaver Creek, rich with rare songbirds, herons, kingfishers, a mallard hiding her ducklings in the weeds, a beaver may slap the water to warn of you! Wade or be brave and swim in a deep pool, refreshing! Take a tour of Schech's Mill and buy some stone-ground cornmeal. Enjoy the beauty of the mowed trails in Beaver Creek Park and watch or fish the trout under the bridge, all within a mile!

More Details

Lynn Selness
Member since: 2015
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 20, 2017

About Lynn Selness

I'm Lynn. My childhood was spent in New Jersey and next I landed in the midwest where I married, had 7 children and lived for 25 years. In 1999 we all (13 of us then) moved to CA to run a bamboo nursery where the whole family could work together. We had a bunch of teens and early 20's kids by then, and we rented out our MN home. This went rough on my MN house so I reclaimed it and have been restoring it for some years now. Our CA experience was tough and I lost my husband, so I have been supporting my 2 youngest children, Forest and Meadow, for the last 15 years. I established a goat dairy in the Santa Cruz Mountains where I still reside. I was so happy to be able to return to my MN home, I was always homesick for it in CA and now love coming back whenever I can escape the farmwork. Now I have 6 precious grandchildren in CA and a great-granddaughter so I treasure my time there also.

Lynn Selness purchased this house in 1985

Why Lynn Selness chose Southern

Building our home was my heart's desire, to live in this scenic valley, the same wilderness valley I had first moved to in the state in 1976. I had lived near the source of West Beaver Creek surrounded by wooded hills with my baby Willow. Years later we had 5 children and bought 5 acres, cleared the house site and milled the oaks for our home in the “big woods”. I loved gathering limestone rock to terrace the hillside, build the steps, even the entry floor. From pouring the footings to shingling the roof, it was a creative work of joy with help from many friends. My last 2 children were born here and 2 grand daughters. We homesteaded for many years, raised the 7 children with our gardens, chickens and goats.

What makes this house unique

I hope you sense the tranquility and beauty of nature all around you here. The fragrances of the valley, the earthy dampness cooling the summer evenings, the magic of fireflies twinkling in the deepening woods shadows, the call of the whippoorwill, owls hoot to each other, the coyotes yelp, a lone cry of a wolf, all are spellbinding. Every season here is rich for me. I find God's voice speaking to me and refreshing my spirit in this place.

I love the friendly small town feeling of this community. They celebrate their Norwegian heritage with colorful holidays like Nordic Fest in Decorah, IA, Syttende Mai in Spring Grove, and their farm life with harvest festivals, Steam-engine Days, horse and tractor pulls. I love the cultural aspects, Shakespeare Festivals in WInona, La Crosse's Art and Music Festival, Riverfest, Lanesboro's plays, and my favorite, Spring Grove's outdoor Black Barn plays. I love visiting the Amish farms with their produce stands, maple syrup, furniture and basket shops and bakeries.

My family have always enjoyed the outdoor activities, bike trails, canoeing the Upper Iowa and the Root River, the Mississippi backwaters around the islands. There's a bird sanctuary near Alma where during migrations, swans, pelicans, Canada geese and Snow Geese gather in noisy flocks. There are little towns up and down the Mississippi for shopping, music, great restaurants, wine-tasting. My kids loved the caves near Harmony, where you climb deep into the earth, a little too deep for some of us! We never run out of fun things to do!


Nearest Barpub
7 Miles
Nearest Golf
7 Miles
Caledonia, MN
Nearest Restaurant
7 Miles
Caledonia, MN
Car: necessary


Caledonia House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 3:00 PM / Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • pets not allowed
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Rural ...
  • Ski-In ...
  • Ski-Out ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Garage
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , tub
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Meadow's Room-bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Jesse's Room- bedroom 3 - 1 twin/ single
    Sewing Niche (in hallway) - 1 twin/ single
    Master Bedroom 1 - 1 king , 1 queen , 2 baby crib , There is a baby crib and a cradle for an infant
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Music Library
  • Stereo
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Video Library
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
Onsite Services:
  • Massage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • festivals
  • library
  • live theater
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • kayaking
  • skiing
  • snowmobiling
  • spelunking
  • swimming
I have a masseuse who will come to the home and give massages if scheduled ahead.


Excellent! 4.7/5 -
(22 traveler reviews)

81% Complete
13% Complete
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4% Complete
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Country Retreat Nestled in Wooded Valley
average rating of 4.7272725 based on 22 reviews
Chicago, IL

Secluded house surrounded by trees - a great retreat!

  • 5 of 5

I rented this house for a weekend with old friends, and I'm very happy I did. The house has a great layout for cooking and relaxing plenty of beds, and the stars are very very bright at night. The owner was responsive with emails, and I would recommend the place to anyone.

