Hipcamp host Linda P.,
Hosted by

The Mini Coop was a working chicken coop for many years until it was replaced by a bigger coop. It was then used to house bees, then garden tools, and then it came close to leaving our property. Finally, after it was all cleaned out, a vision was born. After some elbow grease, numerous trips to the lumberyard, and placing pieces of the puzzle one by one into place, the tinie


The Mini Coop was a working chicken coop for many years until it was replaced by a bigger coop. It was then used to house bees, then garden tools, and then it came close to leaving our property. Finally, after it was all cleaned out, a vision was born. After some elbow grease, numerous trips to the lumberyard, and placing pieces of the puzzle one by one into place, the tiniest of tiny homes is now ready for new inhabitants and is tucked back in the farthest corner of our five acre lot. The generous windows in front bring the forest right to you, almost as if you were sitting in the screen porch of a cabin, and the hiking trails are right out your window. A multi-function door has a built-in vent and also a barn sash window that opens out to a 7x7 wooden deck. A rocket stove sits right next to the deck along with a small round table and chair. The fire ring and two more chairs are right outside the front of the coop with some firewood ready for your first campfire. The inside of the coop is enveloped in golden tongue and groove pine, and a long narrow couch/bed provides comfort for day or night use. The top bunk (25" wide and 7 feet long) can be left in the upright position for storing personal gear, or folded down for an extra camper. The birch wall lamp provides light for reading, and there is also an outlet for charging your phone. A small electric heater is ready to take the chill out of the air. The outhouse is just around the corner and we'll provide a container of water for drinking. Bring your own bedding and enjoy a unique camping experience in this tiny (emphasis on TINY - really tiny) coop/cabin!

Lodging provided
1 site
Up to 2 guests per site
Short walk
No ADA access
Campfires allowed
Toilet available
No pets
Potable water available
No kitchen
No showers
No picnic table
No wifi
Pack it out
Have a question? Send Linda a message!
  • Check in: After 2PM
  • Check out: Before 12PM
  • Cancellation policy: Flexible
  • On arrival: Meet and greet
  • Minimum nights: 2
  • Accepts bookings: 6 months out


Offered on the Host's property or nearby.


Duluth has 178 miles of beautiful wooded trails. For a map of biking trails check out Trailforks, Duluth. One particular trail ...Read more


Besides Lake Superior, there are several other popular boating lakes within a half hour of downtown Duluth, Pike Lake, Island L...Read more


Shore fishing spots Here's a list of suggested places to fish from shore, courtesy of Scott VanValkenburg at Fisherman's Corner...Read more


There are at least 150 miles of unpaved hiking trails in Duluth. Balsam Ridge is just a few minutes walk from the Hartley Trail...Read more

Horseback riding

Duluth now offers the new Magney Snively-Ely's Peak Equestrian Trail and Ski Loop along western Duluth's portion of Skyline Bo...Read more


Oh yes. Lots of it. There is a sweet video on Duluthoutdoors..com that gives you an idea what it's like to paddle on Lake Super...Read more

Wind sports

The biggest water right at your backdoor, Duluth offers all the wonders of real windsurfing, massive shorebreak, head-on ramps,...Read more


Duluth offers a variety of seasonal climbing opportunities within the city limits. Casket Quarry is a premier site for ice an...Read more

Snow sports

There are more snow sports than you can shake a stick at in Duluth, MN, so I'll just run through the top 11 outdoor winter adve...Read more


Duluth is well known for its extreme surfers. Winter or summer, if there are waves breaking, there will be surfers taking advan...Read more


Swimming and summer just naturally go hand-in-hand - especially when you live in an area that's blessed with an abundance of la...Read more

Whitewater paddling

The St Louis River (which flows into Lake Superior) is a great spot for whitewater rafting all summer long. This 2 hour trip t...Read more

Wildlife watching

Duluth is home to two Important Bird Areas (IBA), recognized as globally important habitats for the conservation of bird popula...Read more


Natural features you'll find at The Mini Coop in Minnesota.


The name "Balsam Ridge Retreat" is just one indicator of the type of forest we are nestled in. Numerous maples cover the east s...Read more

River, stream, or creek

One of Duluth's 16 designated trout streams is a two minute walk from our mailbox. It's known as the East Branch of the Chester...Read more


Yes, we are in the city Just down MacFarlane Road is a large beaver pond that the East Chester Creek runs through. Duluth, and ...Read more


Just down MacFarlane Road is a large beaver pond that the East Chester Creek runs through.


