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

Tricks Retreat, cabins, clear sandy sports lake, kids, pets, boating, fishing

Bedrooms 2
Space 800 sq. ft.
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 7 nights


About the property

Front Cabins, sleep 5-7 in beds plus pull out w/1 Bath, Lodge sleeps 7-12 1 Bath

Nestled in the pines, down a two track lane are these enchanting rustic cabins sitting on the banks of Birch Lake. Located just minutes from Elk Rapids, Traverse City, Charlevoix and Schuss Mountain and Shanty Creek. Turtle Creek Casino is only 20 minutes away. Boat, water ski, fish and swim beautiful Birch Lake surrounded by nature at it's best. No TV, No Phone, just you and the nature around you. Perfect for the affordable family vacation! Available by the night in early and late season, by the week in the summer.

Close to Elk Lake, Torch Lake and the entire Chain of Lakes. Access up to 9 lakes connected by rivers with just one boat ride. Make sure and visit the Famous Torch Lake Sandbar and the south end of Torch Lake. Where locals and vacationers gather to visit and have fun.

Discounted rates in October

Pet friendly with $50 of $100 pet fee refundable if you clean up after your pet, neighbors are not pet friendly so you will need to contain your pet while here.

More Details

Member since: 2010
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 24, 2017

About Cindy

I live in the Florida Keys but spent my childhood summers on Elk Lake and look forward all year to returning to Birch and Traverse bay region in the summer!

Cindy purchased this cabin in 2008

Why Cindy chose Northern Michigan

These cabins reminded me of nearby Camp Maplehurst. The idea here is for multiple families to vacation together without having to share space for living all of the time, this spot will take you back to summer camp or the roadside individual cabins of the 50's and 60's.

What makes this cabin unique

One of the best attributes of Birch Lake is its clear, sandy bottom, perfect for little ones to play in while also being all sports lake. It is also a shallow lake which tends to make it warmer for kids (and adults!) You can fish, water ski or just float in Birch Lake!


Elk Rapids Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
  • Housekeeper Included
Floor Area:
  • 800 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy: 10
  • non smoking only ...
  • pets considered ...
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome ...
Location Type:
  • Beach
  • Beachfront ...
  • Lake
  • Lakefront ...
  • Resort
  • Rural
  • Town
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Alarm Clock
  • Basic Soaps
  • Ceiling Fans
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace ...
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Laundry Soap
  • Linens Provided ...
  • Paper Towels
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Sofa Bed
  • Toilet Paper
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Wood Fireplace ...
  • Wood Stove ...
  • 4 Ring Stove
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Grill
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Pantry Items
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 6 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Full 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower , shower
  • Each cabin has shower and toilet and sink. Lodge has combination tub and shower. Lodge has only laundry facilities.
  • 2 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Lodge - 2 queen , 5 twin/ single
    Red cabin - 1 queen , 1 double , 3 twin/ single
    Yellow cabin - 1 queen , 3 twin/ single , 1 sleep sofa /futon
  • Rent one cabin or all three! Front two cabins are 600 sf and sleep 5 in beds, 7 if you count the pull out queen couch. Main bed in front cabins is a full sized bed and kids bedroom has bunk beds with a trundle bed. Lodge is 800 sf and has queen sized bed with queen sized pull out couch. Lodge has bunk beds and a day bed along with two more trundle beds. Loft in Lodge has single bed and can sleep few extra kids in sleeping bags. Loft to be used only under adult supervision. See picture of ladder to loft in photo gallery.
  • Audio Tape Player
  • Books
  • Books for Kids
  • CD Player
  • Games
  • Games for Kids
  • Music Library ...
  • Radio
  • Stereo
  • Toys
  • Beach Chairs
  • Beach Towels
  • Boat Dock
  • Boat with Paddles
  • Canoe
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Inflatable Boat
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Outdoor Grill
  • Porch / Veranda
  • Raft
  • Sand Box
  • Screen Porch / Veranda
  • Walkway to Water
  • Wood Deck
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • autumn foliage
  • churches
  • cinemas
  • forests
  • library
  • marina
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • theme parks
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • beachcombing
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • eco tourism
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • paddle boating
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • laundromat
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hot air ballooning
  • hunting
  • jet skiing
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • rafting
  • sailing
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • snowboarding
  • snowmobiling
  • sound/bay fishing
  • surfing
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
  • wind-surfing
Gas stove in yellow cabin on thermostat. Wood stove in red cabin. Lodge has enclosed fireplace. All three cabins have charcoal grill and fire pit. Smoking outdoors only.


