Five Great Things About Small Towns

Two years ago, my husband and I made the decision to move to Bigfork, MN from a much more populated area in Tennessee. My family thought we were nuts, our friends thought we were nuts, and even our children thought mom & dad had gone a little crazy.  I mean, who in their right mind moves to a tiny town with a population of only a little over 460 people?  Well, that would be us and we love our small town.


There are some adjustments to make living more rurally and in a small town, but there are so many more benefits of living there too!  Here’s my 5 Best Things About Small Towns:


  1. The Local Businesses:  Every town has locally owned businesses but they often get lost amongst the corporate giants.  In Bigfork, we have everything anyone would need.  Our grocery store is great with an awesome butcher shop and is locally owned.  We have “The Shop” were the fabulous folks can repair your lawnmower, sell you a 4-wheeler or side-by-side, and make sure you have the parts, batteries, and such that you need.  We have a great local bank, great places to eat, and I can’t forget the Timber Rose Gift and Floral shop.  The gift shop not only has great flowers but also consigns great pieces by local artist and craftsmen.  
  2. Friendly Folks:  Coming from the south where you have that whole “Southern Hospitality” thing, its hard to believe that “Northern” people could be so nice!  I know, Minnesota very true.  I’ve met some of the nicest people in my little town.  I think small town folks really band together to get things done, help their neighbors, and in general know how to treat people.  Maybe its because we aren’t stressed out.  No traffic, no problems!
  3. Great Fun:  Small towns love to get together and do fun things!  In Bigfork, we have The Edge Center where we have locally produced plays as well as get Arts, Music, and more that come up from the cities.  We have folks that get together to teach cross-country skiing every winter.  And, let’s not forget the Wilderness Days Festival.  There’s so much to do in a small town, you never get bored.
  4. Get Involved:  In small towns with less people there are always ways to get involved in events, volunteer time, and stay very active in the community.  I love seeing the school children getting involved in the city with clean-up, painting, and doing community service.  We support our High School Teams; volunteer at the hospital, and even sit on various boards.  
  5. Peace & Quiet:  I really, really, really don’t miss traffic!  I don’t miss the noise of the big cities!  I don’t miss all of the people.  I like that my little town closes up by 8:00 pm during the week and that I can look outside at night and not see a million lights.....I just see starry skies and a beautiful moon. The deer come into my yard almost daily and I watch the Eagles fish on the lake. It’s hard to describe how good a little town is for the soul; but you really should experience it for yourself.


When you are ready to escape the BIG CITY LIFE, turn your eyes Northward!  

Best Water Front Properties Under $200,000

We are lucky here at the Edge of the Wilderness Lakes & Homes Realty because we all live in “Vacation Land”.  That’s right we get to live up where the fishing is awesome, nature abounds, and the scenery is stunning!  We love where we live and we know you would too even if its only for part of the year.  Did you know that we have lots of Great Lakes place for under $200,000?  That’s right; you can purchase a lake front cabin for under $200,00 and start living your Edge of the Wilderness dreams this year!


Here’s a couple great places that we currently have listed:

North Star Lake Cabin:  This seasonal cabin is listed for just $99,000!  Can you imagine spending your summers on North Star, one of the best fishing lakes for Musky, Walleye, and more.  This cabin is in the Chippewa National forest and actually sits on a Federal lease.  You own the cabin but lease the land from the Government.  The lease is $3650 a year.  An inexpensive way to live in the middle of one of the Nation’s BEST forest.

Dora Lake:  I love this cabin and its vintage style.  Listed at only $119,000, you are level to the lake and a Sportman’s Dream!  The cabin is clean and well kept with 2 bedrooms and can be used year-round.  It even has it’s own private boat access with ramp so putting your boat in the water is easy!  It sits adjacent to public land for Deer, duck, and grouse hunting.  


