Verified Review icon check navigate-up navigate-left navigate-right expand mail svg-lightning svg-24hr svg-house svg-sleeps svg-bedrooms svg-bathrooms svg-stay svg-toilet calendar svg-report-flag pet-dog svg-multiunit Default Owner Icon heart-filled Family icon
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
Premier Partner

This VRBO partner has demonstrated and is committed to fast response times, the best rates, and a great guest experience.

Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few days
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
September 20, 2018

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 Caledonia

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!


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 -
(29 traveler reviews)

75% Complete
20% Complete
0% Complete
3% Complete
0% Complete
Country Retreat Nestled in Wooded Valley
average rating of 4.6896553 based on 29 reviews

A nature paradise in the woods.

  • 5 of 5

My husband and I stayed here for a weekend get away and found the setting perfect for us. We are bird and nature lovers and we couldn't have asked for anything better. The sound of the birds have serenaded us continuously. We found plenty of activities in the area including biking, the National Owl Center, great dining and leisurely walks. We hope to return again.

  • Submitted: May 20, 2018
  • Stayed: May 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: It makes my heart happy to share my home with folks who appreciate it's loveliness! Lynn
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Girl’s Weekend

  • 5 of 5

We had a girl’s weekend and spent three nights at Lynn’s house. The house was well furnished with everything we needed for our time there. The house is very nice, although we were surprised that there was not air conditioning as we were there during a hot, humid August weekend. We didn’t spend any time at the house during the day as we were out exploring the many small towns around the area, so the absence of AC was fine and at night we found fans in the bedrooms to put in the windows to draw in the cool night air. We were very comfortable during our stay. The only problem we encountered was after a long day out we came home to a bat in the house, we called all the phone numbers on the list and finally reached Liz (Lynn’s housekeeper), who came to our rescue and was able to get the bat outside. She was so sweet and gave us ideas of places to visit the next day, we can’t thank her enough. Overall, I would recommend Lynn’s house if you want to escape your busy life for a very peaceful country home. Thank you to Lynn for allowing us to stay in your home.

  • Submitted: Aug 20, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I am so sorry that an occasional bat or mouse visits my country home. This was my worst fear that a guest would receive such a visit! And now it happened! I continue to do everything I can to patch tiny holes that woodpeckers make and search for any possible entry. But this is life in the woods... As for AC, we prefer some natural methods. We built the house with deep eaves to keep the summer sun from shining in and built the house into the hill to keep it cool. If we keep the downstairs closed on hot days, it stays cool.
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Retreat in the woods

  • 5 of 5

The house was in the woods off a gravel road. The first walk I took in the morning, I met a deer. We sat at the kitchen table for meals and had a wonderful view of the bird feeder where we saw a nice variety of Minnesota birds. The beds were extremely comfortable. We loved all the displays in the roomy house of natural and local treasures. We loved it.

  • Submitted: Aug 13, 2018
  • Stayed: August 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Weekend Getaway

  • 5 of 5

Some girlfriends and I came together to celebrate the upcoming wedding of my sister at this weekend getaway! We had such a wonderful time cooking meals and exploring the surrounding woods and nearby State Park. Lynn provided us with such great appliances and resources (WOW!) for what was nearby, and we absolutely loved our stay!

  • Submitted: Aug 8, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

What a lovely home! So much character.

  • 4 of 5

My daughters and stayed in this quaint, private home and it was as promised. It would have been nice to have a microwave but we managed with the oven. The property was clean, filled with wildlife, and fun to explore. The owner clearly is proud of her home as she should be. We felt very welcome there and were impressed with all the information the homeowner shared with us via a notebook. It was a fun, different place to won't be disappointed.

  • Submitted: Jul 26, 2018
  • Stayed: July 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0

Tranquil Country Home

  • 4 of 5

We found this property to be very relaxing and peaceful. The big country kitchen had everything we needed and we were so glad to see some spices were there for our use as well. The weather wasn't conducive to walking outside but we enjoyed the view from within. The front steps are definitely treacherous and although add to the character of the home they were not very safe. The only other thing that we could suggest is to have hand soap in the bathrooms that was not watered down. Otherwise the beds were very comfortable and we have plenty of sleeping room for the 5 of us. We did get to chat with the caretaker as we were leaving so he gave us some history on the house and that was interesting. Thank you so much Lynn for sharing your home - it is simply lovely and we would come back at some point if we were to go to the area again.

  • Submitted: Oct 20, 2017
  • Stayed: October 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: I'm aware of the "rustic" steps. I gathered the rock myself and built them along with all the retaining walls by the gardens and the entry floor. We came to the valley with the dream of building our home with our own hands from as much of the natural materials as we could gather. We cut the red oaks to to make our clearing in the forest and designed the post and beam home with those trees. I have the caretakers building a railing to make the steps more secure from some trees in the woods near our home. Soon it will be done for your safety and comfort! I'm sorry about the watering down of the hand soap, I'm a little too protective of the amount of soap that goes into my septic tank. Some guests have used exorbitant amounts of soaps on their weekends. (whole large bottles of bubble bath and laundry soap, I cringe when I think of the tank full of bubbles!) I know that city folk don't know about septic tanks but I care for mine carefully. Sorry for my perhaps idiosyncrasies!
Did you find this review helpful?
0 0


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


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $59
Refundable 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.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.

You might like these similar properties