Now You Can Stay in a Treehouse in Michigan
Our neighbors had a treehouse when I was young.
I remember picturing a magical, secret hideaway to play inside with my friends. We could be princesses in a castle or embark on grand adventures from The Magic Treehouse novels. Maybe I could even live there.
Now that Tree House Ridge in northern Michigan is open, my childhood dreams have come true!
With one treehouse available for rent, one in process, and eight more scheduled, this resort combines the beauty of nature with many of the comforts of home.
This pairing of childhood imagination combined with modern amenities (indoor plumbing, furniture, and electricity) is just what the kid in me – and our family – needed for a weekend adventure.
*Some of the links below are affiliate links. Tree House Ridge, LLC hosted our visit. All opinions are my own. We earn a small amount if you book using our links. This helps us pay our employees and keep bringing great family content your way. Thank you for your support!
Where Is Tree House Ridge?
Tree House Ridge is located outside of Traverse City in northern Michigan, in Thompsonville.
It’s about three hours north of Kalamazoo or two hours from Grand Rapids.
For Crystal Mountain fans, it’s a quick drive to the popular skiing destination.
Tree House Ridge: The Experience
Treehouse Quick List
- Sleeps 4-6
- Air Conditioning and Heat
- Large, Outdoor Balcony
- Washer and Dryer in Unit
- FireplaceHandicap Accessible
- Open Year Round – Good homebase for Crystal Mountain skiing
- Coming Soon: Wi-Fi
THE TREEHOUSE PROPERTY
Upon arrival at Tree House Ridge, it was immediately clear that the owners worked to preserve every inch of Mother Nature during construction.
Standing near the treehouse, we were enveloped by the forest; even the treehouse balcony was built around the trees so that they now appear to grow through the floor.
In addition to being beautiful, the grounds here provide many conveniences for guests.
- The treehouse entrance uses a large, wheelchair-accessible ramp. It was sturdy and easy for our toddler to navigate safely.
- There is a poured patio at the bottom of the ramp with a firepit.
- Tree House Ridge provides firewood and lighters for guests.
- The treehouse balcony offers ample seating and a grill. Access is provided by large, glass doors from the living area inside.
INSIDE THE TREEHOUSE
Step inside a Tree House Ridge treehouse and you’ll find an immaculate, cozy studio apartment nestled in nature.
The unit features 500 square feet of space with two queen beds, loveseat, reclining chair, dining table and two bar seats. Air mattresses, pack and plays and highchairs are available upon request.
As the treehouse is studio-style, the only separate room in this layout is the bathroom, which includes a stackable washer and dryer.
The kitchen, living, and sleeping areas are in one room.
The kitchen includes a refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, along with many small appliances and cooking utensils.
Convenience items like cooking spray, dish soap, and paper plates are also provided.
The bathroom is spacious and bright and includes a washer and dryer next to the shower.
We placed the pack and play in the bathroom for nap time for our toddler, allowing us to close the door and give her a quiet space to rest.
Tree House Ridge was a fantastic experience for our family and we think you would love to stay there too! Treehouses are available year-round.
Book the Treehouse
Tree House Ridge is on VRBO. Click the button to check availability.
More treehouses are being built, too, so check back as more treehouses come online as well.
HOW TREE HOUSE RIDGE CAME TO BE
Tree House Ridge is family-owned, operated and built!
Father-son duo Fred and Jess Knoll combined their building and engineering skills to create the treehouses at this resort.
Along with their wives, Patty and Ashlee, and a love of the tv show Treehouse Masters, the Knolls will continue to grow this rustic retreat in northern Michigan. They plan to have ten treehouses available for rent by 2023.
Learn more about the Knolls and their treehouse dreams here.
Things to Do at Tree House Ridge
Take in the Views from the Balcony
Each treehouse includes a large balcony with patio furniture to dine outside. I spent my mornings here with a cup of coffee.
Have a Bonfire
This bonfire station is just outside of the treehouse, and a perfect spot to finish off the night after a day of exploring. Our stay included a s’mores kit to enjoy.
Tree House Ridge also provides wood and lighters.
Settle in with Pizza and a Movie
During a rainstorm while visiting, we opted for a pizza and some movie time. Tree House Ridge provided a variety of DVDs and we ordered pizza from Papano’s Pizza, which was only 10 minutes away.
Tip: Bring some DVDs from home if you have a few favorites. Cable and Wi-Fi are in process of being set up, but are not available yet.
Things to Do Near Tree House Ridge
Tree House Ridge’s location is optimal for northern Michigan activities: fishing, hiking, hunting, skiing and canoeing are all within a short distance.
#1 – Michigan Legacy Art Park
7300 Mountainside Drive, Thompsonville, MI 49683
A short drive will bring you to a hidden gem tucked away on the grounds of Crystal Mountain Resort: Michigan Legacy Art Park.
This 30-acre wooded preserve combines art and hiking in a truly unique experience. For those familiar with Art Prize in Grand Rapids, picture those art pieces dropped in the middle of northern Michigan woods. Hikers can opt for multiple trails of varying lengths; the total distance is less than two miles.
Each piece has a sign providing information on the artwork and its creator.
Placement of the art installations is very intentional here: this massive barn chair invites visitors to take in the sights of the Betsie River Valley.
Barn Chair, Gary Kulak
This labyrinth was a favorite for our first grader as he felt like he was climbing a giant fort.
Admission is $5 for adults; kids are free. If you don’t have cash you can pay online.
Tip: Baby wearing is a must if you have little ones. The trails are rustic and steep; a jogging stroller would not work here.
#2 – Crystal Mountain Resort Activities
12500 Crystal Mountain Dr, Thompsonville, MI 49683
Also at Crystal Mountain: a ton of activities for any season.
Winter: Downhill skiing, fat tire biking, horse-drawn wagon rides, and more.
Summer: Outdoor waterpark, mountain coaster, golf, archery tag & a whole host of activities.
#3 – Grab a Home Cooked Meal at Rosie’s Country Café
17230 Cadillac Hwy, Thompsonville, MI 49683
Although the treehouse includes a full kitchen, we were on vacation and wanted someone else to cook for us. Rosie’s Country Café is nearby and provides delicious comfort food that feels like eating at home.
Be sure to save room for their from scratch blueberry pie.
#4 – Spend Time in Traverse City
Traverse City is a short drive away and is where you’ll find the “big city” amenities.
Shops, restaurants, beaches, kayaking and seasonal outdoor adventures are offered year round.
#5 – Explore Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
While known for their warm, sandy visits, Sleeping Bear Dunes is a great destination for families in multiple seasons.
Definitely conquor the big dune climb. It’s a bucket list item!
Hiking the Empire Bluff Trail is another recommendation.
#6 – Drive the Leelanau Peninsula
Filled with charming little towns, wineries, and lots of hiking spots, the Leelanau Peninsula is an outdoor dream.
Flanked by Lake Michigan and West Grand Traverse Bay, the peninsula is blessed with an abundance of water views and beach stops. Rockhounds flock to beaches here.
Bike paths, campgrounds, sailboats – there is a getaway here with your name on it.