Sometimes an off-the-beaten-track find is well worth the journey. Such is the case with Wildlife Refuge Cabins (www.wildliferefugecabins.com). The brainchild of avid snowmobilers David and Lori Sleeman, this remote property is located on Highway 26, five miles south of Houghton and Hancock on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.
A great deal of thought went into the design of the six-cabin complex, as Lori really wanted to make one cabin wheelchair-accessible, because she’s encountered more than a few disabled snowmobilers in her travels. Cabin 1 (the Wolf Den) features ramp access up to the front porch, with a wide doorway and a level threshold. There’s plenty of room to park a ramped van in front of the cabin, however, there’s no striped parking.
Inside, there’s ample space to maneuver a wheelchair around the great room and the adjacent kitchenette. There’s a gas fireplace near the sofa, and the kitchenette is equipped with a microwave, refrigerator, sink, and a table with chairs. And if you’d like to cook outside, there’s also a gas BBQ on the front porch. The bedroom is furnished with an 18-inch high double bed with wheelchair-access on one side, and a bunk bed.
There’s level access to the bathroom, which is equipped with a roll-in shower with grab bars, a hand-held showerhead and a fold-down shower bench. The shower has a one-inch lip, but because of the placement of the shower bench it’s really a quite doable transfer for most people. The toilet grab bars are located on the back and left walls (as seated), and the bathroom also has a roll-under sink.
There’s barrier-free access to all the public spaces at the property, including the office, the common room and the sauna. And the good news is, since winter is peak season at the resort, the summer rates (April through November) are only $95 per night. And if you want to visit in the winter to enjoy a little snowmobiling, it’s still quite affordable at just $135 per night.
The whole cabin is nicely done access-wise, with a tile floor to make for easy rolling. Add in a few personal touches, like some mural work by Lori, a bit of taxidermy and some rustic log furnishings, and you have a cute, comfortable and accessible getaway on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.