Long Prairie, Minnesota

In the spring you can stand on the deck of Joyce LaVoie’s treehouse, some 15 to 20 feet above ground, and look up through the three strong oaks that support the little six-sided structure and see the returning wood ducks thread their way at high speed through the tips of the branches.

In the summer you can bask in the green glow of the oaks, maples and ash and listen to the screechy call of the tanager above and the sweet song of the wood thrush below you. In the fall you will be bathed in the light from the now golden leaves and may see a turkey troop parade through the forest below.

And in the winter you can go inside this bed & breakfast in the trees, light a fire in the silver and black potbelly stove, curl up in the cozy bed with the Amish quilt, and read bear stories. Or you can lay on your back, listen to the stove clicking as it warms, and study the patterns of the knotty pine paneling as you gently slip in and out of sleep and the snow falls silently past your window.

In spring, summer, fall or winter you will likely be woken by the sound of LaVoie’s footsteps on the stairs as she brings you steaming tea, chocolate or coffee and a tasty breakfast of fruit, muffins and cereal.

Guests from near and as far away as France have discovered the LaVoie’s treehouse above the Long Prairie River valley west of the town named after the river.

“People like to come to our drive-in theater in town and then stay the night here,” she said.

If guests do come in after the usual double feature at the Long Drive-in they will find the wide winding trail to the tree house lit by flickering candles, solar lights and perhaps a few fireflies.

During the night forest creatures may visit. One couple was watched over by a protective owl outside a window.

“One boy came with his grandparents. They had left their food on the deck,” LaVoie said. “He told me that he heard a noise and he got up to look out a window. It was a raccoon and he had a rice crispy bar! The child was delighted!”

To learn more about the Long Prairie Treehouse visit their Facebook page or contact Joyce LaVoie directly at (320) 732-0959.

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