Magnalia Homestead & Farm

Recent Guest Log Highlights

“Such a special place….”

Anna, United Kingdom

Such a special place. We arrived to mum and daughter milking the cow and were welcomed like old friends. The joyful friendliness was so fun. A feeling of family life up at the homestead, where they helped us with every ask, and then the quiet beauty of the forest, where the cabin was private and cozy. We walked up just a minute from the cabin to use the bathroom in the main house. Home-made granola and fresh milk from their cow for breakfast. The cabin was bigger than the photos and we got a good fire going. Such good people, such heart and soul. Thank you so much to you all. I'll be back again if I can!

“Exactly what my tired soul needed.”

Corinne, North Carolina

As a hospice chaplain, I am always looking for opportunities to retreat and reconnect with nature and myself. This cabin is exactly what my tired soul needed. The crackling fire in the fireplace, the tasty pumpkin bread baked by the host, and the writing desk perfect for journaling. My stay brought me laughter and joy - watching a cow chase a horse and listening to the braying of a donkey in a nearby field; the sound of birds and the turning leaves. I will certainly be coming back to visit - perhaps the only thing that would have improved my stay would have been an additional night…so next time, I’ll be sure to make room for it!

“I felt at home the moment I arrived.”

Christi, Florida

Thank you Jim, Rachel and your beautiful family. Such a remarkable experience and friendly environment you have created for your guests. I felt at home from the moment I arrived. I consider myself fortunate to have experienced the Walden Cabin. Such a peaceful place to relax, unwind and recharge. The cabin was exactly as described and showcased exceptional craftsmanship. I truly enjoyed sitting out by the fire enjoying the sounds of nature...and the homestead animals. 🙂 If you are considering a stay in the Walden Cabin, I highly recommend it. I look forward to visiting again in the future with my family.

“Our stay was epic! A magical place….”

Daniel, Germany

Our stay was epic! Jim, Rachel and their family are wonderful people and certainly the best hosts we have ever met. And this cabin on their wonderful estate, well – this cabin is a magical place and the best teacher about life and what really matters in life: lighting the fire and keeping the warmth!

“Truly a gift!”

Jennifer, North Carolina

I could rave about a lot of things as a regular guest at Magnalia, but perhaps the most important thing I can say is this: The love and welcome that emanates from this home is truly beautiful and the reason I come back every season. Truly a gift!

“A life-changing, soul-cleansing experience.”

Sean, Virginia

I don't have words to describe the incredible experience I had staying at Walden cabin on Jim's property and meeting him and his amazing family. Immediately, I felt welcomed. From the fresh-baked bread, to coffee and toast in the morning, the hosts exceeded my expectations by miles.
This cabin is a short walk from the main house on an 80+ acre property where a full bathroom is provided 24/7. The cabin is like taking a step back 200 years. No water or electricity, but a large fireplace and wood stove will keep you warm if you stay in the colder months. The temperature got down to the low 30s while I was there, but I was cozy in my sleeping bag. Plenty of wood is provided on-site to keep warm. What really struck me about this experience was the kindness Jim and his family showed me during my 2-night stay in Walden cabin. I hope to remain lifelong friends with them and plan to be back in the spring. This is not a just place to stay. This is a life-changing, soul-cleansing experience.

“A heavenly stay…will truly change your life.”

Daniel, North Carolina

The second we got to this beautiful homestead, we were welcomed by Jim and Rachel who are among the most wonderful human beings we’ve ever met. The entirety of the property was open to us and felt like home away from home. So much detail in the architecture and throughout the property. Something about the genuineness and grounding energy made this a heavenly stay.

Staying here will truly change your life.

“...unbelievably perfect!”

Rachel, Virginia

This stay was unbelievably perfect! So peaceful and authentic, made even better by Jim and Rachel's sweet family! We felt right at home and loved reading Walden while surrounded by oil lamps and a fire in the fireplace while it poured outside. Not to mention enjoying fresh pumpkin bread! A true bed and breakfast experience — they embody hospitality!

“I will always be grateful for my stay…”

Lucas, North Carolina

This cabin is a near perfect replica of Thoreau’s; situated in the woods while still within walking distance of the host’s home. The place itself is perfect on its own, but the hosts are some of the most interesting and kind people I have ever met. I will always be grateful for my stay here and cannot recommend you stay here more. I cannot imagine leaving here with anything but positivity and peace as you leave.

