Second in a series: Non-campers – the best Airbnbs and glamping sites near Minnesota state parks. I recently hiked and explored all 66 MN state parks, including an epic two-week road trip around Minnesota. While I tried this thing called SUV camping and loved it (post coming soon), I also discovered three of the best Airbnbs near Minnesota state parks – including The Hermitage at Anam Cara. Note: the link looks broken, but it’s not…it’s safe to click through. I highly recommend this rustic Airbnb glamping spot. It’s a perfect cozy, woodsy getaway near Glendalough State Park in Battle Lake, MN and Maplewood State Park in Pelican Rapids, MN.
Additionally, this Airbnb is near some of the best 11,842 lakes in Minnesota: the scenic Lida Lake, Beers Lake, Bass Lake, Cow Lake, Grass Lake, Fritz Lake, Cataract Lake, Field Lake, and more. If you love lake life (1,100 in this county alone) and trees nourish your soul, you must stay at the best Airbnb glamping site in Minnesota: The Hermitage. While my stay was sponsored, opinions are my own.
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Best places to stay near Minnesota state parks: The Hermitage at Anam Cara
When I planned my two-week road trip around Minnesota to finish hiking the remaining 23 state parks on my list, I wasn’t sure how I would do with camping in the back of my SUV. My friends and family members rolled their eyes and laughed when I told them – and pretty sure they placed bets that I wouldn’t last a single night. Well, turns out I actually enjoyed SUV camping. In fact, I slept in the back of my faithful 2005 Nissan Pathfinder for five of the 12 nights.
For some self-care, I booked four nights in hotels (mainly because my husband joined me the last few nights and we couldn’t both fit in my cozy SUV camping retreat). And I went on an online hunt for Airbnbs to find some cabin-like places in nature settings. I am so grateful that three Airbnb hosts sponsored my stays: The Ivy Inn in Grand Rapids, MN (post coming soon); Gathered Oaks grain bin in Alexandria, Minn.; and The Hermitage in Erhard, MN.
All three of these unique and comfortable Airbnbs near Minnesota state parks are perfect for those of us who like to day hike, but not big fans of camping or glamping in an RV.
Best glamping Airbnb retreat – quiet and private in the woods
The Hermitage at Anam Cara is a charming and rustic retreat where you can write, journal, read, hike, think or do a whole lot of nothing to rest, reflect and recharge. While my stay at this glamping Airbnb was sponsored, opinions are my own. And I highly recommend staying here if you’re looking for a private getaway close to nature. The Hermitage is the best Airbnb and best place to stay near Maplewood State Park and Glendalough State Park in Minnesota.
What’s in a name? What does hermitage and anam cara mean?
I’m an English major so love all things that evolve around words – especially etymology. So I was intrigued to learn the meaning around The Hermitage at Anam Cara from my superhosts Carole and Cindy. And when I say superhosts, I’m not just talking about how Airbnb defines them on their website/app. Although they fit that description also: “Superhosts are experienced hosts who provide a shining example for other hosts, and extraordinary experiences for their guests.” More on that later in this post.
What does hermitage mean? Hermitage means the dwelling of a hermit, especially when small and remote.
And what about anam cara mean? What does that mean? Anam is Gaelic for soul and cara means friend. Soul friend.
So essentially I was staying in a small and remote dwelling with soul friends.
And that description matches perfectly with my experience at one of the most beautiful Airbnbs in Minnesota.
My superhosts and now soul friends, Carole and Cindy, welcomed me with open arms even before my arrival. And, of course, I must mention Encyclopedia Britannica (Brit for short), who greeted me upon arrival and showed me to my room at The Hermitage. My superhosts even invited me into their home (they live above another beautiful Airbnb unit if you’re looking for something a little less rustic than The Hermitage – image provided later in this post).
Loved learning more about their story, the area’s geological history, their beautiful paradise of wooded acres and their special Nave with an outdoor amphitheater. Guests are free to roam and hike along the trails throughout the 20 acres. My hosts were so very supportive of my mission to explore all Minnesota state parks and share what I discovered with others. I will eternally be grateful for them – simply for just getting me.
Perfect glamping Airbnb for solo travelers or couples
Anam Cara’s Hermitage is the perfect Airbnb glamping site for solo travelers or couples. It’s a one-room studio built into a back of a garage/shed. But you’ll feel miles away from civilization as it’s nestled among the trees. The simple 200-square-foot, one-room suite features a loft/vaulted ceiling with natural light coming in from the floor-to-ceiling windows and door. No curtains to block your view from the hardwood forest. No worries. No one is around for miles (except for wildlife, birds, and your soul friends who also live on the property).
As many of you know, I’m a bed snob. And I must tell you that the twin-size trundle bed at the Hermitage is very comfortable.
This cozy Airbnb includes an indoor half-bath with hot water at the sink (six gallons) and a composting toilet.
Wait, what? What is a composting toilet? A composting toilet does exactly what its name implies. It’s a dry toilet that composts human waste. Don’t worry. It’s not complicated. The hosts will go over the instructions with you and they are posted on the wall to remind you.
You also have the option of using their outdoor privy and an outdoor air-temperature shower in The Nave. It’s just a short walk away. This special place surrounded by hardwoods is also home to an outdoor amphitheater where they host outdoor concerts, bonfires and get togethers.
Hermitage Airbnb glamping amenities
Your lodging also offers free wi-fi, free parking, a mini refrigerator-freezer (they provided complimentary soda, chocolates, condiments, etc.) as well as a microwave, toaster oven, drip coffee pot, dishes and flatware in a pull-down table, a reading chair and linens. And they recently installed a new heating/cooling unit and a whole property generator. Outside, you’ll also find a couple of chairs and a firepit.
