Rustic, cozy Gabbro Cabin stands on its own large private peninsula, facing its own intimate, picturesque bay, and its privacy is guaranteed by surrounding National Forest land. Gabbro is accessible only across two miles of Birch Lake.
Gabbro is a remote cabin, providing what owner Sharon calls “wilderness with a bed.” A crucial value of Gabbro Cabin is its break from technological dependency: no telephones, TVs, internet, or other plug-ins to compete with family fun and adventure. Gabbro's variety of fun activities, remote location, and isolation from electronic distractions have made it a terrific family vacation spot for annual returnees. The same gifts make Gabbro a marvelous getaway for couples.
The cabin has two bedrooms, each with a double bed and overhead single bunk. The cabin’s propane-powered refrigerator, oven/ stove, and inside lamps provide comfort and efficiency without infringing on the experiential wildness. The wood-fired Finnish steam sauna provides bathing luxury, and the cutting-edge outhouse provides private necessity.
Gabbro guests enjoy swimming, saunas, fishing, canoeing, hiking the peninsula’s trails, and wilderness relaxation. Wildlife abounds: eagles, loons and other waterbirds, warblers and other songbirds, otters, beavers, and brazen chipmunks can all be seen around the cabin area. Moose, deer, wolves, mink and martens all reside in the surrounding forest. Rental kayaks and boat motors can be arranged.
The pristine waters of Birch Lake offer excellent walleye and smallmouth fishing, many miles of unbroken natural shoreline, and direct access to the Boundary Waters.
Come and celebrate Boundary Waters magnificence at Gabbro Cabin!
Keywords: Remote, Water-access, Sauna, Boundary Waters, Wilderness
Tom and Sharon Arendshorst have owned the Gabbro Cabin peninsula on Birch Lake since 2000. Residents of Holland, Michigan, Tom is a retired ophthalmic surgeon and Sharon a retired pastor. Tom was introduced to the Ely area as a Camp Voyageur youth in 1960; he and Sharon are longtime Boundary Waters/Quetico canoeists, and love the remote peace, Northwoods beauty, sense of retreat and abundant opportunities for wilderness fun that rise around Gabbro Cabin.
Tom Arendshorst purchased this cabin in 2000
Gabbro Cabin has unique assets: it is remote and blessedly private because it is surrounded by National Forest, but it also gives access to many miles of waterway, shoreline, excellent Birch Lake fishing, and exploring. The peninsula's size provides hiking trails and varied habitat for wildlife. Being at Gabbro is accessible 'wilderness with beds.'
The Ely area offers unique access to boreal wilderness via the maze of lakes and connecting waterways of the Boundary Waters region. We purchased this remote cabin to give our family a 'home' from which we have been able to annually retreat from 'civilization,' refresh our spirits, and taste the compelling draw of wilderness. We are pleased others can share this bounty!
Our family of four, including two young kids, spent a wonderful week swimming, canoeing, exploring, hanging out, playing cards and having a nightly sauna. We were happy to find real mattresses on the beds (not those thin, flimsy ones) and a fully equipped kitchen. Definitely bring books and games and a desire to completely unwind!
We had a small issue and the owners were more than generous in their solution. All in all, we'd love to return (though with a motor to explore more of the big lake). Definitely recommended.
We had a wonderful time at the Gabbro Cabin. We did much the same as the other reviewers: canoe, swim, berry pick, sauna, hike, read, reconnect. Our 4 and 6 year old boys were so happy to be there. Great place to get away and to slow down. The night sky was incredible. The owners and caretaker were gracious and helpful. We would love to go back again.
Just returning to civilization after a PEACEFUL stay at Gabbro cabin. The cabin was everything we thought it would be-----upscale camping! The view is awesome and the lake was beautiful. Only downside was we couldn't get enough fish to jump on our hooks. Thanks for a great experience!
Rick and Jane
We just returned from our first stay at Gabbro Cabin- what an incredible week we had with our 2 young children! The location is beautiful and the lake traffic is wonderfully mellow. We were blessed with exceptional weather and even the breeze kept the mosquitoes at bay (mostly!). We opted to go motor less and don't regret it at all. We thoroughly enjoyed exploring the nearby bays and even ventured up into the Kawishiwi. The sauna was perfect! Big enough for the kids to splash around in their buckets of cool water while the grown ups got a good sweat.
We have been in the Ely area many times, and decided to find a cabin for this adventure. We really enjoyed our week at Gabbro Cabin, and decided to go motorless--which meant we were secluded on 'our' cove of Birch Lake for the week. The person who dropped us off was extremely nice and showed us how everything worked, including the sauna (we were not sauna people before the trip, but we are now!). We found everything we needed at the cabin. It is small and rustic in nature, and provided a backdrop for a week of family fun. We used the rowboat and canoe extensively. The owner provides drinking water from Ely, MN and dishwater is obtained by taking water from lake and boiling. There are propane lights, stove, and fridge---which is good-sized if you are planning types of foods to bring. There are games for rainy days (scrabble, cards, chess, etc.) and a good selection of books and guide books and maps. We really enjoyed the screened-in porch-type tent for dining outside. The bay around the cabin has loons, beaver, ducks, herons, and (reportedly!) some fish. We caught northerns in the grass. It was nice to hear almost nothing for a week except nature and our squeaky oars of the rowboat. Our 15-year-old son enjoyed canoeing the bay and exploring. If you have a bit of adventure in you, this cabin is a great choice. If you are used to tenting, this will be the lap of luxury!
My wife and I were looking for a remote northwoods wilderness experience with lots of solitude. We have always tent camped in the boundary waters but this time wanted something that afforded a little more comfort than tents and sleeping bags. The cabin was exactly what we hoped for. It is extremely well maintained and is in a setting that is miles away from civilization. The only way to and from the cabin is by boat so no noise from vehicle traffic and other campers. Conveniences like gas powered stove, fridge, and lights are very nice to have in a place that is surrounded by miles of national forest. A perfect location for activities such as canoeing (canoe provided), bird watching, fishing, hiking, and wildlife/outdoor photography. I looked at many properties in this area and none offered the remoteness, lakefront access, beautiful views, and "creature comforts" as much as this cabin. The whole experience including the business side of the deal was excellent. Highly recommended.
Canoeing, Finnish steam sauna, swimming, saunas, terrific walleye & smallmouth fishing, hiking the peninsula’s trails, wilderness relaxation, abundant wildlife, kayaks and boat motors available as rentals
Each renting party will be met at Birch Lake National Forest Campground landing Sunday mid-day (by arrangement) and transported with all gear to the cabin; the party will be picked up again the following Sunday morning and returned to the Birch Lake Campground and their vehicle(s).
50% of Total to secure Reservation. Remaining 50% due two weeks before arrival. Cancellation policy: Refund less $50 if 90+ days’ notice. After that, if the cabin week is re-rented, deposit minus $50 will be refunded.