We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.
The latest reviews. The lowest prices. The perfect place to shop for hotels.

“"Paradise Up North"” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of National Forest Lodge

We can't find prices for this accommodation
Our online travel partners don't provide prices for this accommodation, but we can search other options in Isabella
Check In mm/dd/yyyy Check Out mm/dd/yyyy
National Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Duluth, Minnesota
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
“"Paradise Up North"”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2014

This place is the real deal. If you love nature, great cross-country ski trails, solitude, saunas, good home cooking, and a warm lodge with cocoa, wine and good friends, this is for you. Not corporate-feeling at all. Just plain nice people. Rejuvenating in every sense of the word.

Room Tip: If it's cold, call in advance to make sure the heat is turned up sufficiently.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Greg T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North_Shore_Lodging, Owner at National Forest Lodge, responded to this review, March 25, 2014
I'm thinking this could be one of the exceptional musicians that plays here on Saturday nights? Either way, I appreciated your glowing review of our little place in the woods. And good tip about the heat. It was a chilly one this season. Thanks again, Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

96 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    78
    18
    0
    0
    0
See reviews for
23
23
Solo
0
1
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Stillwater, Minnesota
Level Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 23, 2014

This is not a "hotel" as the review site suggests. It is a wonderful resort with uniquely quaint cabins. The snow and beauty of the Superior National Forest is second to none. Andy takes fabulous care of the resort and even better care of his visitors! With all the meals prepared for us, a wonderful wood-fire sauna, polar plunge in Lake Gegoka, and the huge outdoor hot tub I cannot imagine a better winter outdoor experience. The trails seem endless and are meticulously groomed for skiing. And not to forget the great local music on Saturday night :) I have been here 7 years in a row and have reservations for 2015! NATIONAL FOREST LODGE ROCKS!!

Room Tip: Again, these are CABINS, NOT ROOMS!! Any cabin is a good cabin at the NFL :)
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank panondson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North_Shore_Lodging, Owner at National Forest Lodge, responded to this review, March 25, 2014
Ah, my friend, you are too kind. Always a pleasure to have you guys up here. Thank you so much for your support. Hope to see you again next year. -Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2014

My adult children and I had a great getaway in the north woods. We enjoyed the beautiful serenity of the forest on our classic skis (no skate ski trails are groomed). Also a nice wood fired sauna off Lake Gegoka provided the opportunity for all of us to do a lake plunge through the ice before bed time. When the kids were younger we would go every year. They longed to go back up there...so we did.

Cabins are "rustic" and so when we are not sleeping or skiing we spent time in the lodge where we are fed surprisingly high quality meals or played games or read by the fire. On Saturday night excellent live music - not what you expect up in the remote areas. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a rustic getaway where all meals are provided

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank Dave K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North_Shore_Lodging, Owner at National Forest Lodge, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Thanks Dave! Glad you came back and enjoyed again. Hope to see you all soon. -Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2014

When you get to National Forest Lodge you won't have to think about anything but enjoying yourself the entire weekend. The food is made for you, the dishes are done, the sauna is stoked and the cabins are heated. They'll even keep the hot tub going. This place is totally authentic. Yes, the cabins are "rustic." And yes, you have to walk to the bath house. But this is an intimate resort, nothing is more than a 3-minute walk.

And there is always snow - no matter how bad it is in the Cities, or how bad things look on the drive up to NFL, there is always snow. The trails are beautiful and diverse enough for any level skier.

But the best part of NFL is the natural rhythm of the weekend. It's been the same every time -- and I've gone 6 times! On Friday people arrive throughout the afternoon. If there's time and light, you grab a quick ski. If not, you unpack, make your bed and head over the lodge for a delicious meal (always with a vegetarian option!). People are formal, new connections have not yet been made. But Andy - owner and the ultimate host - greets all comers with a hug.

After breakfast on Saturday, you head out for a ski. And at lunch everyone is comparing routes and miles covered. Another ski in the afternoon, or maybe some time reading in the lodge followed by a sauna and the AMAZING polar plunge! That's when things really start to pick up. The atmosphere at Saturday dinner is decidedly more festive. People are milling about, sharing a glass of wine and tales of their day. An incredibly good meal is followed by live entertainment as a crowd of more friends and locals packs into the lodge. The music - added to the experience by Andy - is always a huge hit. And by 11p everyone is heading to bed with a smile on their face.

