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“Superb skiing among Minnesota's big pines.”

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National Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis/St. Paul
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Superb skiing among Minnesota's big pines.”
Reviewed March 9, 2011

We've been coming to NFL on and off for almost 30 years and recently have been going up twice a year. Andy and Lura, the new owners, are taking loving care with this marvelous old gem. They are great hosts, and the food is wonderful. Andy has started bringing in live music to the lodge on some weekends...fun local bands from Duluth and the deep woods all over the Arrowhead. And the skiing! 20+ miles of impeccably groomed trails, for all skill levels. The trails wind through virgin pines, across streams (with bridges of course!), through primeval spruce forest...on and on they go. It is a wonderful, relaxing experience and you can top it off with a sauna and (if you wish) a lake plunge at the end of the day...or a sedate soak in the hot tub.

  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank BachataGuy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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97 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (29)
Date | Rating
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English first
Two Harbors, Minnesota
1 review
Reviewed February 2, 2011

Supremely beautiful setting. Funky cabins are plenty warm and comfortable. The food is all provided and was great! The skiing is all single track classic. The best! Andy the owner is a hoot. This is a place for those that want meet other skiers and have a great time. The cabins we stayed in were rustic. IE No running water. Bring your own bedding. Showers and toilets in nearby building. Hot tub, sauna and a hole in the ice on the lake to jump into are just fine, add to the ambience!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank rhargesheimer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA
1 review
Reviewed February 2, 2011

The deep fresh snow and freshly groomed trails offered up the forest on a changing canvas as you glide down the trail. The single track trail reminds you of why you took up cross country skiing as it winds through the tall pine forest, and along streams and lake shore. The rustic cabin accomodations were clean and comfortable, and just steps from the trail, the lodge and the hot tub - the perfect accomodations in the north woods. The lodge offered up some tasty, hearty food with new friends to share our wonderful meals. The outdoor hot tub with light snow falling was the perfect end to our wonderful days of skiing at the National Forest Lodge.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank michaeljsweet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
St. Paul
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed January 19, 2011

We stayed at National Forest Lodge over MLK weekend and the whole family had a great time! Rustic cabins nestled in the snow, shared meals at the main lodge, hot tub under the moon, sauna and plunge in the lake, snowshoeing, and of course skiing the beautiful Lake Gegoka cross country ski trails. Andy is a wonderful host. There was live music at the lodge Saturday night, and Sunday night was karaoke night. This is a classic Minnesota winter getaway. You'll love it.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
Thank hij*
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
minnesota
1 review
Reviewed March 3, 2010

This is the perfect place to go to get away for a weekend of cross country skiing, snowshoeing, sauna/jump in the lake, hottubbing, snowshoeing by the full moon, etc. We stayed in the Log Home which was very nice with 2 bathrooms, 5 bedrooms, kitchen, livingroom, fireplace. The food was top notch, Andy (the owner) is the best, and it is lots of fun to play outside all day and then have meals with the others who are staying there, comparing stories about your day.

  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
Thank boomboom55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level 6 Contributor
169 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed November 22, 2006

We stayed in the 4 bedroom/loft log cabin. The log cabin is great with headed floors, kitchen, 2 baths, washer/dryer,over looking the lake and just steps to the lodge. The package is set up on a meal plan (breakfast,lunch and dinner) The meals are all prepared in the lodge and are family styled. After a great breakfast it's time to hit the cross country ski trails. There are 30 k of traditional ski trails right outside your door ! These are some of the most scenic trails in the state. This area of the state gets the snow and lots of it. The trails are single track and groomed by snowmoble so they go thur very dense forest and it does'nt feel like a cross country highway, if you know what I mean. After skiing, we love taking a dip in the outdoor hot tub, then head down to the wood burning sauna which is located by the lake and for good reason, because they cut a "hole" in the ice. After the hot tub and the sauna one needs to take a dip. The feeling is great, you are so heated up that the plunge into the lake is one you will never forget. It's so refreshing that you will repeat it over and over( Sauna/plunge, sausa/plunge) tip: bring aqua socks to run from sauna to lake, going barefoot is hard on feet.
We enjoy our stay here at National Forest Lodge, it's in a remote area, ely mn is appox. 50 miles away and the north shore about the same. Once you are here you feel like you are away from it all. On those clear winter nights the stars are amazing. We counted 13 falling stars one night sitting in the hot tub, with a great bottle of wine. The owners of the resort, Mark Wendt and Sue Pratt do a great job at making you feel right at home. The cabin is clean and well kept. It is a true log cabin with all the charm that comes with it. the dinning table is a great spot to play those board games. We so enjoy our stay that we will be coming back to National Forest Lodge again and again !
Charlie and Michelle

  • Liked — The log cabin
  • Disliked — better fire place
  • Tips/Secrets — bring aqua socks for running from sauna to lake
  • Stayed February 2010, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
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Helpful?
Thank skinnyskier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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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 

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