Staycation Showcases: Maine treehouse

The Appleton Retreat offers guests a birds eye view of nature
Published: Aug. 2, 2021 at 2:28 PM EDT
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APPLETON, Maine (WABI) - Maine is known as Vacationland but during the pandemic, it’s also became popular for Staycationland.

And it turns out, there are some pretty unique places to stay in our state.

All this month, we’ll showcase of them.

We start with a trip to a tree house.

Joy Hollowell takes us to The Appleton Retreat.

“A lot of people have never heard silence like this,” says Peter DeWalt, co-owner of The Appleton Retreat, as the sounds of birds echo through the tall pine tree boughs. Bringing such serenity to guests is the sole purpose of The Appleton retreat. It sits on 120 acres and is bordered by 1,300 acres of a protected nature conservancy. Peter DeWalt and his wife, Toby Kyle purchased the place about five years ago.

“When we initially bought the property, there were 60 acres,” explains DeWalt.

The sale called to them, literally.

“We were ready to close on a little seven acre piece of property and a realtor that we weren’t even dealing with, called us about an hour before we were supposed to close,” recalls DeWalt. “She said- you should check out this place. We showed up and bought it.”

They ended up purchasing an additional 60 acres from their neighbor. To help cover costs, Toby and Peter turned the upstairs part of a barn into an Air BnB.

They call it Braeburn.

Next came Smitten which is completely off the grid. There’s even a compost toilet.

“The only power in here comes from a Gold O generator,” DeWalt points out.

By far, the most popular place isn’t on the ground. It’s up in the trees.

“We had all these beautiful trees and we figured, we can build a tree house,” says DeWalt.

Breeze sits more than 20 feet off the ground and offers guests an observation deck, living quarters and a birds eye view of nature from the loft bedroom.

“It was booked even before we opened,” says Kyle.

Guests of Breeze, Braeburn and Smitten, yes they are all named after apples, can enjoy a wood fired sauna and hot tub.

A wooden yurt called Summer Rose is the latest addition to the retreat complete with its own hot tub and wrap around deck.,

Two more yurts are being built this summer. Toby and Peter will then begin work on their new home, with plans to rent out the current one.

“50 percent of the people come from Maine,” says DeWalt about guests to The Appleton Retreat.

Mostly couples and mostly for celebrations.

“Wedding, anniversary, birthdays,” says DeWalt.

It seems to be a special occasion destination,” adds Kyle.

As for their busy season-

“We’re just as busy in the summer as in the winter as in the spring and fall.” says Kyle.

A chance to relax, recharge and remind themselves- this is the way life should be.

“We really like when people appreciate what we have to offer here,” says Kyle. “Because it’s so beautiful.”

The tree house at The Appleton Retreat is typically booked at least three months out.

For more information, log onto

Other stories in this series:

Converted caboose

Comfy Dome

Historic canoe shop

Goose Rocks Lighthouse

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