This *highly* secluded off-grid eco-retreat is the only development on a 450-acre peninsula of property bordered by the Crooked River, home to landlocked salmon, trout, and southern Maine's drinking water supply. A quiet getaway for solitude seekers.
*May 1--Oct 31 rate: $100 per night.
**Nov 1--April 30 rate: $85 per weeknight; $95 per weekend night.
This 200 sq ft tiny house has a finished, fully-insulated interior with pickled pine v-match walls and various finds from resale stores and internet sites. For those who are not afraid to "rough it" without electricity and fend for themselves, desire respite, exploration, and an eco-friendly simplistic retreat, this is definitely your kind of place. A stay at the tiny house is somewhere between pitching a tent and glamping, but with lots of personal character and space maximization. There is--without a doubt--no other place like it. The woodstove is user-friendly, and it usually takes under 30 minutes for the house to be comfortable. Summers are generally breezy, hot, and the windows have screens to keep the bugs out. Great winter sledding and rock hunts in the gravel pits down the road, and exceptional summer river floating when the water is running high--a 20 minute walk will bring you to a stretch of the river that will have you spending just over an hour drifting on back to the house. The river itself is great for fly fishing and exploration, and is full of small swimming holes to skinny dip or bathe, pending guests' seasonal timing and their ability to withstand the sheer clean and cold refreshment that is the Crooked River. A hand pump operated outdoor shower is available. With the closest neighbor about a half mile (as the crow flies), it is easy to rest quietly or see the night sky. While the house can accommodate 4 (a full-sized pullout couch downstairs and queen-sized bed upstairs), the house is perfectly cozy for 2 to share. If 4 people were looking for a place to crash after skiing all day in Bethel (for instance), this would work out nicely. In the late spring, summer, and early fall, there is an unheated, insulated guest house (8 x 10) with a full-sized futon/bed accommodation. Kitchen has a cooler box, sink basin, propane cooktop, and is stocked with pots, pans, self serve dry-goods (including teas, cocoa, & coffees), and spices. Dog-friendly with lots of space to romp freely. Fire pit outside.
For folks traveling north or south via I-95, the house is approximately 40 minutes from the Gray, Maine exit. It's also 15 minutes from Norway, and 20 minutes from both Bethel and Bridgton--all offering most major services. Norway and Bridgton both have cute-sy food coops with a major grocer (Hannaford). The edge of the White Mountain National Forest is just five miles down the road. When the snow is gone, there is a hidden key to raise a private entrance gate accessing the gravel road for car travel; past the driveway, the road dead-ends at a series of small gravel pits. In snow and ice, there is parking near the bottom of the road, meaning it's a 20-minute walk, ski, or snowshoe to get to the house; the parking spaces are plowed, but the road is not. Guests are welcome to explore the river and the 450 acres surrounding the property; however, ATV use is prohibited.
Interaction with Guests
There are no other guests near the house, except for various wildlife cruising through the remote area.
There is a store, Melby's Eatery, 2 miles away with excellent diner food, sandwiches, homemade pizzas, and even movie rentals if you want to bring a computer and cozy up. They'll even let you charge your batteries and phones, etc., while you eat. Owners are very gay-friendly, and own a small gas station just before the store. There's also a pretty cool bison farm just beyond Melby's that is owned by some great progressive types that we've come to refer to as neighbors. Marta's bakery--nextdoor to that--is the real European deal (and mostly just open in the summer). Basically, there's things to do and places to explore if getting shacked up makes you antsy or you just desire to hit up some local flavors. Most people arrive at the house with bigger plans but just end up staying in....
No public transportation. You really need a vehicle to at least arrive at Hersey Road.
Other Things to Note
There are a multitude of games, puzzles, and magazines at the house, and a few bird feeders if you like watching Bird TV. That said, in choosing to stay here, you are responsible for yourself and your own quality of experience; if you need to be entertained, this space is not for you.
1. No smoking.
2. Pack it in, pack it out.
3. No standing on ANY of the furniture.
4. Leave the house equally as nice or nicer than how you found it.
5. Upon confirmation of reservation, I will email specific directions and instructions with a list of items you may want to bring. You are responsible for reviewing the information.
