Say Goodbye to Summer with Live Music, Family Fun, and Breathtaking Scenery

Fall is a time when the Northland’s natural beauty takes center stage, and our communities come alive for one last hoorah before winter settles in. In this blog, we’ll take you on a tour through the heart of Northern Minnesota, to explore some local fall festivals and celebrations. Join us as we uncover the essence of autumn in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Harvest Moon Beer & Wine Tasting Festival – September 16th (Walker, MN)

As highlighted previously, the Harvest Moon Festival is a local favorite, offering craft beverage tastings from over 150 local vendors. This event has camping, lodging, and transportation options for attendees over the span of the weekend. Activities include games, contests, guided DIY art with the Traveling Art Pub, live music and dancing!

Nisswa Fall Festival – September 16th (Nisswa, MN)

If you’re looking for something a little further south, the 18th annual Smokin’ Hot BBQ Challenge is happening on the same day. There will be tons of food including a pancake breakfast from the Nisswa Fire Department and competition ribs for tasting after judging. The festival will also have a medallion hunt, bean bag tournament, Kidzone, craft market, music and more!

Longville Oktoberfest – September 16th (Longville, MN)

Believe it or not, a third local festival is happening on Saturday, September 16th over in Longville. Come on by Oktoberfest for a celebration of German heritage consisting of beer, crafts, antiques, book sale, scavenger hunt, music, and tons of food!

Carters’ Fall Festival – September 23 through October 29 (Park Rapids, MN)

Come experience fall at the farm, starting September 23rd and running through all of October. Visit Carters’ Farm’s giant Folklore & Fairy Tales corn maze, as well as wagon rides, live music and magic performances, and loads of games and activities. They offer season passes  and discounted tickets on their website.

Crosslake Days – September 28th, 29th, 30th (Crosslake, MN)

The weekend of Thursday September 28th through Saturday September 30th is full of family fun in Crosslake. Come experience a chili cook off, arts & craft fair, scavenger hunt, corn-hole tournament, trivia, live music, meat raffle, and loads of kids activities and inflatables.

These gatherings not only celebrate the changing of the seasons but also the rich community, culture, and tradition of our picturesque region. As the air begins to chill and the smell of bonfires surrounds us, join us in saying goodbye to summer with lively music, craft beverages, and family fun, all backed by the breathtaking scenery of this spectacular season.

Capture Minnesota’s Unique Summer Experience with These Adventure Ideas

Most residents of Minnesota know – it’s the summers that make the winters worth living through. With all the nature and water that surrounds us, even in the cities, there is no limit on recreation options once the weather warms up. Bill Hansen Realty’s guide to outdoor recreation includes many of the classics and a few new ideas for you to try this summer.

Up-North Camping

Two of the most popular summer activity options are camping and hiking. We’re surrounded by state parks, beautiful hiking trails, and camping options of various accessibility. Some popular camping locations are:

  • Along the Superior Hiking Trail, commonly known as the North Shore.
  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) is a one-of-a-kind wilderness area consisting of a huge network of freshwater lakes, streams, islands, and forests.
  • Voyageurs National Park, MN’s only national park. Campsites are accessible by boat only.
  • George Crosby Manitou State Park, a great spot for backpacking and hike-in camping.

Our favorite spot a bit closer to home is: Chippewa National Forest. Located just 15 miles from Walker, Chippewa offers campsites at Stony Point, as well as boat access, a swimming beach, and picnic areas.

Favorite Hiking Spots

Favorite hiking spots in northern MN include the previously mentioned Superior Hiking Trail and Chippewa National Forest. Itasca State Park is another option near home, which famously houses the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Finally, if you’re up for a small journey, or heading to the North Shore, check out Gooseberry Falls. Known for its namesake, the park offers multiple waterfalls, camping, hiking, and biking trails.

Local Community Festivals

Here in Northern MN, we celebrate any excuse to get together with community. Over the next few months, both Walker and Detroit Lakes are hosting music festivals – Walker’s Rock Music Festival is 7/20-22 and Detroit Lakes’ Country Music Festival is 8/3-5. Bemidji is also hosting its Annual Water Carnival 6/29-7/4 and Grand Rapids boasts the World’s Largest Wild Rice Festival 7/7-7/9.

Other Local Activities:

Some other popular activities occurring throughout the summer are:

  • Farmer’s markets and flea markets – filled with antiques, knick-knacks, food, music, and more, farmer’s and flea markets are an easy way to spend a weekend morning with family and friends.
  • Wineries and breweries – check out some local favorites like Forestedge Winery, Winedown, Portage Brewing Company, and Rendezvous Brewing.
  • Boating, Fishing & Swimming – find a public access beach near you and spend a day in or on the water!

