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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Comfort in Natural Surroundings

Bedrooms 2
Space 1,200 sq ft
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 2 nights


About the property

2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathrooms, Convertible bed(s), Sleeps 8

Pets are welcome!

This privately situated cabin on a 20 acre estate and wildlife sanctuary, offers one of the best vacation locations available in Michigan if you are looking for a more rustic setting. Dine while looking out a large picture window, over a beautiful section of an inland lake only 25 feet from the front door, and just behind that a view of Lake Michigan.

This spacious, fully furnished, beautiful knotty pine cabin with cathedral ceiling and loft, is decorated with antiques from the logging industry and a historic sawmill, that operated on this site up to 20 years ago.

A dock with kayaks, rowboat & canoe are located out the front door for your use to explore or fish our inland lake. Great bass and pike fishing available, or enjoy salmon fishing in Lake Michigan by charter. A deck and private beach on the Lake Michigan shoreline are yours to enjoy.

Walk, cycle or run along scenic Lakeshore Rd. bike path that winds along Lake Michigan, or visit the Audubon Society Center and Nature Trails, both within a couple minutes walk. White Tail Deer frequently move around on the property in the early morning and the evening hours. A bird watcher's paradise!

The Cabin is located only 5 minutes north of downtown Manistee, allowing for easy access to shopping and activities sponsored by our Victorian City. If you feel lucky, try the 'Little River Casino' just north of Manistee on US 31 & M 22.

One lower bedroom and an upper loft sleeps 6, with room for 2 more on a queen-size sofa/sleeper. Just bring personal belongings, beach towels & food, as everything else is provided; linens, bath towels, front deck, & back patio w/table & chairs, picnic table, gas grill, microwave, gas fireplace, cable TV/VCR and stereo.

It is a terrific place for kids to occupy themselves, explore by boat or canoe and learn about our natural environment. Our private lake is nearly a mile long and offers much to see in waterfowl and other wildlife. While those who would take a more casual approach can be reading and sunbathing on our spacious Lake Michigan beach. There is easy access to our Lake Michigan beach, as we are on low bank relative to the lake. The beach is spacious with a lot of privacy to the south along the Audubon property. Although the lake bottom topography changes continually, quite often you can find sandy bottom to swim fairly close to our lake access and deck.

The yard is very spacious. There is plenty of room to park your travel trailer, RV, boats or other. We welcome well-behaved pets.

We are Pet Friendly


More Details

Charlie Ganss
Member since: 2011
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 26, 2018

About Charlie Ganss

Retired businessman & sportsman, I spent my formative childhood through high school years in the immediate area participating in a multitude of outdoor activities. Attended college downstate as well as running a business for 30 years. I made plenty of trips up from metro Detroit to see family and friends, and share in outdoor activities. I actually worked through high school here at the old saw mill on the property as the assistant to the owner that was also a high school teacher here at Manistee High. I live in a residence on the property, adjacent to but out of sight from the rental cabin. I am around if you need, but other wise leave you to your privacy. I suffered an accident shortly after purchasing this property and wound up wheelchair bound. In spite of that I get around pretty well here to maintain things.

Charlie Ganss purchased this cabin in 1999

Why Charlie Ganss chose Manistee

As I explained above, this is my home town. I had the opportunity to purchase this property, and was thrilled to have the opportunity. As the saw mill operator's hand here, I had the run of the property, great memories mainly on Bar Lake as kids. The property is uniquely situated as you will find out, with a year-around home and a seasonal guest cabin located on a parcel with a large section of wetlands, and adjacent to the Lake Bluff Michigan Audubon Society. I have rented the cabin on the property since purchasing it, so I have things pretty well worked out after 15 years.


Manistee Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1200 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Family
  • Activities Guide
  • Air Conditioning
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Fireplace
  • Linens Provided
  • Local Restaurant Guide
  • Parking
  • Parking Off Street
  • Sofa Bed
  • Telephone
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishwasher
  • Freezer
  • Grill
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Full 1 - toilet , shower
  • Extra outdoor facilities can be supplied upon request for larger party events.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 2 double , 1 sleep sofa /futon , Queen
  • Main floor bedroom with queen. Living room sofa sleeper with queen. Upstairs loft with (2) double beds.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • CD Player
  • DVD Player
  • Radio
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo
  • Television
  • VCR
  • Beach Chairs
  • Boat
  • Boat Dock
  • Boat with Paddles
  • Canoe
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Patio
  • Walkway to Water
  • Wood Deck
  • 12 garden chairs
  • 8 beach chairs
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • coin laundry
  • forests
  • library
  • live theater
  • marina
  • museums
  • playground
  • pond
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • roller blading
  • sailing
  • scuba diving or snorkeling
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • surf fishing
  • swimming
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing
Other Activities: Dock with a rowboat and canoe are included for use on a private lake, Private deck on Lake Michigan with a long section of sandy, scarcely used shoreline/beach, Scenic Lakeshore Rd. bike path winds along Lake Michigan, Audubon Society Center and Nature Trails boarder the southern property line for a 1/4 of a mile and are within a couple minutes walk, Terrific bird watching on the property with frequent sightings of Bald Eagles, The Cabin is located only 5 minutes north of downtown Manistee, allowing for easy access to shopping and activities, The ‘Little River Casino’ is just 10 minutes from the cabin.


