SHAFER, Minn. — Only a few can deny being in touch with nature heals the soul.
"I love to hear the owls and the coyotes," Dan Sheilds said. Sheilds and his wife Danielle are co-owners of Stone Creek Farm that sits a few miles outside of Taylors Falls, Minnesota.
They said they've always been nature people. It was evident in the way they cared for their produce.
"There should only be a peach every six inches at the most," Dan explained, pointing to the fruitlets on his peach tree.
Life on their farm is good. They are surrounded by uniquely Minnesotan stone fruits and nature. It was almost too good not to share.
"I was asking some friends, telling them what I wanted to do and she said, 'haven't you heard of Hipcamp?' and I said, hip what?" Danielle said.
Hipcamp. It's like an Airbnb for campsites. At the Sheilds campsite, there was a yurt tent, picnic table, grill and fire pit all ready to go.
"There are so many beautiful places in Wisconsin and Minnesota in the area," Dan said. "In campgrounds, someways [are] more natural than state parks. All those state parks are great, [but] they get to see a farm or a forest, hang out and enjoy nature. It's more private too."
Speaking of privacy, the Sheilds property is so secluded that one of the options for sleeping is actually a see-through bubble tent with an air mattress inside.
They host multiple groups at once but it's not like your regular campsite.
"The next closest camper is 300 yards that way and about 400 yards that way," Dan said, pointing at opposite directions. "So how good is that? You can snore and no one is going to get mad at you."
However, honestly, the best part about staying at Stone Creek Farm through Hipcamp is that you have two farmers close by who are willing to make organic farming education a part of your adventure too, if you'd like.
"We had a single mom come up with two kids from the Cities and they had never seen vegetables growing," Dan said. "He walked up and there were melons growing and he said 'what are those?'"
Whether it's a farming experience that you're after, or just a quiet night away from the Cities, it's something the Sheilds are happy to provide. It's also something they look forward to.
"I would cry and tell my dad my other friends go to Disney world and I have to go camping," Danielle said. "Now every single year, we go camping. I hated it when I was a kid and now it's come full circle."
You can find more Hipcamp sites here.