Wonderful! 4.8/5 -
(9 traveler reviews)

Tricks Retreat, cabins, clear sandy sports lake, kids, pets, boating, fishing
average rating of 4.7777777 based on 9 reviews

A nice cottage but had a few problems

  • 3 of 5

The cabin we stayed at on Birch Lake was large and fully equipped to accommodate a group of about 6-7 people even though it said that it slept 10. There was only one large bed and the others were twin size, couches or an air mattress in the loft. There was plenty of space. The area itself was very peaceful and quiet. The problems I had was that the oven stopped working half way through our week and I also felt that the cabin was not very clean. There is too much "stuff" in the cabin which gives it an unattractive look. I think that if the cabins get a thorough cleaning and some of the stuff that is not needed gets removed, it will look more appealing. There are plenty of games and activities to keep children busy but many of the games were missing pieces. Book are there for reading pleasure but they need to be updated. It seems that people just leave what they don't want to take home at the cabin. The price is right for a week stay there and the local towns do offer a lot to do.

  • Submitted: Jul 13, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for your candid review, we hope you understand that getting a stove fixed in family owned cabins with no on site manager can be challenging. With your friends who stayed last year being in the cabin next to you with a working stove, and the grills and fire places, we were thankful you would be less uncomfortable about the delay in getting Sears to fix the stove. Your point about the beds is also true, the lodge is more of a bunk house than an stately log cabin, It can sleep 9 in real beds, no air mattresses, if you count the memory foam pull out couch and 10 if you count the extra comfortable couch next to it. In addition, the trundle beds can be raised to sit next to the single bed next to it. We only mention the extra room because kids do adore the upstairs loft area that is not counted in the real bed count. Each week, our team of family and friends do the best we can to clean out the dust and the old games, pamphlets and books. There were family friends in the lodge after your stay and they did see all of those well loved games that need to be tossed because of missing pieces. We will be happy to make an effort to thin out the old items to make our mini lodge appear bigger!
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0 0
Plymouth, Indiana

Tricks Retreat is my family's home away from home.

  • 5 of 5

These cabins, and vacationing "Up North", have become some of the most meaningful times for my family. There is nothing more enjoyable than seeing the joy my father gets from doing his various projects around the property and then getting to see him sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of his labor. Not only does he get to enjoy it, we all get to enjoy it as friends and family gather for great quality time spent TOGETHER without the interference from TV, computers, video games, & cell phones, even when we bring them we rarely use them. The board games get used as the grandkids sit around and beat Papa at Sorry & Battleship, the kitchen table is actually used for gathering at meal time, the back decks get used as a place for adults to gather for a cocktail and chat while the kids enjoy their time swimming and paddle boarding, and the fire pits get used for late night s'mores, stars & story/joke telling. There really is just nothing about this place to complain about! I am so thankful Tricks Retreat has become the place that my family will continue making memories for many years to come!!!

  • Submitted: Nov 26, 2014
  • Stayed: Oct 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Your experiences at Tricks ReTreat are exactly what we were after when we decided to start renting these 1950's cabins again. A place for families to get together and be a family!!! Thanks for sharing your experience, we are so glad you plan to return every year!
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1 0

We enjoyed our stay at tricks retreat, great place

  • 5 of 5

Tricks retreat is just like the photos shown on website, great location for us, can visit Lake Michigan, elk rapids, traverse city, or just stay there swim, boat or fish. Have 3 kids so always something for them to explore. We enjoyed, the up north feel. Was wi-fi free, great for us, kids found other ways to entertain.

