If you’re looking to relive your youth, and spend the night 24 feet off the ground – Timber Ridge Outpost and cabins has just the treehouse for you! We spoke with Elizabeth from Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins, and she told us how her passion for tree houses got her here. Listen to our full interview here:
Camp Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins, Illinois
Camp Illinois: I’m talking to Elizabeth today. She is from Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins in Illinois. I’ve been excited about this call here, because ordinarily we just contact Parks that have tent camping, but you guys have tree house camping, and so we couldn’t resist the opportunity to chat with you guys. How’s it going this morning, Elizabeth?
Elizabeth: Oh, it’s doing great. It’s a beautiful fall morning in the Shawnee Forest.
CI: So, it looks like you have two tree houses there, and they look like a blast.
Elizabeth: They are. They are completely furnished. You’ve got everything you could possibly need; only you’re up in the canopy of the trees. One of them is a true suspended tree house. It is suspended 16 feet up between a red maple and a white oak over creek bed. And that one is perfect for two, but it will sleep four, and has a Sleep Number bed in the loft. And the larger tree house will sleep up to six, and it’s built in a 200-year-old white oak. That goes about 24 feet up. And all of our units have heating and air conditioning, and bathrooms and kitchens, and we supply pretty much everything except your food, your family, and charcoal if you want to grill out.
CI: Wow, that sounds like so much fun. What got you guys interested in building the tree houses?
Elizabeth: Lifelong admitted tree-hugger. Passion for tree houses. Always wanted one, and when we decided to go with the lodging in Hardin County here, you know, there were a few other lodging places, but we wanted to find something that was unique. And what better than to play off of a childhood fantasy than to build a couple of your own tree houses?
CI: Absolutely. Now, what are some of the most popular activities that people get engaged in when they’re hanging out on the property there for the weekend?
Elizabeth: Well, the closest lodging facility to Garden of the Gods, which, if anybody who’s ever seen pictures of the Shawnee National Forest, that’s the iconic photograph that you see. So, one of our biggest attractions of course is the Shawnee Forest and all the hiking, and activities and things there are to do here. On the resort itself, we do have a pond for fishing. We offer archery lessons. My husband is a 4-H Certified Archery Instructor, and so we give archery lessons to guests and play this great game called Archery Golf that everybody loves. This spring, we will be renting kayaks to people who want to just take them and go off into the Shawnee forest, into the little ponds and lakes that are tucked away, and really experience nature. There’s bicycle trails to do around here. We’re about an hour away from the great zipline. It’s the old tree-based zipline in the country. So, there are a lot of things to do. Horseback riding.
CI: That sounds like a lot of fun. What’s your favorite way to spend your time on the property there?
Elizabeth: Honestly, sitting on the deck in the trees, in the tree house, just relaxing. And I think probably 50% of the people that come here do nothing but sit and enjoy the sounds of the forest and relax in a very unique place.
CI: So, what if I want to come to the tree houses or even any of the cabins and I’ve got three kids and I’ve got, you know, two dogs? I imagine it’s hard to find a spot to stay. How does the property respond to that?
Elizabeth: We are extremely pet friendly and we are kid friendly. We have quite a few pets of our own, and they like to visit the guests, and the guests enjoy bringing their family pet with them. So, we’re very friendly to both.
CI: Great. I love it. Now, how would I go about reserving one of those? Are they booked out? I would imagine they’re booked out quite a ways in advance.
Elizabeth: Yes, especially the weekends. Obviously we’re going into a slower season now, so we have availability on the weekdays and that. But our website is TimerRidgeOutpost.com. We have an availability calendar there, so you can search any of the units. We also have two log cabins and we are putting up two more antique log cabins from the 1850s. One will be a rental in the spring. The other one will be the outpost store, where people can buy souvenirs and basic supplies and stuff, and that’s an old cabin from 1852. But on our website, you have an availability calendar. You can book online just like a regular hotel, and of course you’re always welcome to give us a call. There’s a gallery page with photographs, showing the inside and outside of all the units and around the property.
CI: Okay. Now, are those units available all winter?
Elizabeth: Yes, we are open year round. We have great discounts in the winter – January and February. Everything is 33% off, even on the weekends. And then, on our homepage of our website, we post the various specials over the next couple of months, and so you can see all of that. Just go onto our website.
CI: All right. Well, this is going to be a really fun post to offer to our visitors here with the tree houses and such. Thank you so much for chatting with us this morning, Elizabeth, about Timber Ridge Outpost and Cabins in Illinois.
Elizabeth: Well, thank you very much, and I hope, if anybody has any questions, they’ll give us a call.
CI: Will do. Thanks again.
Elizabeth: Thank you, have a great day.