6. Please be respectful.
We had a great time staying at the Crooked River Tiny House. Lon provided plenty of instructions and correspondence before our stay.
We drove from Boston on Friday night and the house and property were a perfect getaway to escape the city. A highlight was waking up in the lofted bedroom which gets wonderful morning light.
The Crooked River was a short walk from the property, and though it was too cold for a swim, it would be a good place for a summer dip.
I can't recommend this place enough, we had an awesome weekend and I hope to go back.
Our entire experience at the tiny house was wonderful. Our dog was happy, and therefore, we were happy. You're probably going to bring too much stuff - the house is very well stocked! Tamari? Organic coconut oil? Dog treats? Really?! It was lovely and the area surrounding it is quiet and fun to explore. Lon is a very thoughtful host. Our visit was exactly what we needed.
I booked the Crooked River Tiny house because I've been looking into building/buying one and wanted to experience staying in one and also get ideas. That was a really good move. It helped me make some decisions about dimensions, materials, toilets, wood stove and loft (website hidden) also gave me great ideas for furniture, showers, recycled materials and storage spaces. My stay was an education and Lon was (seemed to be;) thrilled to answer questions and load me up with information to take with me. If you are thinking of building a tiny home Lon is an inspiration… Not to mention the place was just plain ol' awesome!
We had the most amazing weekend at the Crooked River Tiny House. The surrounding the cabin is beautiful and quiet. The cabin itself is quaint and fun but also well insulated and well outfitted with supplies. There is absolutely no one around, so we were able to let our dog roam the grounds without worrying at all. Lon made everything easy for us with instructions and made himself available for any questions (we didn't have any). I am eager to come back!
Crooked River Tiny House was the most wonderful place to spend three nights as a birthday retreat gift to myself. The first morning I woke up there, there was a fresh blanket of snow and the world was sparkling and bright, and I was tucked inside the tiny house with the wood stove going, watching the birds at the many bird feeders outside the large windows. The cargo sled was the perfect size for me to carry in supplies alone (it was about a 20 minute walk in the snow) and I was able to leave the cooler that Lon provided outside with perishables. Lon also provided nuts and seeds, rice, beans, and pasta and a few canned goods. It made for some super yummy meals at the Tiny House!
Lon, loved the tiny house. It was exactly what we hoped it would be. Had a really great time with my square dance partner, now girlfriend. Hope she didn't get sick of me after 2 days on our own out there. The location is great, super peaceful, and you did a great job on the house. Really creative hidden shelves and storage. It just makes sense. Good use of old reused materials. That needs to be done more often. I can't even tell you how much waste we carpenters create when we're rebuilding a home. I would save it all if I had a place to put it. Anyways love what you did, feel privileged to be a visitor, and hope to someday build something similar.
I can't say enough about how wonderful it was to spend three days at the Crooked River Tiny House. Lon was a wonderful host: helpful, communicative, totally welcoming. Both the house itself and the lovely spot where it is situated are magical, and being there on my own this week was utterly restorative. I'm so grateful to Lon for sharing this place: I'm already looking forward to my next visit.
After years of hopping from one long-term housesitting gig to another around the Portland, Maine area, I knew I needed to do something to create a more stable home and creative space for myself. I found this 3.5 acre parcel of waterfront property online, visited it on a dark and dreary fall day, and immediately knew this space was for me. After being laid off the following year, I was determined to hold onto the property and build a tiny [affordable] house to live in. With no previous building experience, I attended a 2-day framing workshop via Vermont Tiny Houses, and with the help of Youtube and library books, I managed to construct a 200 sq foot home. Full of Goodwill finds and Habitat Restore deals, I have worked hard to furnish a space that feels relaxing and full of idiosyncratic surprises without the clutter. I have recently been accepted into a graduate school in Portland, ME, and to help pay my property mortgage for the duration of my program, I'm sharing my home to those looking for a simple getaway or place to crash while exploring western Maine.