Welcome to the Shire in the Woods! Located in McGrath, Minnesota, we are tucked away in the heart of the Solana State Forest and have the Soo Line South Trail running right alongside us. Relax with a good book in front of a fireplace or take a stroll in the beautiful woods. The Shire can serve your family, friends, hold your next retreat, facilitate special groups and meetings, host a wedding, and more! Whatever your event, we will work with you to best serve your needs. The outdoors and especially the circle drive would be great for demonstrations or clinics with horses for example, or you can come and just be a hermit.
There are many things to do in and around the Shire. Enjoy wooded solitude and hiking in the Solana State Forest, kayaking in Banning State Park, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking, horseback riding, ATVing or snowmobiling on the Soo Line Trail and surrounding trails, or pick up a game of golf. Plan your next birding or photography adventure, or just enjoy the quiet sounds of nature as the many frogs and birds sing their melodies.
Feel free to look around our website for details,
photos of cabins, photos of the unique landscape,
and the beautiful and rich history!
Warm hospitality awaits you in the woods!
Also Remember to look at our Facebook page for daily updates and
Guest Comments & Experiences BELOW
"I am spending my first weekend at the Shire… I’ve been on the lookout for a place to escape the craziness of Minneapolis and know that I’ve found it. The charm of the cabins, owners, forest and all surroundings can’t be matched. I spent an entire weekend doing nothing and loved every minute of it. I hope more get to enjoy this “gem in the middle of nowhere”. Steve
"I have had a lovely weekend in the silence that surrounds this cabin. I’ve slept, built fires, stared out the window, read and I’ve written in my journal. I fell asleep at night looking at the stars through the window above the bed. My only regret is that I couldn’t stay three more nights! Thank you for being stewards and giving people the opportunity to experience “a little bit of heaven on earth”. Meridel"
"Thank you for this beautiful solitude and such a warm welcome. The ambiance and peaceful nature of this retreat is worth every penny and is healing unto itself. Keep up the good work."
"My first trip here was 8 – 10 years ago when it was the Dwelling. I found it peaceful, calming and healing. This round, I simply was looking for solitude, nature and time to relax, which is what I found. I liked my time in the Octagon reading and relaxing. Even though others were here, I rarely saw anyone. What an incredible gift. Lori"
"It was comforting to pull up and see the Loft again. It had been 3 years. I had searched online for the Dwelling and it seemed to have disappeared. Then, a few months ago, I searched again and there was the Shire in the Woods. It was back – new name, same place. I am thrilled. I now have my place back – where I go to get clear, reconnect with myself and nature and rejuvenate. Best of success here. Namaste. Nikki"
"We came here for one purpose and that was to get away, to disconnect from all of life’s advantages, to go back to a much simpler time and that is truly what this place is about. To sit and do nothing can be the most peaceful thing you can do, or take a walk or look at the trees – anything to get away. I am only 15 years old but I sure had fun just unwinding and I am sure you will too. Riley
"Such a beautiful and peaceful place. I came to write, listen and be. All were accomplished in this cozy space. My favorite – the sun shining on the birch trees against the deep blue sky. Breathtaking! Lee Ann"
"This past week is exactly what we needed…a week of nothing to get done except make coffee, wear pajamas and enjoy each other’s company. We felt surprisingly at home in our tiny cabin in the woods. Sad to leave but excited to see your son again and truly blessed to have stayed here this past week. Travis & Alexandra"
" …the morning sunrises were an excellent greeting to each day when viewed through the two massive windows. I am glad I discovered this place. Jonathan "
"From the friendly welcome to the peaceful silence of the woods, to the coziest cabin imaginable... this has been everything we had hoped for and more. So tempted to keep this special place a secret to ourselves but afraid we won’t be able to resist spreading the word. Kevin & Michelle"
"A beautiful winter getaway. We found peace and rest here in the woods. The trees were perfect and the forest enchanting... Gus & Maria"
"Thank you for providing this sanctuary. The peace and gentleness of the forest nurtured us. Lynne and Mary"
"You may never know the difference that was made in the world out of your providing us this space to enjoy and use in the service of spiritual awakening and transformation – the ripples will echo outward for generations to come. A"
"What a great place for a men’s retreat. Great space….warm hearts. Thanks. Steve "
"My first visit was over 15 years ago, before the main building was built. The property may have changed slightly but the peace and tranquility of the woods remains. I was happy to meet Mike who is an amazing presence. He and his staff are to be commended for maintaining this space for past Dwelling Hermits like myself, and future generations like my son, to enjoy for years to come. " Jennifer
"We admire the Shire. So quiet and serene. Snowshoeing, hikes with our friends and Ziggy (our cockapoo), hours by those amazing and hypnotic fires, and delicious food. Each building on the property has its own charm. So happy we found you so we could enjoy the “off the grid” Christmas of 2013! Scott and Maria"
"The Shire in the Woods is the perfect place for the grand finale for the International Humphrey Fellows at the U. of M. Law School. We shared experiences and had fun hiking in the snow and snowshoeing. Many thanks. Kristin"