“The craftsmanship is incredible….”

Will, Oklahoma

Such a wonderful, peaceful spot! The craftsmanship is incredible and the hosts’ passion for their project is inspiring. A truly remarkable stay. The breakfast was delicious, as well! Lovely to see all the animals, and everyone was terrifically friendly. 10/10 would recommend!

“...the sweetest hosts.”

Caroline, North Carolina

Jim and Rachel are the sweetest hosts! The cabin is clean, inviting, and very thoroughly researched. On the evening we stayed in Walden cabin, our hosts were throwing a garden party at The Homestead, and they were nice enough to invite and include us. We enjoyed learning about their gardening and animals and all their friends were so lovely to us as well. I hope to visit again sometime!

“...a memorable experience for sure.”

Parish, North Carolina

This is an amazing cabin and an incredible experience. It is tucked away in the woods on a homestead that has tons of animals, and plenty of firewood. The space is an amazing re-creation of the original Walden cabin and it's a memorable experience for sure. The fire pit outside is set up for cooking with a cast iron pan. The host and family were so nice and welcomed me in and showed true hospitality. incredible hosts, incredible space, incredible stay. highly recommended!

“You’re part of the family….”

Adam And Charlie, Colorado

What a wonderful place to visit from the welcome to the fresh hand-made bread for my departure. I plan to visit this place again! Jim and his family were so very inviting and just wonderful to be around. The farm animals were a joy and the garden walk in the AM was spectacular. They invite you in like you're part of the family and encourage you to wander the 17 acres at your leisure. Oh, almost forgot to mention the Henry David Thoreau replica cabin which was beautifully hand-built mostly by their sons with amazing skill and craftsmanship – the attention to detail is incredible. The place is a must if you’re in the area, or coming from afar!

“...guaranteed to be wonderfully unlike any other….”

Maggie, North Carolina

Even just a single night in Walden Cabin at the Homestead refreshes the soul and body in a way that few other experiences can. I stayed in Walden with a good friend, both of us family friends of the Van Eerdens. As marvelous as the Cabin is itself, it is best appreciated as only part of the whole Homestead, full of contemplative and meaningful places perfect for a book, a daydream, and a warm cup of tea. The host, too, is wonderfully accommodating and engaged. We were up till midnight reading and discussing Dante's Divine Comedy together with him on the George Herbert Veranda.
A stay at Walden is guaranteed to be wonderfully unlike any other Airbnb experience.

“Wonderful hosts and very attentive.”

Jacquie, Canada

Better than expected. Wonderful hosts and very attentive. Great respect for privacy and yet more than welcoming in their introductions and interactions.

“We definitely recommend this place….”

Nicolas, North Carolina

Had a great time with Jim and his family. Came for a nice quiet camping trip with my friend but we ended up having such a blast getting to know Jim and his lovely family. Will definitely recommend this place for not just the nature and experience but the great hosts behind it.

“...peaceful and rustic, and yet close to comforts!”

Meredith, North Carolina

The Walden Cabin was a wonderful place to stay! We had an amazing meal cooked on cast iron over the campfire. Jim and Rachel are incredible hosts! It was peaceful and rustic and yet close to comforts (bathroom and guest space at main house just a short walk through the woods away). Highly recommend!

“The host will bend over backward….”

Rebecca, North Carolina

The host will bend over backward to make sure you’re comfortable, so you really can’t make any huge planning mistakes in coming here. They sent down eggs and coffee each morning. Really good coffee. Really fresh eggs. There’s a library on the property that you can browse digitally, and they’ll deliver your selections to the cabin.

“Sitting on the porch, listening to crickets….”

Jeremy, North Carolina

My wife and I had a lovely time staying overnight at the cabin. As someone who appreciates both history and Thoreau, it was a unique and relaxing experience. We enjoyed the atmosphere, with the oil lamps and the surrounding woods, especially sitting on the porch, listening to the crickets in the evening, and reading Walden in the early morning. Our hosts were amazing: they welcomed us warmly and went above and beyond to make us feel at home, even supplying a little fan to help with the summer heat, and making the suite at the main guest house available to us as well - we truly enjoyed meeting and talking with them. We like camping and find simplicity to be freeing, so the cabin was wonderful for us. Thank you Jim and family!

“A great time at a great place!”

