This winter the Gokotta tent is enveloped in a thick blanket of white snow. The 500 foot trail out to the tent is either snow-blown or has been packed by snowshoes. (We have snowshoes available if you need some.) Just inside the tent is a wood stove that makes for a toasty winter glamping experience. The large copper tub is filled with dry wood to get the fire going. There
This winter the Gokotta tent is enveloped in a thick blanket of white snow. The 500 foot trail out to the tent is either snow-blown or has been packed by snowshoes. (We have snowshoes available if you need some.) Just inside the tent is a wood stove that makes for a toasty winter glamping experience. The large copper tub is filled with dry wood to get the fire going. There are two wooden rockers and plenty of light for enjoying a good book, especially on those long winter nights. The oak Navy bunk can double as a couch, and the other couch easily converts to a single bed. There are cots available for additional guests if needed. Everyone should bring their own sleeping bags or linens. There are pillows on the beds. On the table you'll find a hot pot for boiling water, a radio, a small fan, a few mugs and spoons, and some jars of assorted mixes for hot drinks. We'll keep you supplied with a jug of Lake Superior drinking water. All other cooking is done outside. A brick rocket stove is set up close to the tent for boiling a pot of water or making a simple one-pot meal. The outhouse is just a stones throw away, and a porta potty is available for night-time use upon request.
For those who are new to winter camping, it would be advisable to do a bit of research before heading out the door on a winter trek. Even though the Gökotta is a 'glamping' experience it's still cold outside, and the fire that started out so toasty you thought about opening the windows, now has died down to a faint glow with just a hint of warmth inside the tent. One way to stay warm in your bag is to fill one or two leak-proof heavy plastic bottles (like Nalgene) with hot water and place one at the foot of your bag and the other close to your core. This will make it a bit more comfortable when it comes time to peel yourself out of that warm bag to stoke the fire.
Snowshoeing and cross country skiing are literally right out your tent door with some incredibly beautiful trails. In addition to these, about a mile to the east of Balsam Ridge is an access to Hartley Nature Center where numerous trails are groomed for snowshoeing, skiing and fat tire biking. And, if conditions are ideal, there is a good chance of ice skating on the pond at Balsam Ridge.
- Check in: After 2PM
- Check out: Before 12PM
- Cancellation policy: Super Flexible
- On arrival: Meet and greet
- Minimum nights: 1 night
- Accepts bookings: 3 months out
Offered on the Host's property or nearby.
Duluth has 178 miles of beautiful wooded trails. Even in the winter, the city grooms trails for fat tire bikes. Less than a mil...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
The list below was designed for summer anglers but with the right equipment and ice conditions, the sky is the limit for the ic...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
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
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
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
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
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 Gökotta (Swedish for "dawn picnic") 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
Suburban or backyard
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
The vibe at Gökotta (Swedish for "dawn picnic")
Places to see near Balsam Ridge Retreat
If you stayed here and have some insider info for us, let us know!
One of our favorite hipcamps
We had an absolute blast staying at Chris and Linda's gorgeous Hipcamp. From the moment we drove onto the property we felt welcomed and as if we were visiting family.
The Gokotta was immaculately designed and had all the right touches — it was very apparent as to just how much effort and care Linda and Chris have put into their Hipcamp sites.
Having two reservoirs of drinking water at the site, wood chopped and ready to go in the the fire pit, along with things like hand soap, a radio, and lamps made for such an easy, care free stay.
We're already looking for reasons to visit Duluth so we can stay here again! Thank you for everything Chris & Linda!
Dreamy glamping experience
Chris and Linda were the best hosts. They welcomed us and made us feel right at home. It’s clear that ever detail had attention paid to it and that this site is a true labor of love for them. Drinking/ washing water and coffee and hot beverage mixes were provided, we didn’t have to bring in our own firewood and they even got our fire started for us. Staying in the Gokotta was was “pinch me” dreamy. The twinkle lights across the property made the experience extra special. We loved the big swing too. Can’t wait to come back!
Balsam Ridge Retreat was a compete dream. We spent the night in the Gökotta tent at Balsam Ridge Retreat located just minutes from downtown Duluth. Set on a dreamy property owned and run by the most accommodating couple, who have so clearly put their hearts into creating this magical sanctuary with attention to every last detail. From landscaping to carpentry, the Porter’s are truly talented! They met every need of ours and even had a fire going for us upon our arrival. The amenities and grounds surpassed our expectations by a long shot! Oh! And they have a giant swing that gives you the rush of shotgunning a nitro cold brew! We cannot wait to go back this winter for a long weekend in their tiny heated house!
Cozy and perfect!
Think of your favorite relatives; the welcoming, kind, warm ones who naturally make you feel at home. That's exactly what Chris and Linda are like! Not only is this the most amazing place you'll find, but it's beautifully put together and lovingly maintained by two of the nicest people you'll have the pleasure to meet.
We over-used the word "cozy" during our stay, but it described absolutely everything about the place! The space in the Gokotta is well-appointed with comfortable bunks and fantastic pillows (bring your own sleeping bags), a sofa great for sitting or sleeping, rockers to read in, eating space, and thoughtful extra touches like a remote for all of the lights, a conveniently placed power strip so you can charge your electronics, a little basket by the top bunk in which to put your phone while you sleep, and everything you need to make a nice warm cup of your favorite beverage. Chris and Linda don't miss a thing!
Be sure to ask them about the paths in the woods. There are many little bridges to discover as you wind your way through the peaceful woods. What a way to start any day!
We were so thrilled to discover these gems (the people and the place) that we came home and booked our next stay.
See you again soon, Chris and Linda!
Rustic romance at balsam ridge
We had a fantastic stay at Balsam Ridge! What a perfect alternative to the busy (and expensive!) Duluth hotels. It was a bit snowy during our stay in October, but we were cozy and warm in the Gökotta tent. The stove warms the tent nicely, though it required some attention during the night. We had a lovely hike on the back of the property, and drove into town (~an easy 10 min drive) for dinner. The tent was well-outfitted and the hosts were very kind and eager to be of help. We will definitely be back!
WOW! We had an amazing stay at the Gökotta. Chris and Linda are incredibly kind hosts. It’s evident how much work went into making this such a special place to stay. We loved all the little details that make staying here so effortless—fresh water, firewood, coffee/tea and more. The location is fantastic. Close to downtown Duluth, but tucked away in the woods. We can’t recommend this place enough!
Beyond our expectations !
It was one of the best camping trips of our Life.
The photos do not do justice to the entirety of the amazing location. It is picturesque, quaint and easily accessible. It is 10 minutes from downtown Duluth and yet feels like you are in thickest of the woods. Its extremely peaceful.
The Gokotta style camping was a perfect weekend getaway for 6 of us. Chris and Linda were gracious hosts, who went out of their way to make our stay as comfortable as we would be at home.
I highly recommend this fantastic place ! Its a rare Find.
Best hosts, best campsite!
Great spot right outside of town!(5 minutes downtown Duluth) Chris and Linda are great hosts and have done an awesome job making very cool and private campsites! Will definitely be going back!