The best glamping Airbnb and places to stay near Maplewood State Park and Glendalough State Park in Minnesota
This cabin-like Airbnb is the best glamping experience. The Hermitage Airbnb is only 14 miles from the breathtaking Maplewood State Park and 26 miles from the beautiful Glendalough State Park. And while there is plenty of recreational things to do on their 20 acres, you are also close to nearby lakes (1,110 in fact! No joke!). You’ll find plenty of opportunities to fish, swim, bird-watch, hike, bike, boat, paddle board, canoe, kayak and more. Restaurants and shopping are also nearby.
You can also reserve their lower level of this beautiful home also located on the property if you’re needing something a little more modern with more space.
So if you’re looking for a simple and private retreat in the woods near two of Minnesota’s state parks, I highly recommend booking the Hermitage at Anam Cara in Erhard, MN (near Fergus Falls and 1,110 of Minnesota’s 10,000+ lakes). Again, the link isn’t really broken. And you’re likely to make two soul friends as well!
List of the best Minnesota state parks
Here’s a list of all Minnesota state parks and distance from the Twin Cities, MN. See my review of each one: Take the Minnesota state park challenge.
- Afton State Park | Hastings, MN (26 miles)
- Banning State Park | Sandstone, MN (97 miles)
- Bear Head Lake State Park | Ely, MN (240 miles)
- Beaver Creek Valley State Park | Caledonia, MN (148 miles)
- Big Stone Lake State Park | Ortonville, MN (186 miles)
- Blue Mounds State Park | Luverne, MN (208 miles)
- Buffalo River State Park | Glyndon, MN (240 miles)
- Camden State Park | Lynd, MN (161 miles)
- Carley State Park | Plainview, MN (88 miles)
- Cascade River State Park | Lutsen, MN (257 miles)
- Charles A. Lindbergh State Park | Little Falls, MN (112 miles)
- Crow Wing State Park | Brainerd, MN (134 miles)
- Father Hennepin State Park | Isle, MN (113 miles)
- Flandrau State Park | New Ulm, MN (93 miles)
- Forestville / Mystery Cave State Park | Preston, MN (115 miles)
- Fort Ridgely State Park | Fairfax, MN (99 miles)
- Fort Snelling State Park | Bloomington / St. Paul, MN (2 miles)
- Franz Jevne State Park | Birchdale, MN (336 miles)
- Frontenac State Park | Frontenac, MN (62 miles)
- George H. Crosby Manitou State Park | Silver Bay, MN (231 miles)
- Glacial Lakes State Park | Starbuck, MN (156 miles)
- Glendalough State Park | Battle Lake, MN (194 miles)
- Gooseberry Falls | Two Harbors, MN (197 miles)
- Grand Portage State Park | Grand Portage, MN (308 miles)
- Great River Bluffs State Park | Winona, MN (136 miles)
- Hayes Lake State Park | Roseau, MN (343 miles)
- Hill Annex Mine State Park | Calumet, MN (197 miles)
- Interstate State Park / Taylors Falls State Park | Taylors Falls, MN (56 miles)
- Itasca State Park | Park Rapids, MN (219 miles)
- Jay Cooke State Park | Thomson, MN (146 miles)
- John A. Latsch State Park | Winona, MN (99 miles)
- Judge C.R. Magney State Park | Grand Marais, MN (282 miles)
- Kilen Woods State Park | Lakefield, MN (153 miles)
- Lac qui Parle State Park | Watson, MN (141 miles)
- Lake Bemidji State Park | Bemidji, MN (230 miles)
- Lake Bronson State Park | Karlstad, MN (409 miles)
- Lake Carlos State Park | Alexandria, MN (152 miles)
- Lake Louise State Park | Le Roy, MN (113 miles)
- Lake Maria State Park | Monticello, MN (60 miles)
- Lake Shetek State Park | Currie, MN (168 miles)
- Lake Vermilion-Soudan Underground Mine State Park | Soudan, MN (229 miles)
- McCarthy Beach State Park | Side Lake, MN (227 miles)
- Maplewood State Park | Pelican Rapids, MN (217 miles)
- Mille Lacs Kathio State Park | Onamia, MN (108 miles)
- Minneopa State Park | Mankato, MN (82 miles)
- Monson Lake State Park | Sunburg, MN (141 miles)
- Moose Lake State Park | Moose Lake, MN (116 miles)
- Myre-Big Island State Park | Albert Lea, MN (93 miles)
- Nerstrand Big Woods State Park | Nerstrand, MN (52 miles)
- Old Mill State Park | Argyle, MN (350 miles)
- Rice Lake State Park | Owatonna, MN (70 miles)
- St. Croix State Park | Hinckley, MN (105 miles)
- Sakatah Lake State Park | Waterville, MN (60 miles)
- Savanna Portage State Park | Northeast Aitkin, MN (149 miles)
- Scenic State Park | Bigfork, MN (232 miles)
- Schoolcraft State Park | Deer River, MN (198 miles)
- Sibley State Park | New London, MN (128 miles)
- Split Rock Creek State Park | Jasper, MN (202 miles)
- Split Rock Lighthouse State Park | Two Harbors, MN (204 miles)
- Temperance River State Park | Schroeder, MN (239 miles)
- Tettegouche State Park | Silver Bay, MN (217 miles)
- Upper Sioux Agency State Park | Granite Falls, MN (122 miles)
- Whitewater State Park | Altura, MN (99 miles)
- Wild River State Park | Center City, MN (58 miles)
- William O’Brien State Park | Scandia / Marine on the St. Croix, MN (43 miles)
- Zippel Bay State Park | Williams, MN (345 miles)