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Shady Rest Acres

· Brownsville, Houston, Minnesota
23 acres hosted by Patty & Michelle B.
1 lodging site · 2 tent sites
Patty & Michelle is a Star Host
Star Hosts are highly rated, responsive, and committed to providing incredible experiences.
Best in Minnesota: Finalist
Named one of the best Hipcamps to visit in 2023.
Private sites
98% of recent Hipcampers say the sites felt private.
Recent Hipcampers say this Hipcamp is great for families and kids.
Once the site of the historic V.J. Fetzner Brewery from the late 19th Century. The land is now used as a hobby farm, honey bee sanctuary and nursery to a unique tree species normally not found in Southeastern Minnesota. Remnants of the brewery are still visible. Foundation walls outline the massive structure of the brewery. Nestled in the center of the foundation is the entrance to the sixty-seven foot deep cave that once held barrels of beer and can be accessed by canoe only. Hops have been located on the property and are believed to be ancestors of those raised to make the beer once stored in the cave. The pond that provides access to the cave was dug out in the early 1990's to create a fish out for the Spring Falls Trout Farm that used to exist across the highway. Some of the original brood stock still exist and continue to naturally stock the pond. It is not uncommon to see fish that are five to ten pounds in size. We do not allow fishing from our pond. The residents house is built to scale to the original brew master's house. While the house is only twenty-four years old it looks as though you have taken a step back in time. The name Shady Rest was given to the house by the Brew Master's wife. We thought it was appropriate to keep the name alive. Shady Rest Acres is comprised of twenty-three acres of beautiful woodlands and pasture that are protected forever in the Minnesota Land Trust. The pasture is home to Scottish Highlander cows, two miniature donkeys, five sheep, four goats, honey bees and a flock of chickens. Scottish Highlanders were selected for both their grazing and browsing abilities. They are very docile and make excellent pasture mates to the smaller species sharing the pasture. The cows are excellent forest managers. They clear out invasive species such as Honey Suckle, Buckthorn, and Barberry which can often be difficult to manage. A guided tour with the host can be taken to meet the pasture animals. The forest is comprised of many tree species. Some are unique in that they normally do not grow in this region of Minnesota. The yellow birch is a species normally found in Northern Minnesota. It's bark is golden in color and glistens when the sun hits it just right. We have a cluster of several yellow birch including one that is so big that the bark no longer looks golden but instead is grey and very rough. Years ago the largest of these trees made excellent wood for turning bowls. Blue Beech (musclewood) can also be found on the property. As the name indicates the bark is shaped like muscles. Songbirds and some other species will use different parts of the tree as a food source. Towering white pines also speckle the landscape. Mother pine requires at least two humans arm lengths to encircle the whole tree. She is a favorite resting spot for the barred owl. There is oak, elm, maple, ceders, poplars and numerous other species. Honey bees are an integral part of the landscape. We partnered with a friend and started raising honey bees two years ago in order to do our part to keep pollinators thriving. Their hives are located in the pasture where it has the perfect amount of early morning sun to get them moving and afternoon shade to balance out the summer heat. It is not uncommon to see them pollinating garden plants, trees and wild flowers around the property. One of their favorite feeding spots is the acre and a half prairie which offers a range of plants including big blue stem, wild indigo and baby blue stem, to name a few. Not only are honey bees essential to the food chain but they also provide a very enriching experience when they are observed moving about their hives. There is nothing more relaxing and fascinating than watching these amazing creatures.
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270 ratings · 207 reviews
Haley T.recommends
May 13, 2024
Bee Relaxed Studio
Girls trip!
We went for a girls weekend and had the absolute best time! Patty and Michelle were so welcoming and kind. The cabin was clean and we loved the space and decor. The property was beautiful we loved waking up and walking in the pasture saying good morning to all the farm animals! We had such a good time we want to make it a annual trip. Thank you for sharing your beautiful home and land with us!!!
Elizabeth K.recommends
May 7, 2024
Bee Relaxed Studio
Relaxing stay
Loved the stay at the guest home, it was perfect amount of comfort and a beautiful location. Would had loved to stay longer but hope to be back!
Scott H.recommends
October 11, 2023
Heart's Content
A quick overnighter
My two friends and I were on a bicycle trip through the area and were looking for a camping location that wasn't the larger RV park down by the river. Patty & Michelle's location is great, our camp spot was plenty secluded, had a nice fire ring, box of firewood for sale was plenty for a nice camp fire. Having the animals around made the experience much more charming, I even hopped in the flat bottom boat to check out the cave. We didn't spend a lot of time there but the time we did was perfectly described in the listing. If you are in the Brownsville area I would certainly recommend camping here.
Jacki S.recommends
September 30, 2023
Heart's Content
Charming Farm-Style Getaway
Amazing getaway amidst a charming hobby farm. The campsite was beautiful and private, complete with matching Adirondack chairs for relaxing and taking in the view, fire ring, and handy pegs to hang a hammock from. The options to canoe into the cave and meet the farm animals were unique and fun extras to the experience. We enjoyed waking up to the sounds of the farm animals too! Patty and Michelle were incredibly accommodating with our last-minute changes and truly wonderful hosts. You can just tell that they cherish the animals and the land with all the thoughtful personal touches throughout. Because there’s only two campsites and the studio, it’s a super private location. We were lucky enough to be the only guests and given free reign to explore. Truly special camping experience! We definitely intend to come back.
Justin C.recommends
September 17, 2023
Life is Good
Great time camping with the family!! Thanks would recommend.
Joe C.recommends
September 6, 2023
Bee Relaxed Studio
Patty & Michelle have an absolutely gorgeous location in the SE Minnesota Driftless. Originally we wanted to tent camp but when the forecast called for more extreme heat we decided to go with their Bee Relaxed Studio. It was a great spot (with A/C!) perfect for a quick getaway for the two of us. The Studio was spacious and lovely with views of the pastures. We had a great time chatting with Patty & Michelle and they even let us meet their baby goats and Highland cattle! If we're ever back in the area we will definitely be visiting again.
Brownsville, Houston, Minnesota, United StatesTraditional, ancestral territory of oθaakiiwaki‧hina‧ki (Sauk) & Meškwahki·aša·hina (Fox) 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 Patty & Michelle B.Joined in December 2017
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