Places to Visit

While many of the options mentioned in this blog are relatively local to North-Central Minnesota, there are several spots we love that are a bit farther away. If you’re looking to plan a getaway this summer, may we recommend the following destinations:

  • North Shore / Superior Hiking Trail
  • Duluth / Two Harbors
  • Lutsen / Grand Marais
  • BWCA
  • Twin Cities

We love Minnesota – the landscape, residents, and recreation. There are so many unique and special places here and we want everyone to have an amazing summer experience. If we missed your favorite place, let us know! We love hearing from and celebrating our up-north community.

Celebrate Summer with the 6 Best Beaches the Region Has to Offer

Our beloved home of Minnesota is known for its abundant lakes, and there’s no shortage of beautiful beaches in the state. Here are six of our favorite area resorts with amazing beaches. Some offer public access while others are for guests only, but each provides unique features, activities, and lodging options.

Blue Water Resort | Hackensack | Private Beach Access for Guests Only

Located in the charming town of Hackensack, Blue Water Resort provides guests with private access to the clear and clean waters of Birch Lake. Boaters will also enjoy easy access to Birch Lake from the resort’s private boat launch, and anglers will find plenty of opportunities to catch walleye, northern pike, and bass. The resort offers cabin rentals and RV sites with hookups throughout the summer.

Pine Ridge Resort | Longville | Public Beach Access

Pine Ridge Resort is located on the shores of Boy Lake, known for its pristine water and excellent fishing. The resort features a sandy beach with a gradual slope, making it perfect for swimming and water activities. The beach is open to the public, and day visitors can access the beach for a fee. Pine Ridge Resort is also great for kayaking and canoeing, as the lake is relatively calm with many bays and inlets to explore. This resort offers cabin rentals and camping sites.

Wildwood Beach Resort | Hackensack | Public Beach Access

Wildwood Beach Resort features a wide beachfront on the sandy shores of Little Boy Lake. The beach is open to the public, and day visitors can access the beach for a fee. The beach is great for swimming and sunbathing, and the water is perfect for water activities like paddleboarding and kayaking. The resort offers cabin rentals and camping sites and also features a playground for kids and a fire pit for roasting marshmallows.

Shores of Leech Lake | Walker | Private Beach Access for Guests Only

Located in the town of Walker, Shores of Leech Lake offers a large beach area with soft sand and crystal clear water. The resort is situated on a bay, making it a great spot for fishing and boating. The beach is private and exclusive to resort guests. Shores of Leech Lake also features a sauna and a hot tub, perfect for relaxing after a long day on the water. The resort offers cabin rentals and RV sites.

Tri Birches Resort | Hackensack | Public Beach Access

Tri Birches Resort offers not one, not two, but three beautiful beaches on Woman Lake. Each of the beaches at Tri Birches Resort features translucent waters and soft sand. The beaches are open to the public, and day visitors can access the beach for a fee. Boaters can access Woman Lake from the resort’s private boat launch, and anglers will have the chance to catch walleye, northern pike, and musky. The resort offers cabin rentals and camping sites.

Hiawatha Beach Resort | Walker | Private Beach Access for Guests Only

Hiawatha Beach Resort is located on the southern shore of Leech Lake and boasts a sandy beach with crystal-clear water. The resort offers private and exclusive beach access to resort guests only. The resort offers easy access to Leech Lake, one of Minnesota’s largest and most popular lakes. Boaters will enjoy easy access to the lake from the resort’s private boat launch, and anglers will find plenty of opportunities to catch walleye, northern pike, and musky. The resort offers cabin rentals and RV sites.

We love our region, and we wait all winter to watch it come alive in the sun. Walker, Hackensack and Longville have some of the best lakes and beaches the state has to offer and they are perfect for summer vacation. Whether you are looking for calm waters, sandy beaches, great fishing, or family fun and activities, you’ll find it all in North-Central Minnesota.

3 Reasons Why You Should Invest in a Vacation Home

Real Estate is one of the most popular ways for individuals in the United States to build wealth and equity. If you’ve been looking for ways to earn more income, buying a vacation home might be right for you. Here are the reasons why we think you should consider buying a vacation home. 

Your Equity Will Grow

Just like your main living property, your vacation home will grow its own equity over the years. All you have to do is maintain your property and make occasional upgrades. It’s rare that a property decreases in value. 

