BURTRUM -- A central Minnesota family has elevated the idea of a treehouse into a unique and relaxing getaway destination.

Dean and Donna Lange of rural Burtrum decided to build a two-story, 850 square-foot treehouse to commemorate their 25th wedding anniversary two years ago. The treehouse and its covered bridge were completed last year.

Dean (C), Donna (R), and Kendra (L) Lange. (Photo by Isaac Schweer, WJON.)

"I think sometimes [we] can't believe we did it," says Donna Lange. "Dean is a guy with a creative mind and he's always coming up with new ideas but this by far has been the biggest."

The Stoney Ridge Treehouse features sleeping space for nine people, a kitchen, a bathroom, a deck and a hot tub. All of the wood used for the structure, and for the cabinets and furniture inside, was collected from the property and prepared by Dean Lange. He says building a house 18 feet off the ground was not the easiest of tasks.

"There were always [construction] challenges," says Dean Lange. "We couldn't square everything (level), so nothing matched."

"[But] we're satisfied with it -- most people enjoy it."

The Langes say they've long been interested in innkeeping, and they have been renting the treehouse out to people looking to get off the grid for a day or two.

"We kind of feel like we're blessed with this property," Donna Lange says. "If we can share it with other people, it's kind of fun."

"We didn't want to have all the time and money spent on it [to] have it sit empty 99 percent of the time."

Rates for the treehouse start at $200 per night. The Langes say it's been a hit so far, with many weekends in the coming months already booked.

Photo: Isaac Schweer, WJON