Jakob, South Carolina

This cabin was an amazing experience all around. Not only was it cheaper than cabins at state parks or motels, but it was a replica of the Walden Cabin Thoreau stayed in, complete with many secrets to discover. The family was incredibly nice and encouraged me to explore their farmstead. There's so much to do that I didn't have time to do it all. It's perfectly located between 2 lovely state parks and Greensboro is only about 20 minutes away, too. They catered breakfast and dessert to me and much of the food they served me was home-grown, which I appreciate. Overall, a great time at a great place!

“Truly remarkable experience.”

Kyle, North Carolina

The English language is hardly adequate to the task of describing this truly remarkable experience. I brought my 7 year old son to the Walden Cabin to experience the beauty of life in God’s great creation — to set aside all that is not life and to wrestle with only the essentials — and after having confronted a Spartan-like existence, to know that life is a gift, a joy, and a wonder. We sat in silence on the front porch and listened to the sounds of creation, enjoying the rustling leaves, singing birds, and creaking trees. We hiked to the stream and felt the cool, life-giving water on our hands. And after we threw rocks in the water, we contemplated how every drop produced by the splash was ordered by a kind, Fatherly Providence. We ate delicious food prepared over a campfire and savored every bite as though it might be our last, while acknowledging that if it were to be our last, we ought to eat it with thankfulness in our hearts to a God who provides such delicacies for His children. The Walden Cabin is just one way this property is being used to draw our attention back to a simpler time, outward to a community of care and mutual-encouragement, and up to a God who deserves our gratitude for the precious gift of life — even life in the woods.

“A magical and magnificent place.”

Josh, North Carolina

“I have a room all to myself; it is Nature,” wrote Henry David Thoreau. A room all to yourself is an understatement! The Thoreau cabin is a magical and magnificent place. Very much a writer’s and a thinker’s paradise. Embedded in Nature — And that Nature sings and speaks to the soul. From the crackling of a well tended fire, to the crunch of snow underfoot, to the smell of cedar and pine, to the stillness just before dawn — The Thoreau cabin truly thrusts one back into a time we know very little of in our current fast paced culture of impatience and ready-made instant comfort. The comfort of Thoreau’s cabin is very much a comfort of embracing the uncomfortable. A solitude that makes us - in this day in age, most vulnerable and honestly - uncomfortable. Yet, the cabin perfectly envelopes its inhabitants, warms them, while relaxing the body and mind. I stayed here alone - one man in the woods for one night. However, in just a very small accounting of time, while living in such an exquisite and yet spartan existence, I can appreciate and understand why Thoreau chose to live in his hand-worked cabin for two years. The naturalist within him, and the experience of solitude in the space of nature, created a better understanding of himself and ultimately brought him closer to humanity and God. Perhaps it will do the same for you or perhaps something else entirely.

Such an experience rarely, if ever, occurs in the soft and comfy confines of our 21st century travels. If one wishes to experience solace and peace among the pines… travel here to accomplish such holistic desire. It is a place where one can retreat, rest, reflect, rejuvenate, grow, converse and be held. "We need the tonic of wildness,” Thoreau said, “and we can never have enough of nature.” P.S. You will probably become lifelong friends with the hosts as they are incredibly lovely and caring people. You will never truly feel alone in the woods knowing they are not far away.

“Nothing beats the warm hospitality….”

Ken, North Carolina

Nothing beats the warm hospitality of these owners! We felt cared for from the moment we arrived...until our departure! Very authentic Walden Cabin experience...oil lamps, fireplace, wood burning stove, minimalist decor, outdoor cooking fire and period food, Walden books and quotes posted, minimalist decor. Can't go wrong with this adventure!

“Above and beyond!”

Eric, North Carolina

Incredible experience. The cabin was everything we expected and much more. The service goes above and beyond all the while allowing you to experience a step back into time at Thoreau's cabin. Whether you are a history buff or just looking to unwind and get away from the busyness of life this is the spot for you. Highly recommended. My son and I will be repeat customers for sure!

“Jesus said in His kingdom, the ‘smallest of all seeds’ will leave a lasting impact much larger than expected (see Matt. 13:31–32). In the same way, the ‘smallest’ things in our lives — ordinary days and meals and homes — can have a much larger impact than you’d ever imagine when harnessed with gospel intentionality.”

Excerpt from The Simplest Way to Change the World
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