About Rhine Lake Retreat
Rhine Lake Retreat is located in Finlayson, Minnesota. This 5-acre accessible outdoor retreat space offers a variety of outdoor activities and also includes lodging options. We are currently accepting booking requests from area providers and non-profits, private groups, and RSI programs and employees.
Rhine Lake Retreat was started in 1984 by Una Miller. She was inspired by her son, Darin, who has Downs Syndrome and loves the outdoors. Ms. Miller donated the lakeshore property and spent over twenty years organizing fundraising and recruiting a long list of volunteers in order to create the retreat facility that exists today. She spent endless hours making jams and knitted crafts to sell at fundraisers. Her other passion was cultivating flower and vegetable gardens, a tradition we carry on still today.
The original mission at Rhine Lake Retreat was to create a safe, accessible, and affordable recreational setting for people with disabilities. That mission is still our primary focus today, but we also provide a community resource for organizations in our region and to private groups as well.
Meet our Caretakers
In 2010, Damita Miller-Chasson and her husband David Chasson took over as caretakers and Program Coordinators of Rhine Lake Retreat. Damita has her mother’s green thumb and love for flowers. She has experience working with people with disabilities through many years as a sign language interpreter and as a Camp Retreat Director for the YMCA.
David has an extensive background in outdoor education and recreation with people of all abilities. Together they add a new dimension to the retreat: staff who can work with groups and individuals who desire additional support, education, and instruction.
Activities and Features
Rhine Lake offers a variety of outdoor recreational activities including:
- Water sports: canoeing, kayaking, paddleboats, and fishing
- Other activities: yard games, volleyball, gardening, and a small playground
Rhine Lake Retreat also features accessible grounds, a covered 32′ x 42′ picnic shelter with tables, a shower house and accessible restrooms, and a fire pit.
Lifejackets are provided for water activities. Visitors will be expected to pack out their own garbage/waste, unless previously arranged with our caretaker. Basic items including toilet paper, paper towels, hand soap, products for cleaning the bathroom, propane grill, plastic lawn chairs, and refrigerator are provided. Visitors will be responsible for bringing their own towels and bedding.
Rhine Lake offers a bunkhouse that sleeps up to 10 people. Please note that for accessibility purposes that they are bunk beds. There is also room for tent camping and RVs, with electrical hookups available.
Groups bringing an RV will need to provide their own 50′-100′ extension cord. There are no sewer or water hookups for RVs at Rhine Lake Retreat.
Rhine Lake Retreat features paved pathways throughout the property. The bathrooms, bunkhouse, picnic shelter, and dock are fully accessible.
Provider & Non-Profit Group Day Trips
Provider & Non-Profit Overnight Stays
Private Group Day Rates
Private Group Overnight Rates
*There is an additional charge of $2 per person for groups larger than 25 people.
There is a $5 per night fee for RVs/Campers.
Summer Classes and Activities
Rhine Lake is offering three summer courses in 2023. Please let us know at the time of registration if an individual or group is interested in signing up for a class.
Aquatic Day at Rhine Lake Retreat: You may wish to try a kayak or a canoe. We have paddleboats and paddleboards, as well. We even have a one-person pontoon raft that you can take for a spin. You may also participate in fishing and exploring with nets what lies within the waters of Rhine Lake.
Rhine Lake Retreat Staff will be available to provide instruction and safety. All equipment, including life jackets, is provided.
Offered mid-June through September.
Cooking Green with Damita: This class will have you coming back for seconds! We will start by exploring our gardens for fresh veggies ripe for the picking. Next, we will explore options for their preparation. Some will be made cold and others cooked on the grill or campfire. And then best of all, we will sample our work. These recipes and skills can be taken back to your homes where you can continue to eat healthily and share with others.
Offered mid-July through September
Succulent Class: Pick a plant, grab a pot… start planting! Learn about growing a succulent garden with Damita. Take your garden home and watch it grow.
Offered June through September
Scheduling a Visit to Rhine Lake Retreat
We are able to accommodate private groups for both day trips and overnight stays.
Please contact David at (218) 428-6284 or at [email protected] to request dates for a visit to Rhine Lake Retreat.
Private groups and provider groups will need to fill out our liability form prior to your visit. Download the from here or reach out to David to request a copy.
RSI has been, and will continue to follow the official guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH), and the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) regarding sanitization procedures and transmission prevention.
For questions on our COVID-19 precautions, please contact us.
Address: 71457 Rhine Lake Road, Finlayson, MN 55735