Sunday morning, a quick breakfast, one more ski (I recommend once around Flathorn Lake) and then everyone is packing up to leave and hugging goodbye.

Go as a couple, go with your family, or go by yourself. You'll leave having done some great skiing, eaten some great food and made some new friends. All for an incredible price.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Review collected in partnership with this hotel

Helpful?
Thank M E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North_Shore_Lodging, Owner at National Forest Lodge, responded to this review, March 26, 2014
Holy cow! This is such a great description of a weekend at the NFL. It should be on our website! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience with us! -Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sebeka, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 21, 2014

Combination of wilderness-like skiing or snowshoeing , communal meals, open-air hot tubbing and wood-fired sauna (replete with chainsawed hole in the lake) cannot be equaled. Bracing but requisite early morning trips to heated bathroom facility with Sorrels quickly tugged-on, squeaky snow underfoot and countless unbelievably bright stars overhead.Great value. Unforgettable.

Room Tip: All are unique. Cabin #3 has a special history.
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Mark F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North_Shore_Lodging, Owner at National Forest Lodge, responded to this review, March 22, 2014
Mark who?!? Yes, that cabin has great memories for Lura and I. You just never know what's you're gonna hear at the NFL. Thanks for the review and all those years of polar plunging. -Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States
Level Contributor
14 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2014

This is our third escape to the lodge, we love that we can park the car and spend the weekend. Great skiing and snow shoeing, great host and a wonderful cook. We made reservations for next winter already.

Room Tip: Not really a swimming pool, but it is one great hot tub!
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank John W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North_Shore_Lodging, Owner at National Forest Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
Thanks so much for coming up again. Glad you enjoyed and thanks for your support. -Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 19, 2014

We celebrated our anniversary at NFL in 2011. Such a great time, loved every minute! The ski trails were fantastic, beautiful beyond belief, and wonderfully groomed (snow show trails were great, too!). Andy was a fabulous host and created a great sense of community among the guests. Food was great and in abundance. Our cabin was basic but very clean and comfortable. Shared bath was convenient and clean as well. Having just found out I was pregnant, I wasn't able to partake of the hot tub, sauna, or lake plunge, but my husband did all three and had a great time! We enjoyed playing board games on Friday night (with hot chocolate), and the live music on Saturday night really made the weekend festive. I loved everything about this place. Fantastic opportunity to enjoy the outdoors, reconnect w/o the distraction of technology, and just enjoy being together and meeting new folks. As our kids get older, we plan to come up every year as a family. DEFINITELY RECOMMEND!

Room Tip: The cabins are all different - definitely ask Andy for recommendations on the best cabin for your gr...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jen S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
North_Shore_Lodging, Owner at National Forest Lodge, responded to this review, March 21, 2014
Wow! I am certainly humbled by tour enthusiastic review. Can't wait to have you up again as a family (or get the "rent's" to watch the kiddo(s) and escape) and next time you can hopefully do the whole experience. Muchas Gracias Senora!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hotels you might also like...
Also consider these accommodations in or near Isabella
23.2 mi away
Northern Lights Lodge
23.3 mi away
Timber Wolf Lodge
Timber Wolf Lodge
#1 of 34 in Ely
5.0 of 5 bubbles 175 reviews
Show Prices
Show Prices

Been to National Forest Lodge? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Additional Information about National Forest Lodge

Property: National Forest Lodge
Address: 9905 National Forest Lodge Rd, Isabella, MN 55607-9702
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Minnesota > Isabella
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Specialty Lodging in Isabella
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Cozy, warm cabins with a charm all their own are nestled in the towering pines of the forest and provide the perfect place to settle into after a day on the trails! National Forest Lodge offers a unique all-inclusive Winter get-away of great cross country skiing and snowshoeing, hearty food, and friendly hospitality. In the Spring, Summer or Fall, rent out the Log Home or one of our camper cabins. Great fishing, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, biking and more. Roast some weenies and marshmallows over your fire pit or get baked in our lakeside Finnish sauna (firewood provided!). ... more   less 

Is This Your TripAdvisor Listing?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing