Winnebago Springs is ‘Houston County’s hidden gem’ Open house Aug. 12 showcases new wedding venue, cabins

By : 
Jordan Gerard

Former Camp Winnebago is reimagined as Winnebago Springs, a new wedding and vacation destination in Houston County.

When it was announced the camp was closing permanently in 2017, Dustin Meyer and his brother Darin saw it as a new adventure and something different than farming.

“Farming is getting bad, so we decided to do something different,” Dustin said. “This place came up for sale and we bought it.”

Though they still run their dairy farm, the process of remodeling the campground has been a learning experience. They purchased it in October 2017, and it took eight months for construction to finish.

“We wanted a wedding venue, year-round cabin rental and maybe for corporate retreats or meetings,” he added. “It’s definitely different than what we’re used to.”

Dustin’s wife Rachel has been helping manage the new business, from scheduling events to keeping everything in line. 

In addition to renovated cabins, there’s a new building on the grounds called an “air chapel.”

This clever idea allows outdoor weddings without the worry of the weather. Rachel saw a similar idea on social media site Pinterest and made their version at Winnebago Springs. 

Two large wooden doors greet guests and the wedding party. Inside is a large space covered by a roof, but not enclosed by walls. 

Instead, air flows through the building via no walls. On the backside of the chapel, large glassless windows look out to the valley and the waterfall flowing into Winnebago Creek.

“This is Houston County’s hidden gem. I think it’s very important for people to enjoy it,” Dustin said. 

Rachel worked with Wally Mahr of Woodland Image from Dorchester, Iowa to create the design and bring it all together to create the perfect setting.

“There’s not many wedding venues around here and it’s something different in the area,” she said. “The surrounding area is beautiful too. There’s a waterfall in the background and it’s a very peaceful area.”

Because the cabins were previously closed to the public during the summer at Camp Winnebago, many people have not seen them nor the grounds around them. 

“It’s bringing new interest in different ways for people,” Rachel said. “The public can enjoy the area.”

The fun doesn’t stop there though, as future plans include a bridal cottage (for brides and their bridesmaids to prepare for the wedding) and more cabins further in the woods.

“We have a lot of men to thank for the construction. They’re hard working guys,” Rachel said. “Darin did a lot of contractor work for us.”

Rentals

The air chapel, cabins, shelters and event center will have a variety of rates for renting, but Dustin and Rachel aim to keep rates affordable for everyone.

“We want to catch the market of many people, from those who want cabins to those who want hotel rooms,” he said. “We want to accommodate everyone.”

Open house

To see Winnebago Springs in its entirety, come to the open house on Sunday, Aug. 12, from 1 to 5 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.

The event center, air chapel and cabins will be open for tours.

Check out their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/winsprings/.