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Dogwoods Farm

· Brookston, St. Louis, Minnesota
70 acres hosted by Cristen B.
2 RV/tent sites
Primitive camping
Best for self-contained campers. There are no toilets, showers, or potable water at this Hipcamp.
Hello and welcome! We are Cristen & David, and our beautiful farm called Dogwoods is situated 35mn west of Duluth atop a moraine with stunning views and sunsets. We have 70 acres here, and they're a mix of rolling open fields and aspen/maple/birch forests which are especially pretty in autumn. We also have many rows of Christmas trees! :) Historically this land was a dairy farm with pasture and hay fields and long before that a trading post site, later a work camp for the CCC. A small pile of of concrete rubble from the CCC bunk houses still can be found as a "hidden treasure" in the woods. The most recent history of this place is that it was a tree farm called Hilltop Tree Farm, owned for 30+ years by Joe and Ranae Walsh. They cultivated both landscaping and Christmas trees here. When my water broke with our 2nd child while touring the farm, we felt the universe quite literally calling us to set down roots. Joe and Ranae became our mentors and taught us how to manage, trim the trees, and make wreaths. Our first season was Christmas 2021, and while we are not continuing with the landscape side of things, we are looking forward to our 3rd xmas tree season this winter. It is a cut-your-own experience that a lot of folks have been coming back to for many years. We are now known as DOGWOODS...which brings me to the other side of what we currently do here. We manage a small kennel of sled dogs. We have a crew of 17 Alaskan huskies adopted from Fairbanks AK and racers in the area. They are a mix of slightly older (6-7) year olds who aren't at their top speed for competitive racing but still have lots of desire to run and loads of personality and trail wisdom, and younger dogs acquired more recently. We loved the idea of giving the older ones a great home and a continued chance to do what they love best--RUNNING! It has been great fun. They have definitely become our friends/extended family and regularly join us in the house for Sunday dinners etc. David ran the Beargrease 120 last year and hopes to increase his mileage to possibly even the 300 someday. We have cut and maintained 3-4miles of trails on our property for this adventure and leisurely strolls. For longer runs we use the nearby tribal forest roads, state forest roads, and snowmobile trails. We have always both had a heart for ecologically sustainable organic methods and active participation in the biodiversity here on the farm. We love growing our own fruits and vegetables and cooking from scratch. Last year we started an experiment of no-spray tree management. There were carbon emissions trade offs with fuel for mowing, and a lot of labor and time, but it was incredible to see the fields come alive with wildflowers and bees and monarchs and songbirds. This year we have added SHEEP to our farm! They have been excellent at mowing around the trees while fertilizing as we rotationally graze them. We love this regenerative agriculture approach and will keep experimenting with different techniques. CAMPERS: While you're here, please enjoy our beautiful trails. Some are more rugged than others, but all easily accessed on foot. It makes for a lovely walk in the woods. Nearby attractions include the St Louis River for canoeing/kayaking and fishing (easy public access within a couple miles), Duluth is 35mn with all of it's microbreweries and restaurants, boardwalks, and beaches. Two Harbors is a 1hr drive, Jay Cooke State Park 30mn to the south, Sax Zim Bog for excellent birding, Echo Valley Speedway (our neighbors :), and the Country Corner pub just across the road which has food (including breakfast) for dine in & take out, gas, on/off sale, and is just a good ole place to hang out. Because we are a working farm with working dogs and livestock (fences are electric and ON), we ask that all visiting dogs remain on a leash. Please follow the sign for Lavoy Road just west of our tree farm to park in the mowed area at the meadow. There is room to pull through if you have a camper. This is a primitive camping area with no facilities except porta-potties in summer months (usually until early Oct). Please bring your own water. We do not provide firewood, but you may bring your own if collected in St Louis Co, or the forest is full of down and dead wood that is free for the picking! (please do not cut live trees). Please practice a no-trace etiquette, with pack-it-in pack-it-out as the rule. In regards to toilet facilities, we recommend bringing a luggable loo or utilizing our neighbor's port-a-potty in summer months which borders the camping meadow (they have kindly given permission).Be sure to park fully in the meadow and not block the road. Then pitch your tent or set your camper anywhere in the mowed area that suits your fancy. There are several fire rings established. Feel free to use the porta-potties next to the fence line (open until October 10, 2023) but please do not venture to the far side of the road as it's the neighbor's property. This beautiful back meadow dotted with trees used to be part of a working tree farm and now is used as a park-like picnicking and camping spot. You are free to roam anywhere in the meadow but keep in mind unmowed areas may have poison ivy so please watch your step or keep to the mowed places. There are 70 acres here to explore with many trails maintained through the woods. These are the trails we train our sled dogs on! This site used to the be a trading post, then a CCC camp, then a dairy farm, and now a Christmas tree farm. Have fun exploring! :) You may see remnants of historic endeavors. Please be mindful that we have livestock and sled dogs on site. Keeping your pet leashed is super important. Pick up after your pet. Please also respect our home and immediately surrounding grounds as private. There's a great local pub just across from Lavoy to the west called Country Corner. They have good food (including breakfast) for dine in or take out, on/off sale, and gas (pay in the bar). The St. Louis River is an excellent one to float in the right water conditions. There's good access just up the road from us and a takeout spot near Brookston if you wish. The Sax Zim bog just north of us provides excellent birdwatching opportunities. Jay Cooke state park is about 30mn away.
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Brookston, St. Louis, Minnesota, United StatesTraditional, ancestral territory of Anishinabewaki ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ First Nations according to To respect the Host's privacy, the precise address of this land will be provided after booking
Hosted by Cristen B.Joined in August 2022
Response rate: 100%Response time: Within an hour
2 ratings · 2 reviews
Whit L.recommends
October 3, 2023
Dogwoods Meadow Camping
Great spot! I can’t wait to stay again and actually explore the whole area. A water spigot or at least a picnic table would be oh so helpful for the cost, but other than that, great spot. The hosts were lovely and kind!
Andrew S.recommends
October 1, 2023
Dogwoods Meadow Camping
Nice little spot super close to Duluth... Thank you! Trails are beautiful, easy to find!
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