Excellent! 4.6/5 -
(9 traveler reviews)

66% Complete
22% Complete
11% Complete
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Comfort in Natural Surroundings
average rating of 4.5555553 based on 9 reviews

Perfect Labor Day Weekend Getaway

  • 5 of 5

Couldn't have asked for a better stay at the Old Mill Cabin! We will definitely be returning in the future if all goes to plan.

I booked this trip last minute for labor day weekend and I now feel so it wasn't spoken for. My girlfriend and our Golden Retriever Sadie enjoyed everything about this place; the privacy, the cabin, Bar Lake, the proximity to Lake Michigan and Downtown Manistee. We also really liked the nice walking path to the private deck on Lake Michigan. The beach was very private and was the perfect combination of sandy and rocky.

We pretty much covered it all on this trip. Swimming in lake Michigan with Sadie, fishing on bar lake, cocktails on the private deck for sunsets, late night S'mores on the campfire, gazed at the Milky Way from the dock and even found a few Petoskey's! We had to pretty much drag Sadie out of the Lake when we left. She had the run of the land the entire trip and loved playing with Charlie's dog Duncan.

The cabin was very clean and comfortable. The few things that we forgot were already in the kitchen when we arrived. The A/C unit in the main bedroom was nice the last night (hot and humid). It was very nice to have the whole cabin to ourselves, but plenty more people could stay here comfortably if needed.

Charlie could not have been more accommodating and it was a great pleasure meeting and chatting with him. He made sure we were comfortable and had everything needed (and then some). I hope sometime soon I can own such a beautiful piece of property in Northern Michigan.

If you're looking for a quiet rustic getaway, with just the right amount of modern amenities and a short walk to the beach, this is the perfect place.

  • Submitted: Sep 11, 2015
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: HomeAway
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1 0

Love it!

  • 5 of 5

I am a return renter of Old Mill cabin and will continue to rent for years to come. Every time I have rented there has been 7-8 adults staying there for a long weekend and found that there is plenty of room. We all love the cabin cozy feeling it has and it is very inviting. With the lake right across the street it is a beautiful destination. Now if you are used to a large rental with all the basic needs of being at home you may find it a bit lacking in space BUT when I go up to northern Michigan I love having that quaint cozy feeling in the woods. I think its perfect and not to mention there is lots to do and see in the area. An I would like to add that it is definitely not lacking in amenities, everything from the gas grill to the frosted mugs in the freezer! :) Definitely returning!


  • Submitted: Apr 21, 2015
  • Stayed: September 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
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1 0
Chicago, Illinois

Old Mill Cabin

  • 3 of 5

Just returned from a weeks stay at this property. There were 6 adults--we found it crowded. The bathroom is tiny. The kitchen had very little space to put groceries and the pans were small and old. The pictures posted are not recent and make the place seem bigger than it actually is. The dock out the front door extends to a very small section of the lake that is shallow, mucky and full of weeds and the only fish seen were an inch long or smaller. Since the water level was low, you had to get out of the row boat and drag it through shallow water to access the main part of the lake. We caught zero fish and never actually saw any. We learned from locals that due to the intensely cold winter and shallowness of the lake that no no fishes it because there aren't any fish. Since we chose this rental specifically to go fishing--it was a big disappointment. We had to drive to various locations to fish. The one bedroom smelled moldy, especially if the air conditioner was running. The deck on Lake Michigan is a 4-5 minute walk away and it is small and old with trees encroaching. The end of the trail dropped onto the beach, which is not private as there are houses on each side of the deck. The road can be seen from the front porch as well as the cars driving by. On the bright side-the owner, Charlie, is very nice and accommodating and offered to put a boat in the main lake from another dock. He has chickens and other fowl that run around during the day as well as other critters. The cabin is decorated with interesting items--if you are looking for rustic-this is the place to stay.