As you pull up to the front of our home you'll only see a short parking spot. This isn't the driveway. Look about 275 feet to t...Read more

39 Reviews

This listing has no reviews yet.
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
Hipcamper Jean

Best mini getaway!

Jean Y.
recommends this listing.
October 25th, 2020

Linda and Chris were absolutely wonderful! My boyfriend Jake and I were able to hike in the snow. The trails were easy to find as they said. Every little corner was magical! You sill stay warm at night even in the cold! We loved it so much and cannot wait to return!

The Mini CoopThe Mini Coop
Hipcamper cheryl

Two nights in the mini coop

Cheryl S.
recommends this listing.
July 14th, 2020

My sister and I had a great time staying at Balsam Ridge Retreat. They offer many things to keep you entertained and they are located near several Duluth parks and places of interest.

Hipcamper JT

Charming and cozy coop

Jt R.
recommends this listing.
July 15th, 2020

Our stay at Balsam Ridge Retreat was wonderful. The property was woodsy and lovely - wood chip paths, a small pond, spots to stay close enough for convenient access to firewood, outhouse, waking trails, etc., but also spread out enough for space and privacy. The Mini Coop, which looked nice when we checked it out online, was even better in person. Well-built, clean, and cozy (not the accommodations one would want to pick if looking to spread out on a large bed), we slept well at night but - with the weather being nice - spent most of our time relaxing outside it around the small fire. Our hosts, Linda and Chris, clearly take pride in their place and enjoyment in their guests —they were welcoming and warm, but not intrusive — and were both eager to make sure we had what we needed as well as welcomed any feedback on how they might make that (new) "cabin" even better. We would stay there again in a heartbeat. A great spot if you like things simple and rustic.

Hipcamper Jean
Jean R.
recommends this listing.
July 18th, 2020

The Mini Coop is an adorable alternative to traditional tent camping. The site felt private (only a handful of campsites at Balsam Ridge retreat), safe, and peaceful. The location, while technically in Duluth, feels like camping in a state park. Linda is a warm and welcoming host. I highly recommend the Mini Coop!

Hipcamper Dansmella

Amazing stay and perfect location

Dansmella R.
recommends this listing.
July 20th, 2020

The mini coop was amazing and would recommend highly to anyone looking for a little getaway or anyone who wants to explore the north shore. Located about 10 minutes out of the Duluth proper, the location was perfect and more laid back than you would expect. The hosts were extremely helpful and kind. All the camps on their land are amazing, they also have a few ponds and get some amazing swings too!

Hipcamper Tim

Wooded waterfall weekend

Tim P.
recommends this listing.
August 2nd, 2020

Absolutely fantastic! Welcomed at the driveway by friendly hosts, offered a cart for hauling gear, and thankful to see a stocked firewood pile! We spent 3 enjoyable nights using the coop as our launchpad for 3 days of North Shore waterfall exploration. The location is perfect for accessing Duluth and the North Shore, yet so secluded on the very edge of their densely wooded property. Can't say enough positive things!

Hipcamper Patricia

Great get away

Patricia F.
recommends this listing.
August 30th, 2020

Staying at Balsam Ridge Retreat far exceeded my expectations. The site was clean quiet and their eye for detail was incredible. It’s a great place to relax. Looking forward to next time.

Outside the mini coopMini coopWalking in the woodsWalking in the woods
Hipcamper Chris

Serenity in the city

Chris W.
recommends this listing.
September 11th, 2020

I stayed 3 nights in the mini coop. Linda and Chris were so nice and inviting from the moment I pulled into the driveway. They have such a great property that offers much more than a place to lay your head. Yet is still close to amenities and is convenient for heading out on day trips. I would 100% stay here again!

The Mini CoopFavorite photo Nice wood stove The Mini Coop
Hipcamper Madelyn

The coolest place i’ve ever seen.

Madelyn B.
recommends this listing.
September 13th, 2020

Staying at the Mini Coop was amazing, but really staying at Balsam Ridge as a whole makes the experience. Chris and Linda are the sweetest, most charming people I think I’ve ever met. They were so generous & fun, and Linda even let me borrow her hiking boots when I forgot mine. The grounds are beautiful, so much to do (fishing, walking around, sitting at the campfire with other guests, the swings, etc). Would recommend bringing an extra sleeping pad to the coop for the top bunk if you struggle to sleep on harder surfaces. I can’t wait to go back!

The Mini CoopThe Mini CoopThe Mini CoopThe Mini Coop
Balsam Ridge Retreat
United States
1 Site