Welcome to Trout River Log Cabin and Decorah House, two beautifully restored 19th century overnight stays located in vibrant Decorah, Iowa.
Perched on a bluff overlooking Trout River valley just seven miles from downtown Decorah (or a short three from Toppling Goliath's new brewery), our farm with Trout River Log Cabin is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the beauty of Northeast Iowa. The cabin is small and simple by today's standards, but we're sure it has everything to make your stay comfortable and relaxing. Watch the sun set from the large porch with its breathtaking views of Trout River, and spend the evening stargazing under a pitch black sky.
The Decorah House was built in the early 1850s by Decorah's original founders, the Day family. At that point the village of Decorah wasn't more than a few log houses and a saw mill. Today it survives as one of the few remaining structures of the period. We have turned its second floor into a luxurious stay. The house sits just six blocks from vibrant downtown Decorah with its many shops, Pulpit Rock Brewery, restaurants and historic hotel.
The Cabin & Decorah House
Decorah and the Driftless
Welcome to the Driftless Region, an area of spectacular limestone bluffs, trout streams, hardwood forests and vibrant communities.
If you've never visited our little corner of the world you're in for something special. Decorah is undoubtedly the hippest small town in all of the midwest. No, we're not joking. From its bustling downtown with good restaurants, Luther College, two breweries, abundant parks and trails, a historic hotel and a full-sized food coop, to its placement in the bottom of a bluff-lined valley, Decorah has so much to offer.
We have over three miles of hiking trails on the farm. Trout River, aptly named for its populations of brown, brook and rainbow, sits just below the cabin and can be accessed by a trail through the woods. We own over 1/2 mile of stream frontage for fishing and swimming.
If you're staying in town at Decorah House, be sure to check out the many parks and hiking and mountain biking trails. Lining Decorah's north side is the Van Peenen Park system, an area that has helped catapult Decorah to the forefront of regional mountain biking and outdoor recreation. Or perhaps kayak and canoe the Upper Iowa River with one of the many local outfitters.
Trout River flows right through the farm and we welcome you to trout fish and swim in its deep, clear pools. And we have over two miles of hiking trails. The stream trail starts at the cabin and switchbacks down the bluff to the trout stream and around fields of set-aside prairie. You'll love it here.
The state of Iowa owns 120 acres of public land just down the road available for fishing, hunting and hiking, too. And just a few miles beyond is the large and remote 1,000+ acre Coon Creek Wildlife Management Area. Come stay at one of the prettiest farms in all of the Driftless.
Trout River Log Cabin was built sometime in the mid 19th century as a Norwegian-Lutheran parochial school. In 1898 it was taken apart, moved across a field, and rebuilt as Norwegian immigrant Peter Losen’s home. The Losen descendants were close family friends, and in 2007 they gifted us the building. We stripped it to the logs, numbered everything, and hauled the trailer-loads of stuff- siding, logs, foundation stone, bead board, basically everything that was reusable- back to the farm. It took three years to piece the house back together and the result is pretty amazing. Nearly every piece of the house is reclaimed, and those that aren’t, like the windows, were replicated to match their originals. We love this house and look forward to sharing the story with you.
The Decorah House was built in the early 1850s by Claiborne Day, the son of Decorah's original settlers, Elizabeth and John Day. Built with elements of the Greek Revival style, the house no doubt occupied a notable presence in the tiny village of Decorah. The Day family sold the house to the Montgomery family in 1867. John Montgomery also played an important role in the establishment of Decorah as a regional commercial center. During the early 20th century the house was owned by the Produce Canning Company and used as employee housing. Beginning in the 1950s the house was divided up into three apartments.
We bought the house in 2015 and have worked hard to return it to its former state. In 2015 we constructed a new garage and wood shop built of a disassembled log house (originally built in 1852 south of Decorah, and likely predating the Day House itself!). Over the past two years we have completely rehabbed the interior of the house.