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“Back for more in 2014” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of National Forest Lodge

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National Forest Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
22 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Back for more in 2014”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2014

Having come here for the last several years, I'm impressed by how consistently great and fun this is. With the intense level of snow this year, skiing was fabulous. Andy and team kept the trails in great condition. Weaving through pine and hardwood forests the trails are both picturesque and fun to ski. We also snowshoed several days. Those trails are across the road and go through the woods, also a nice time.

The lodge always has a friendly, low key atmosphere during meals. It's a good place for gathering during the day if you're not skiing. Andy and his staff will do their best to make sure you're taken care of. Free live music - good live music - is featured on Saturday night.

We like taking a sauna and jumping in the lake. Other friends have enjoyed the hot tub. Both places are fun gathering spots after skiing or after dinner.

If you have a large group, consider renting the log home or check out the new log home across the lake. That's a ski-in/hike-in spot, so it's something different. We've skied over there and checked it out. It looks gorgeous. We have a large group and rent the log home on site.

Some of the cabins utilize a shared bath and folks may wonder about that. We've done this in the past when our group was smaller. The bathhouse is clean and can accommodate several people, so no worries there. Also, it's right near the hot tub - easy to get side-tracked into taking a dip, easy to shower off right after. Lots of people are walking around in robes to the bath, hot tub or sauna, so you'll never feel odd trudging off in your slippers and big robe.

I'd suggest you give the National Forest Lodge a try.

Room Tip: Each cabin is a little different and spread out. Don't be afraid to ask Andy or someone about th...
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  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 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?
1 Thank clark o
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, 27 February 2014
The Margaritaville is the best! You all have become a beloved institution at the NFL. Thanks for all your kindness. Andy
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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96 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    78
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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
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (28)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Level Contributor
12 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 February 2014

This is my 3rd winter at National Forest Lodge and I've already put down a deposit for next year. Since they provide all meals and live music on Saturday night I can focus on skiing through their winter wonderland. Photos can't adequately capture the beauty of these trails, but I keep trying anyway. Can't wait to go back.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank KatyFitzg
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, 27 February 2014
You OSLers are too much fun. Thanks and see you in 2015! 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 20 January 2014

Can't think of a more fun place to stay with better skiing, music or food. The trails are absolutely picturesque and the owners care deeply about the forest and surrounding wilderness. Ski until you can't ski any more, warm up in the sauna, take the Polar Plunge, hot tub and then do it all again the next day.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with friends
    • 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 OzMom2014
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, 27 February 2014
We love "repeaters at the NFL. Thanks for your nice comments. Hope to see you again! Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 January 2014

I my wife and two kids have made a trip to National Forest Lodge an annual pilgrimage. We love being able to go and have fun without having to plan meals or entertainment. Andy is a terrific host and August is an amazing chef. Meals are served buffet style. Saturday night, there is live entertainment in the lodge. This year, we traveled with another family and shared the log home. With multiple bedrooms, 2 bathrooms and amazing lake views, this was much more posh than the spartan but cozy cabins we usually rent. (We still missed Cabin 8.) Classic cross-country skiing on groomed trails in Superior National Forest is something everyone should experience. Here, skiing through tall pine forests is literally right out your front door. Other activities include snowshoeing (several pair of snowshoes are available to borrow and trails are a short hike across the road), lounging in an outdoor hot tub and polar plunging after a lakeside sauna. Of course, there's always the option to just relax, make new friends or simply enjoy the winter scenery.

Room Tip: Cabin 8 offers easy access to the facilities and hot tub. It is also right on the ski trail head.
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled with family
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank David R
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, 27 February 2014
Loved having you back in the "scary" cold! You guys are made of the right stuff. Thanks for all your positive feedback. Andy
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 October 2013

A fantastic long weekend with friends. The cabin fit us nicely, allowing for privacy and community. The location is spectacular. We awoke each morning to a beautiful sunrise over the lake, coffee in the adirondack chairs, followed by a invigorating hike through the woods. We enjoyed canoeing on still water with no other people in site. A sauna soothed our sore muscles and followed by a glass of wine was the perfect end to each day.

  • Stayed October 2013, travelled with friends
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank shelley T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Bloomington, Minnesota
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 October 2013

We are heading back to the National Forest Lodge for the 4th consecutive year with a group of friends. This place offers some of the best and most scenic classic skiing in Minnesota. We have stayed in both the rustic cabins and the log home, and have enjoyed both. The Polar Plunge after a day of skiing has become one of our traditions. Andy is a great host, and we have found the meals excellent. Another treat has been the live Saturday night entertainment each time we have visited. If you enjoy the great outdoors, fabulous cross county skiing, and a fun place to spend with friends, you will have a great time at the NFL.

  • Stayed February 2013, travelled with friends
    • 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 Byron42881
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Minneapolis, Minnesota
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 October 2013

We stayed in the big cabin with several friends. We could ski right out the door. We enjoyed the food and fellowship with other skiers. The cook was very helpful in trying to satisfy our food restrictions (vegetarian, gluten-free, etc.). There was even live entertainment, which was excellent. The super bonus was the wonderful sauna and "taking the plunge" into the lake. We laughed so much our stomachs ached. Andy is a super host, very quirky and funny, and he really cares for his guests.

  • Stayed January 2013, travelled with friends
    • 4 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 Monica L
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:
Region: 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 Speciality 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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