Turtle River Lake: Location, Facilities and Lodging | Concordia Language Villages

Turtle River Lake: Location, Facilities and Lodging


Just north of Bemidji, Minn. The Turtle River Lake Retreat Center is unlike any other. Beautifully nestled into the shores of Turtle River Lake and complete with everything from hiking trails to wireless internet, it is a perfect get-away setting for educational, governmental and other non-profit groups looking for a tranquil space for meetings, conferences and retreats. From September through May, Turtle River Lake can accommodate groups of five to 115. We look forward to welcoming you!

Map and Directions


At the Villages, we provide a full-spectrum of services and facilities, including a gymnasium, nature trails, spacious lounges and relaxing saunas.

Indoor facilities are designed to blend naturally into the environment while offering comfort, accessibility and energy efficiency.

Meeting facilities offer areas for both contemplation and productivity. Groups of all sizes can choose between formal and relaxed spaces. Meeting rooms are provided with high-speed internet access, and audiovisual equipment.


The five permanent villages are designed to reflect the architectural styles of the countries they represent.  Each village contains a dining hall and additional smaller breakout meeting rooms and workspace. Overnight accommodations are in cabins, which range from imported Finnish log cabins to two-story Norwegian cabins, all set in a quiet forest surrounded by pines and birch.

Bunk beds are used at all villages, although only lower bunks are utilized for adult groups. Generally, each cabin has its own bathroom/shower facilities. Hiking trails abound on the site, and cross-country ski trails are maintained during the winter months on the south end of Turtle River Lake.

El Lago del Bosque (the Spanish Language Village) has a dining hall, which will seat 150, with smaller meeting or breakout space available in the various residential houses. There are eight houses available for sleeping, each with their individual shower and bathroom facilities and a meeting room. Each house will accommodate a maximum of 16 to 48 people in bunk beds. There is a 40'x60' activities building available with a separate smaller meeting room. 

Lac du Bois-Bemidji  (the French Language Village) has a dining hall, Paris, which seats 120, and can also be arranged in a way to accommodate other activities besides meals. Upstairs in Paris is another large group meeting/activity space as well as a number of smaller rooms which can be utilized for breakout and small group meeting spaces. Lodging is available in two residential clusters of four cabins each. Each cabin sleeps up to 16 in bunk beds and has space for hanging up clothes and storing personal belongings. The bathrooms are located in a separate, central building for and are shared by residents in each cluster of  four cabins.

Salolampi (the Finnish Language Village) has a dining hall, Jyringin Talo, which seats 120, with smaller group (30) meeting rooms downstairs. There are six rooms on the lower level of the dining hall, which can be utilized for sleeping or small group meeting space. All five cabins have their own bathroom/shower facilities, which accommodate a maximum of 16 people in bunk beds. In addition, there are five private rooms with adjacent bathrooms in the new west wing available for lodging.

Skogfjorden (the Norwegian Language Village) has a dining hall, Gimle, which features beautiful rosemaled ceilings and easily seats 128 adults or up to 160 children. In addition, there is a large meeting room and two smaller meeting rooms on the lower level. Utgard, the activity building, offers gymnasium facilities, which also serve as a meeting area for larger groups. There are two smaller rooms available upstairs in the gym. Another building, Valhall, is also available for meeting space and some housing. Housing is in eight three-bedroom cabins.  Each cabin has a capacity of 16 people in bunk beds, and has its own shared bathroom and cozy living area.

Waldsee (the German Language Village) facilities include housing for 152 in bunk beds in three large buildings, Max Kade Haus, Erich Markel Haus and Schwarzwald Haus. Each of the buildings has sleeping areas, a common living area, and common bathrooms on the main level. The administrative building, Bahnhof, serves as classroom, meeting areas, and some housing for staff.

The dining hall, or Gasthof, seats 120 and the upper level of the Gasthof has a large group meeting area with one smaller meeting room for 15 to 25 people. Waldsee also has a shower building with private showers, bathroom facilities and an indoor sauna. Included at Waldsee is the energy efficient BioHaus that features innovative designs and ideas to maintain self-sufficiency.

Lesnoe Ozero (the RussianLanguage Village) facilities has a dining hall, St. Petersburg, which seats 96 people at tables of six. St.Petersburg also includes a great hall, which seats 100 people, and multiple breakout meeting spaces.There are 12 independent log cabins located around the north shoreline of Turtle River Lake. Each cabin houses between 4 and 16 people in bunk beds. Lesnoe Ozero has unique backdrop of rolling hills, summer pathways and winter trails.