You Can Rent Out Your Cabin

If you want to make some extra money, renting out your vacation home is a great way to do it. With services like Air BnB and VRBO, it has never been easier to make extra income on your property. Of course, you have to make sure you are maintaining and cleaning your space, and keeping your listing updated. But if you’re willing to put in a little work, the benefits can really start to stack up!

Save Money on Your Vacations

One of the most simple ways that your vacation home will keep a little extra money in your pocket is by saving you money on your vacations. With a designated Northern Minnesota vacation spot that you can escape to at any point, you’ll save on hotels and food when you stay and cook at the cabin!

We think lake life and vacationing Up North is one of the best ways to relax, unwind, and spend time with the people you love. Why not make it work for you by making some extra money. We’re here when you’re ready to invest in your vacation home. Take a look at our current properties to find the property that’s right for you.

Top Christmas Gifts for Everyone on Your List at the Cabin

If you’re looking to make your Christmas Up North at the cabin the best one yet, you’ve come to the right place. These unique gifts will be a hit with each of your loved ones this year. 

For the Coffee Lover

Winnow MN brings you the best coffees from local roasteries throughout Minnesota. Their subscription box is the perfect way for any coffee connoisseur to find their new favorite blend. You’ll also get to support local Minnesota businesses!

For the Techie

Drones are the latest craze among the tech-obsessed. They’ve become more affordable in recent years, but still pack the same amount of fun and adventure for your favorite techies. Capture quality aerial footage with this camera drone

For the Book Worm

Serious book lovers have a seriously impressive library. This personalized rubber stamp will add a little more class to each book. Not to mention that this will be the perfect touch for those that love to lend out their favorite reads. 

For the Foodie

For the person in your life who loves trying new foods and new recipes, this international snack box is the perfect way to try a variety of foods from around the world. You can sign them up for either one box, or give them a subscription. 

For the Green Thumb

If you have a loved one that is basically living in an indoor tropical jungle, we’ve got a great gift for them. This hanging wall propagation station not only is perfect for their ever-growing plant collection, but it looks great too. 

We hope you have a great Minnesota Holiday season celebrating with those you love at the cabin. If you need anything cabin-related, our team is always here to help!

3 Fun Day Trips Under 3 Hours from the Leech Lake Area

Summer is a great time to take a day trip or two with family or friends for some new scenery and fun activities. These 3 day trips are under three hours of driving and have a ton of options for everyone at every age. 

Fargo, ND

Fargo offers everything from art to history to amusement parks to outdoor recreation. Spend some time at the Red River Zoo or stop by the Plains Art Museum. With events happening all year round, this city can satisfy the itch to get out of town and see something new. 

Duluth, MN

On the shores of Lake Superior, you can find something for everyone in Duluth. Visit the Fresh Water Aquarium, check out the lighthouses on Superior’s shores, or browse through the shops downtown. End the day at one of Duluth’s restaurants, breweries, or distilleries. 

International Falls, MN

Just on the border between Canada and Minnesota – this tiny town packs a lot of punch. At the Smokey Bear Park you can get your photo taken with a giant statue of Smokey the Bear, and take a boat tour around or spend the day hiking at Voyageur National Park.

Take some time away from your Northern Minnesota cabin and explore these fun cities and their attractions. If you’re looking for something a little closer to home, check out these local summer festivals

Fun Northern Minnesota Summer Festivals You Don’t Want to Miss

In Minnesota, we know how to do summer right! With long winters and a short opportunity to enjoy the warm weather, there are plenty of opportunities to take advantage of summer, get outdoors, and enjoy some local events that will create lasting memories. 

Sweetheart Days (July 8-13) – Hackensack, MN 

Since 1952 Hackensack has been celebrating Sweetheart Days as an homage to Lucette Diana Kensack or “The Lady of the Lake.” Lucette is Paul Bunyon’s wife, and the festival celebrates Lucette’s faithful waiting for Paul to get back from his work in the woods. Her statue stands by the lake, and the festival includes parades, contests, games, art, and more! 

Northwoods Art & Book Festival (August 13) – Hackensack, MN

This event is the longest-running art and literature festival in Minnesota! Featuring local artists and writers, there is plenty to do and see during this one-day festival, including live music, beer, food trucks, lots of booths to visit, art to see, and books to read! 