  • Submitted: Aug 23, 2014
  • Stayed: August 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Based on Judy’s critique of the cabin, I am somewhat relieved that she awarded us a positive rating of 3 stars. However a response from me is appropriate in regard to a few valid issues. In the period of 14 years renting the cabin, things in her review have never or rarely been mentioned, or others with minimal emphasis. I try hard to address the issues important to a quality stay. My primary concerns are cleanliness and safety issues, as well as other common sense corrections and modifications that result in a fulfilling stay. - We did find that there was a leak involving the outdoor shower caused a slight moldy smell that has been corrected. A mere mention of this condition would have brought my immediate response. - We have found the cabin to be comfortable and spacious. However three or more folks in the kitchen or bathroom can be space limiting. We have had over 15 folks comfortably seated within the living room and adjacent dining area for gatherings. - The listing photos are representative of the cabin and property historically based on comments from renters. It is important that the cabin is represented accurately to our guests. - There is validity regarding the lake condition issues. I spoke with a fish biologist at Michigan DNR, and he explained that the poor fishing is a common problem this year due to a significant fish-kill from a deep, long winter freeze of the lakes in the mid-west. The biologist said that it will rebound within several years, or we could possibly restock some fish through DNR programs. - Another fact is that there is very little flat beach area along Lake Michigan shores this year due to a significant increase in water level. The higher water encroaches on the vegetated sand dunes resulting in less flat beach, but an increase in private dune area along the shore, especially to the south where we border Lake Bluff Audubon’s shoreline. This situation is subject to change annually. I understand that we have just gained about 5’ of flat beach to the waterline due to wave action. - Lake Michigan is about a 150 yard walk from the cabin that can be made in as little as a minute or two. - Lastly, although vehicles can be noticed driving along Lakeshore Rd., complaints are rare about due to cabin’s spacious yard and the privacy afford here. I appreciate the opportunity to respond to Judy’s comments, thank her for her opinion on issues that can be improved, and invite her back to do it again, only better. Charlie Ganss
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2 0
Lansing, MI

A little slice of heaven

  • 4 of 5

The property is as listed and it is very clean. The owner, Charlie, is very easy to work with. When I say: "Little slice of heaven"...what I referred to is the fact that just across the street, Charlie has a semi-private beach on Lake Michigan. So, on one hand, you get a "rustic" place for your fire...row boat to a decent fishing lake, kayak...on the other, Lake Michigan Beach within walking distance. Could not be more perfect. There is a very nice outdoor shower too as well as cable TV. There is a window air conditioner in the bedroom. We visited on the hottest week of the summer, the cabin got warm, however, there is also a nice ceiling fan and an exit window fan so had it not been 90-95 degrees, we would have been fine without central air. There are also various chickens, turkeys, black squirrels and birds to watch. Very fun vacation spot close to everything in Manistee as well. Good for you, Charlie, for creating this down to earth spot for enjoyment and thanks!

  • Submitted: Aug 3, 2013
  • Stayed: July 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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7 0
margate, florida

great place for people and the dogs!!

  • 5 of 5

I stayed here with my 2 dogs in May 2013 for a little beach and hiking get away. The place is very nice with a great location. It is well equipped, everything in working order, clean and steps away from the beach and hiking trails. A few minute drive to town where there are several restaurants and stores. The owners are very nice and very accomodating as well. Our favorite part though was the beach and the hiking. The property was great, the dogs enjyed having the run of the place. If you are looking for a pet friendly place, this is it. You are minutes away from Nordhouse Dunes which is one of the top pet friendly beaches in Michigan, but with your own beach just steps from your cabin with miles of beach we had to ourselves at the time, we spent most of our time there. Our only regret was we couldn't stay longer

  • Submitted: Jun 7, 2013
  • Stayed: May 2013
  • Source: HomeAway
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5 0
South Bend, In

Wonderful, relaxing vacation

  • 5 of 5

Loved, loved, loved this place. Perfect location, isolated, yet close to downtown shops, casino, walking trails. Fishing was awesome out on Bar lake, caught enough blue gills/perch/bass to take some home. There was lots of wood cut for the fire pit. Plenty of pots and pans/dishes. Charlie was the perfect host, available to answer any questions if needed. Already planning for 2 weeks next fall. 1 week went by way too quickly.

  • Submitted: Sep 9, 2012
  • Stayed: August 2012
  • Source: HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
5 Miles
Manistee County Blacker Airport
Car: recommended

Other Activities: shopping, kayaking, wildlife viewing, miniature golf, shuffleboard, bird watching, Lakeshore Rd. bike path, casino. Pets are welcome!


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $300
Cleaning $0

Summer season (Memorial Day to Labor Day) $1,500/wk to $2,000/wk;
Spring & Fall seasons: From $178.50/night with two night minimum;
Three-day (two-night) weekends: $357-$430.00
Dates Available: April through November

Half rental fee required to reserve, with balance due upon arrival. Provide a separate refundable damage fee of $300.00 on arrival.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Please ask the owner or check their rental agreement when booking the property.

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