  • Submitted: Nov 24, 2014
  • Stayed: Jul 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Great! So glad you enjoyed the rustic, find-ways-to-entertain-yourself-feel that we enjoy at Tricks ReTreat! Cool that some folks enjoy technology not making it back that far in the woods. Of course, if you have to connect to the real world there is that great Java Cafe internet spot in Elk Rapids, 3 miles away. Please come back and enjoy nature at Tricks ReTreat again soon!
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0 0

Birch Lake 2014

  • 5 of 5

Birch Lake is beautiful - the lake itself, and the cabin we stayed in was great. There are a group of cabins that have been restored to close to their original built version - knotty pine walls, old time fridge, wood furnace. Kids have bunks in their room and parents have the other, w/ kitchen and living area together. Most of our time was spent outside though, playing in the lake, paddle boarding, canoeing or swimming. The lake is sandy bottom, and shallow for a very far distance, so the kids can play for hours! We've been four years now - and have stayed in each cabin, the yellow twice, and the red and lodge the other times. They're all charming, w/ the lodge being a little bit larger, however, doesn't lose it's quaint cabin feel. Shopping and going out to dinner or ice cream (every night!) in Elk Rapids and Traverse City is always fun too. This is a tradition our family treasures, and we can't wait to go back next year!!

  • Submitted: Nov 23, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Wow! We are so glad that Trick's ReTreat continues to meet your needs every year and that you want to return again and again! Let us know if there are any things we can do to make your stay even more memorable!
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0 0
Plymouth, IN

Very relaxing getaway!!!!

  • 5 of 5

Absolutely love this place. Kids enjoyed the paddleboards and toys on the lake. Adults had a great time visiting Turtle Creek Casino. Everyone loved the shopping downtown Elk Rapids, Traverse City, and of course the Asylum. Even the canine family member enjoyed this vacation! :) Thank you so much for a wonderful week of fun, relaxation, sightseeing, and most of all family memories!

  • Submitted: Nov 12, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: We could not be happier that all of the family was happy at Tricks ReTreat, even your 4 pawed members! Please let us know if there is anything the property manager can do to make your stay even more enjoyable next time that you stay with us!!!!!
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0 0

Wonderful retreat for weekend getaway

  • 5 of 5

Great cabins! More than I ever expected.The lake has a great sandy bottom. Very peaceful. Close to Traverse City and Lake Michigan. My kids keep asking if we can go every year. Highly recommend!

  • Submitted: Nov 3, 2014
  • Stayed: Aug 2014
  • Source: HomeAway
Owner's Response: Glad you enjoyed and want to return! Please let us know what we can do to hasten your return!
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0 0


Car: necessary

5 mins North of Elk Rapids on beautiful clear sandy all-sports Birch lake! This great little cabin complex from the 50's enables big groups to do vacations together with private cabins for three families. Two front cabins sleep 5 in beds with queen sofa sleeper allowing for two more stowaways. Main Lodge sleeps 7 in beds with queen sofa sleeper and loft for extra people. Available with linens, beach towels and warm blankets. Main Lodge has washer and dryer. Available for weekly rentals Saturday to Saturday between Memorial day and Labor Day. Before and during Memorial day and during and after Labor day, we rent for the weekend with discounts for adding extra days. All sports Birch lake allows for a full range of water activites. Canoe, paddleboards, swim rafts and three docks on the premises. One half mile north of Elk Lake, Birch lake is nestled between East Traverse bay and Torch lake, right in the middle of all that this water playground has to offer!


Rates & Availability

Elk Rapids Cabin Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
My Standard Rate
7 night minimum stay

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $100
Refundable damage deposit $300
cleaning fee $65

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 90 days before arrival date.
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