Sand Lake:  This rustic cabin has been in the family for years.  The current owners actually spent their time building this private oasis on beautiful Sand Lake.  Loaded with windows and natural light where you will enjoy phenomenal views of the lake. This 2 Bedroom/1 Bath Seasonal Cabin sits beautifully on the 1.97 acre lot. You’ll find your own private lake access to put your boat in, a small storage building, and a large deck to sit and enjoy the views. Whether you are fishing, boating, or just relaxing, this is a great Up North vacation and get-away property. Listed for just $159,000

Anderson Lake: This off-the-grid waterfront cabin is located on nearly 1000 feet of hard, sandy lakeshore on Anderson Lake. Situated on a breathtakingly peaceful and pristine south facing point is this 2 bedroom cabin. Cozy up on chilly nights with the wood stove, and enjoy the sunrise and set on the new deck just feet from the water's edge. The location of the cabin allows one to venture out into the acres of adjoining tax forfeit land, with tons of Deer, Bear, and Grouse hunting trails throughout. Fish for bass, walleye and northern pike from the dock year 'round. Listed for $179,000

Horseshoe Lake:  You really need to take a look at this cozy cabin on great Horseshoe Lake! Owners have done some great cabinet work, lighting and decorating, making this a superb up north property. Lake is loaded with excellent fishing. This would be a great base camp for the family or just for weekend get-away. Well maintained. Enjoy the 5x19 wrap around deck for entertaining or sipping that morning cup of Joe. Septic installed in 2010. Peace and quiet await you here! This beautiful property is listed for just $189,000. 

These are just a few of the lake front cabins that we have listed.  Stop dreaming about a lake cabin and let’s find you and your family their dream place up in the Edge of the Wilderness!



Get Lost: The Lost Forty

Hiking is one of my favorite things to do and finding new trails in and around the Chippewa National Forest area is easy to do.  One of my favorite places is the Lost Forty.  It’s not a long hike but the trees are AMAZING! 


Minnesota was one of the largest timber-producing states in the country in the late 1800’s.  The Lost Forty is an area of Red & White Pines that went untouched by loggers because of an error on mapping the area.  The Lost Forty was mapped as part of Coddington Lake.  Because of this error, the Lost Forty has become one of Minnesota’s greatest treasures.  


The pines in the Lost Forty are 300-400 years old, originating when the pilgrims came to America.  They are HUGE!  It is wonderful to wonder through the one-mile trail and see the towering pines.  You really have to make the trip while you are up with us.  



You won’t get cell coverage out there, not at all and its pretty spotty the entire drive up, but its well worth it.  My GPS couldn’t find it, but I was able to with only a few turnarounds. Here is the way I go:


From Marcell, take CR 286 to Hwy 6; go straight across Hwy 6 and you’ll be on CR 4.  Take a Right onto CR 29 and follow this all the way to Dora Lake.  Just past Dora lake, you’ll take a Right on CR 26 and then a left on Forest Road 224.  About a 1 mile up, you’ll see the sign for the Lost Forty.  








Love Where You Live

My husband, Ken, and I moved to Bigfork about 2 years ago after living in Tennessee for 15+ years. You might still hear the occasional "Ya'll" or I might call you "Honey" or "Sweetie". I mean no offense; there is still a bit of a Southern Belle lingering inside of me. Ken and I farmed in Tennessee and raised Angus Cattle, milked Nubian Dairy Goats, had a few horses, and raised chickens & Turkeys. It was a fun and hard work lifestyle. It was also very HOT and Humid. We were ready for a change.

People usually ask how we ended up in Northern Minnesota. Ken was doing a commercial construction project at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, MN. I took a break from the farm and came to visit. I was immediately struck by the scenery, the weather, and the people. We had the chance to explore the state and decided it was the right move for us. When we started looking at homes, we fell in love with Northern Itasca County. Every home I found online was in the Bigfork, Marcell, or Effie area. We are outdoorsy people and love to fish, hunt, hike, boat, kayak, and in general, spend our time outside as much as possible so the Edge of the Wilderness Communities is prefect for our lifestyle.

Our farm sold quickly and we packed our bags and headed North. We had a great Realtor who I now have the pleasure of working with. She helped us find a great home on a smaller, private lake and we were able to close quickly and move in. I think the first summer I was on Connor’s lake everyday unless it was pouring down rain. We hike at Scenic State Park regularly, visit the "Lost 40", and are slowly working our way through fishing on all of the 1,000’s of lakes in Itasca County.

I have started to pick up the "You-Betcha's", understand that Soda is called Pop, and that folks in Minnesota really are "Minnesota Nice". One of our neighbors told me one day that we were very lucky because we live where other people vacation. You know, he was right. We Love Where We Live.