Most Texans have been quarantined since mid-March and some folks are getting a little cabin fever. As Texas opens up, how about escaping to a cabin in the woods for a change of scenery?
There are two important things to consider when looking for a place to escape to:
1. That you can still social distance: meaning, you can cook in your own kitchen (not having to depend on restaurants or dining with others); you can be far enough away from others (i.e. a resort doesn’t work right now); you can be as remote as you want.
2. That you feel confident in the sanitizing of the property between guests.
So, in this series, we’ll bring you some locations that fit the bill for both of the above concerns and we’ll address those concerns. Our aim is to bring you a variety of choices spread around the Lone Star State.
This quaint and rustic cabin amidst the trees sits on three lots in an area of east Texas called Hidden Forest Lake (doesn’t it just sound perfect?), near the small town of Montgomery. The two-bedroom, two-bath A-frame cabin is surrounded by green grass, with large, shady trees and natural tree-lined borders to hide the neighbors’ homes. Best of all, for the anglers amongst us, the cabin sits across the street from Hidden Lake. (The non-swimming lake could also be called a pond!)
The homey cabin is equipped with a full kitchen including a refrigerator, oven, microwave and small dishwasher. A table for six serves as a spot for all meals, unless you choose to retreat to the great outdoors, as we recommend if the weather permits, and eat on the outdoor table with a view of the lake.
It’s a small floor plan but contains all the necessities, and sleeps 10. Downstairs, along with the kitchen, you’ll find a small bathroom (toilet and vanity only) and a small living area with a futon that could sleep two small people. There’s one TV in the cabin that can be found in the living area. Upstairs, you’ll find two bedrooms and a bathroom. One bedroom has two double beds; the other bedroom has a queen and a set of bunk beds, with a patio that faces the water.
Since quarantine began, the cabin’s cleaning routine has been enhanced and upgraded to include these steps:
• The cabin is aired out and disinfected top to bottom.
• All bedding, including bath towels, blankets, sheets, comforters and shams are deep cleaned and replaced with fresh linens.
• Bathrooms are completely disinfected and cleaned with soap, then disinfected with high-grade cleaning products.
• The kitchen is cleaned top to bottom with soap, then cleaned with disinfectant wipes and cleaners.
• Windows and curtains are disinfected. Windows are also cleaned.
• All carpets are cleaned and vacuumed several times.
• Hard floors are swept, then mopped.
• All furniture is disinfected.
• Front and back decks are disinfected, as is all outdoor furniture.
A typical nightly rate is around $175/night with a two night minimum. During peak season, rates may swing up to $250/night, but they also offer seasonal specials when possible.
If you’re looking for things to do other than reading, playing games or enjoying a meal with your family, there are several options. As I mentioned before, the lake is prime for fishing.
If you’re into hiking or biking (human-powered!), you will love the fact that the cabin is located within the Sam Houston National Forest. It is just over one mile from the cabin via the Little Lake Creek Loop Trail to the Lone Star Trail’s Trailhead #4. But it is also just a 2-3 minute drive to the trailhead parking lot from the cabin. The Little Lake Creek Wilderness is operated by Texas Parks & Wildlife just across the street from the trailhead.
You’ll also love the proximity to natural wildlife and the fully stocked private lake, which makes for wonderful fishing, kayaking and relaxation without need of a license. Don’t expect luxury, just a low-key cabin, perfectly situated to experience mother nature’s beauty and tranquility.
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Cover photo Randy Sumner
Marika Flatt is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She’s not used to staying put for so long, but happily did so for two months. She’s now enjoying “getting back out there” with her family of five. You can hear her “Weekend Trip Tips” on the statewide NPR show, Texas Standard.