Nettles Nest Provides a Sweet Retreat in Redwater
When a veterinarian technician got divorced last year, she wondered how she’d support herself. Then she realized she was sitting on the perfect piece of real estate to make an old dream come true.
Gwen Whelchel has worked for Wisdom Animal Clinic for 19 years, but she has lived in Redwater most of her life. Her 16 acres of backwoods beauty is located just across the street from the elementary school and is adjacent to several lots owned by relatives.
Her father built a one room cabin on the property 50 years ago. “I’ve always dreamed of doing something with it,” Gwen says, “but the time never seemed right.” So she used it for family gatherings or church socials for many years.
When she went through a divorce last year, Gwen poured her heart and soul into renovating the cabin herself. She recreated the interior, moved piles of dirt on the exterior, laid a ton of bricks, and planted lantana with crepe myrtles to beautify the outside of the cabin. “I wanted plants that would survive harsh Texas summers,” she says.
The result is a picturesque one-room bed and breakfast called Nettles Nest which opened in April. “I had a lot of visitors in the spring,” Gwen says. “But not as many came in the summer.”
That was fine with her, however, since the lake behind the cabin was low due to the last two summer droughts. “I didn’t do a lot of advertising. Most guests found out about this place by word of mouth.”
Over the summer, Gwen worked on trails around the property so guests could run, hike, bike or simply walk the dog when they stay at her facility. She plans to provide guests with mountain bikes to use during their visit.
Other amenities at Nettles Nest include a barbecue pit, horseshoe pit, fire pit, a covered eating area, paddle boat, and fishing boat. There is also a dock that extends over the lake where visitors can cast a line and try to catch some of the bass, brim, and catfish that live in the water below.
The cabin is the perfect place to get away from everyday life and simply unplug. “But we’re still very conveniently located,” Gwen says. “We’re only five minutes from the store and about twenty minutes from Texarkana.”
Visitors at Nettles Nest only pay $100 per night and receive a 20 percent discount if they stay five nights or more. Dogs are welcome, but a $25 pet deposit must be paid upon check-in.
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