Moondance Music Festivals (Country: June 16-18, Rock: July 21-23) – Walker, MN

Whether you love rock-and-roll or prefer to two-step to country music, Moondance offers two music festivals in the summer to let you jam out to your favorite music and artists. Since 1992, Moondance has provided music for all at their Walker, MN venue. Be sure to check out their other year-round events to see if your favorite artist might be visiting! 

We’re excited to enjoy summer with you this year! Check out our available properties if you’re looking for your dream cabin to stay in after all of the local fun. 

Four Outstanding ATV and OHV Trails in Northern Minnesota

If you love getting outdoors on your All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) or Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV), there are four great trails in Northern Minnesota that you should check out this year. 

Soo Line North Trail: Cass County

This 52-mile trail makes its way through Bowstring State Forest and lands you on Cass Lake. The trail shows you various odds and ends that make Northern Minnesota unique and give you a great day trip with friends or family. 

Martineau OHM Trail

With single-track trails that loop within each other, this has rugged trails for more experienced riders and smooth trails for beginners. Found in Paul Bunyon State Forest, this trail is a great option for everyone to enjoy their time Up North. 

Spider Lake ATV Trails

Winding through Foot Hills State Forest, this trail takes you by lakes and ridges, over hills, and down slopes throughout the woods. There are 29 miles of both smooth and rocky trails that make it an excellent place for the whole family. Spider Lake Trails also are open year-round so bring your snowmobile in the winter! 

Axtell ATV Park

This off-the-beaten-path ATV park is accessible on the Soo Line North Trail in Aitkin County but boasts a more rustic and natural-feeling ride. This area is part of the 200-mile Northwoods ATV trail system, an excellent option for a weekend of off-roading. 

We hope you take advantage of the great outdoors Up North in Minnesota this summer, and if you’re still on the hunt for your dream cabin, we have some tips to help you find your Northern Minnesota vacation home

3 Prize Winning Lake Fishing Spots to Check out this Year

Lakes are beginning to thaw this spring, and many Minnesotans are dusting off their boats and tackle boxes. We’ve got the lineup for you if you’re looking for a record-breaking, prize-winning, or rare fish! Here are the best lakes to fish in when you head Up North this year. 

Leech Lake

If you’re looking to take home a prize-winning fish, Leech Lake is your place! Several anglers have reported reeling in 30, 40, and even 50-pound fish! This 112,000-acre lake has room for everyone and sits near local towns like Walker, MN, with excellent shopping and restaurants to check out when you need a break from the water. 

Lake Winnibigoshish

Nicknamed “Lake Winnie,” this lake has something for everyone in the family – fishing, swimming, and beaches. A record-breaking 54-pound muskie was caught here, and many continue to praise this fishing hole’s reputation throughout the years. 

Sand Lake

This 4,328-acre lake has shallow waters and protected bays that allow for many different types of fishing, so pull out your boats, your waders, and your fly fishing poles. Sand Lake is regularly stocked with lots of different kinds of fish, so it’s a great spot if you’re looking for variety or something a little different. 

Wherever you decide to head to spend the day with your line in the water, don’t forget to secure your fishing license before you go and enjoy the great outdoors! We can help you find the perfect spot to head back to after a perfect day on the lake! Reach out today

Three Easy Things that Will Help You Get Ready for Spring at the Cabin

We are Up North in Minnesota, so probably have many winter days ahead of us. But Spring is still on its way, so now is as good a time as ever to start planning to get your cabin ready for the season. Here are some tasks to keep in mind as you’re prepping for another great year at the cabin!

Schedule a weekend ahead of time to go Up North to check out the cabin. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish so that you don’t miss anything. Don’t forget to check your boat registration and insurance to verify if anything needs to be renewed. 

Do an inspection

Check the interior and exterior of your cabin for any weather or critter damage. Make a plan to repair significant issues first so that you can start enjoying cabin time sooner rather than later. Don’t forget to check your smoke alarm and C02 detector batteries, turn on your water and HVAC, and check your lighting and electrical. 

Restock Necessities

Toss any expired canned food or staples leftover from last year and do an inventory on basics you might need to shop for, such as sunscreen, batteries, bug spray, cleaning supplies, toiletry basics, etc.

Look Over Your Whole Property 

If you have a significant amount of land with your cabin, do a walk (or drive) around the entire property to check for fallen trees, litter, fence damage, or any other issues that might have come up during the winter months. 

Are you thinking about buying a cabin or lake home this year? Check out our properties to find your Northern Minnesota Lake home this year! 

P.S. Maple syrup season is almost here! Click here to read about maple syrup season Up North in Minnesota.