Destination Hotels: Aliyah Treehouse Cabin

Off the Grid in Northern Kentucky
Aliyah Treehouse Cabin

Where: Brooksville, Kentucky; 859-635-0320,

Rate: $197 per night

We recommend: fall foliage season

There’s a tree in the room. As in: a more-than-100-year-old, two-foot-wide trunk right there in the middle, lichen and all, reaching straight through the roof, one of two red oaks that support the cabin. Neighboring limbs hold a second bedroom cabin accessible by a suspended rope-and-plank bridge to a deck. It’s an excellent place to sleep, without light or sounds, except for the nighttime woods.

It’s trees as far as the eyes can see. The woods hold different marvels all times of year, so there’s no off-season at EarthJoy Tree Adventures, where the cabin resides. Owners Shelly and Bill Byrne have prepared, as well, installing a generator to power the AC unit.  Guests also relax with a hammock below, a stacked-stone fire pit, cafe seating outside the main cabin, and shaded hiking paths (including the popular 3.3-mile Heart Trail) that wind throughout the 200-acre private property, each bend bringing native flora, ponds, and creeks.

There is a propane-powered heater, but no electricity or plumbing. It’s all battery-powered headlamps and lanterns, a jug of water in the kitchenette, and an adjacent compost toilet. A private bath house is up the road. Yet the treehouse is wholly cozy, not austere. A giant L-shaped couch wraps that red oak. But who are we kidding. You’re going to be sitting outside.


What to do: EarthJoy Tree Adventures is a tree-climbing instruction and retreat company. Book a private session with Bill Byrne ($59/climber).

Side trip: Check out three nearby historical towns. Walk the Ohio River and grab a bite in Augusta, Kentucky; ferry to Ripley, Ohio, for Underground Railroad history; or head to Maysville, Kentucky, for shops, charm, and Parc Café.

Don’t forget: Your bike. Mountain biking is allowed on the trails, so bring your own trusty wheels if that’s more your speed than a stroll along the river.


The entire town of Story belongs to the hotel. Guests can unplug in updated cottages or a converted grain loft. It’s remote, so you might not get good cell reception. Take a stack of books, and catch up on the news at the cozy tavern over seasonal Indiana microbrews on tap or a glass from the extensive wine list. $169/night,