  • Submitted: Aug 31, 2017
  • Stayed: Aug 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Peaceful getaway

  • 5 of 5

The property is remote and peaceful--expect to see lots of nature! We found it a great space for accommodating our larger group of 9 close friends. The owner takes great pride in her home and is great to interact with.

  • Submitted: Aug 4, 2017
  • Stayed: Jul 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thanks for the appreciation! I'm so glad your large group was comfy there. I love to know my home is purring filled with dear friends!
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Excellent place to stay

  • 5 of 5

I was looking for a place to stay near Caledonia for work. I found Lynn's place on vrbo. It ended up being the perfect place for me! It is a spacious home in the country but still a short drive from town. Lynn was easy to communicate with and was accommodating to my somewhat unique travel plans. I would definitely stay again—for work or play!

  • Submitted: Feb 19, 2017
  • Stayed: Jan 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Gorgeous cabin, ideally for a family or two couples

  • 5 of 5

This place has so much charm and character! It's tucked away in a beautiful area near a lovely state park, and the old farmhouse itself is fantastic. Really cozy, and the living area downstairs is perfect for hanging out. As other individuals have mentioned, it will only work out well if you're close with the individuals you're staying with, as one of the large bedrooms upstairs doesn't have a door (this rental is more of a 2 bedroom than a 3 bedroom, as the third bedroom is only accessible through the bedroom that doesn't have door). The set up worked really well for us (we were two couples and a baby), so no complaints- I would just like knowing those kind of details if I was trying to plan something for a larger group. :) Lynn was really friendly, flexible, and easy to communicate with, and you can tell that there is a lot of love and work put into this beautiful family home. We definitely hope to stay here again sometime and were thankful for such a great weekend getaway!

  • Submitted: Nov 1, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your lovely review and your helpful comment on the bedroom arrangement. I will clarify the description on my site.
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Charming Hide-away in the Woods

  • 5 of 5

We were pleased beyond our expectations when we arrived at this beautiful country home nestled in the woods! The living room is very welcoming and spacious and is open to the roomy kitchen and dining nook. The sunroom was our favorite place - very cozy and woodsy and a haven in which to read, have some downtime, or just enjoy watching nature. We so enjoyed looking at all of the interesting pieces of antique decor throughout the home - they added charm and warmth and beauty to the atmosphere and many were similar to things we had at our house, which made it feel like home. It didn't take long for us to sense that this was a place where family was important and where love and memories abounded - God's presence was definitely felt there. The kitchen was fully stocked with all we needed for cooking our meals, and we also enjoyed some hot dogs outside in the fire ring. (It doesn't have a microwave, but we brought a little toaster oven along and did just fine with that and the nice, new oven). The bedrooms were all clean and nicely decorated and the master BR not having a door was easy to get use to - what a spacious, lovely room! The sun streaming in the large windows was just delightful!!

All of our communication with the owner was very timely and pleasant. She was very thorough in providing information we needed for our stay and was so very accommodating. Lots of information about the house and local sites and attractions was found in the binder she had put together, which was helpful in deciding what to do each day. We especially enjoyed the Amish Tour via audio/CD - it provided good information about farms/places we'd want to go and ways to be respectful of the Amish when we would visit. And a mill nearby also sounded very interesting, but we ran out of time.

We would HIGHLY recommend this lovely haven to all we know! We made our own good memories there and are excited for when we can return!

  • Submitted: Oct 26, 2016
  • Stayed: Oct 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Secluded Paradise

  • 5 of 5

Our stay was for 3 nights in mid October. What a wonderful place in a beautiful setting! The house is clean, spacious and filled with antiques among other unique things to look at.

We filled up the bird feeder and within minutes had several varieties of birds coming to eat. Every night of our stay we heard the owls hooting and one night heard a pack of coyotes yipping and howling. In the early mornings we took a drive along the gravel roads in the vallley. We saw several deer, many eagles, hawks and grouse. We hunted the dry runs, visited some of the areas Amish Farms, (the one with the bakery, fabulous caramel nut rolls!) The welcome book at the house was very helpful with the maps of the area and the Amish farms.

It was great being so close to Beaver Creek Valley State park. We hiked some of the trails in the park. Perfect time of the year, the colors were blazing, the temperature perfect for hiking.

I highly recommend staying here if you want to be secluded, around nature but still be close to town.

Thank you, Lynn for sharing your wonderful home/valley!

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

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Additional Guest Fee $14 per person per night
Damage Insurance $59
Damage Deposit $200

Families with children under 6, no additional fee for the children

If you would prefer not to purchase the insurance, (for $59), I will have to increase your refundable damage deposit to $1,000. Let me know and I can adjust your quote.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 7 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 14 days before arrival date.