Archive for May, 2012

FEATURED MEMBER: Sugar Point Resort

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Bunny and Steve Fox have owned Sugar Point Resort for 32 years. I had an opportunity to speak with Bunny over the phone to find out more information about this little hidden gem. Sugar Point was formed in 1968 with the merging of 2 resorts on the property. Bunny and Steve really enjoy the repeat guests that frequent the resort year after year. They have watched families grow up over the years, and generations come back over time.


“We are far enough away from the conventional resorts. This resort is just peaceful. It is the best spot on the lake for watching the sunset at night.” – Bunny Fox

Sugar Point Resort is centrally located on the East side of Leech Lake, it is one of very few resorts on this side of the lake. The central location keeps anglers close to a number of great fishing spots on the lake as well as giving guests a great view of the sunset sparkling over the lake every evening. Sugar Point has a large protected harbor offering guests full gas and bait services as well as boat slips. They have a boat landing on their property and also have a wide variety of boats and motors available for rental by guests at the resort. Sugar point is quite a distance from Walker, making for a very secluded and quiet stay for its guests.


In addition to the prime location of this resort, they also offer guests a beautiful covered pool (new in 1995) as well as an activity club for kids. Additional activities at the resort include: paddle boating, volleyball, basketball, softball, biking, horseshoes, swimming, bird watching, rock hunting, water skiing, hiking, and much more! Many guests come to the resort for hunting; duck hunting, deer hunting, grouse hunting as well as pheasant hunting are popular in the area. Sugar Point guests enjoy picnicking at nearby Bear Island, sleeping and relaxing at the tranquil resort, reading books and sun bathing.


There are 23 cabins at the resort, each with a personal kitchen equipped with all the amenities an individual or group may need. They also have a camping area, R.V. spots, laundry facilities, and communal showers/toilets for campers. There is a lodge for gathering that offers snacks and beverages to guests. They also offer free WiFi to guests!


Not far from the resort, guests can find a Forest History Center, the Deep Portage Nature Center, horseback riding, art galleries, restaurants, movie theaters, antique shops and gift shops, flea markets, golf courses, tennis courts, historical museums, bingo and casinos, The Paul Bunyan Amusement Park, a fish hatchery, and the River Boat Theater.

FEATURED MEMBER: Trappers Landing Lodge

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

Trappers Landing Lodge is known as an affordable luxury vacation spot on Leech Lake. Trappers is part of a corporation in conjunction with Odyssey of Duluth and other resorts up the north shore of lake Superior. Trappers Landing Lodge is the newest of the Odyssey resorts and opened its doors in 2007. In addition to a beautiful lodge, there is a restaurant, “Beach Fire Bar and Grille” which is one of the oldest buildings on Leech Lake!

 

The luxury units of the lodge face over 1,600 feet of Leech Lake shoreline with a sandy beach and full-service marina. Guests can bring their own boats or rent a boat at the resort. Complimentary amenities offered at the resort include and outdoor pool and a sauna, canoes and kayaks, trek bikes, volleyball, horseshoes, swimming rafts. Guests can also choose to enjoy the on-site bar, and/or relax with some massage therapy. Kids can find plenty to do at Trappers with Adventure Camp activities, fishing contests, water sports, free s’mores and bonfires in the evenings, movies, and a playground.

 

Trappers Landing Lodge is located about 15 miles from Walker, about 17 miles from Hackensack and 18 miles from Longville. In speaking with Brandy, a manager at the resort, she described the location as

 

“you are off the beaten track and on the water, but yet close enough to town.”

 

Trappers Landing Lodge is popular among individuals, anglers, couples, families, groups, and wedding parties and receptions! They cater to just about anyone, and there seems to be something for just about anyone here at the lodge and in the surrounding area. There is also an opportunity for people to purchase ownership in the resort, giving people an opportunity to have a place right on the lake!

FEATURED MEMBER: Shores of Leech Lake

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

Picture yourself spending a summer day at a beautiful marina with a cold beverage, friends, great stories, and a great view looking out at a beautiful harbor filled with sail boats. This is exactly what draws guests to Shores of Leech Lake year after year! Shores of Leech Lake is a marina best known for all of the sailboats that moor in the marina. Shores of Leech Lake is also the host of the Leech Lake Regatta; a three day sailing festival attracting sailors from around the Midwest.

 

Shores of Leech Lake has a 120 slip harbor where they rent slips on a seasonal basis. Many people do bring their own sailboats and rent a slip, however, Mitch Loomis, part owner of the resort, mentioned that he does refer people to sailboat renters in the area as well.

 

The resort is just 2 ½ miles north of Walkers on the paved Hartland and Paul Bunyan trails. In addition, each of Shores cottages has blacktopped access from the cottage door to the trail! Virtually all of Shores guests that have been there before know to bring their bicycles to ride to town or explore the forest and lakes by bicycle. When I asked Mitch how he would describe the overall atmosphere at the resort, he says, “the atmosphere is one of camaraderie and relaxed activity.”

 

Mitch explained that marinas have a different atmosphere from resorts. The people that stay there really tend to get involved in the marina. They walk around and get to know each other; they get to meet others that have a slip there or those that just come to enjoy the bar for our limited menu, tap beer and wine. He says it’s easy for people to develop relationships and find out what it going on in the area by talking to others at the resort. He claims,
“Marinas have a certain atmosphere where people tend to share more, drink more… it’s more of a vacation atmosphere.”
Shores of Leech Lake offers guests their first beverage free on Friday evenings – Shores guests have dubbed this “Free Beer Friday.”

“The marina atmosphere creates lots of stories,”explained Mitch. He told a story about a few sailors that mapped out each spot on the lake where a sail boat has gone down. In addition to the resorts appeal to sailors; fishermen, people with boats in general and families are drawn to the marina for the overall atmosphere. I asked Mitch what his favorite part of running a resort is, he responded “my favorite part is having something really nice for people to see and enjoy.”
He explained that when the resort looks nice and everything is in tip top shape, it creates a good mood. He states “we can’t make guests have a good time, but we can provide an environment to facilitate it!”
“Our mission is to provide the best facilities that we can to people that love the water!”

 

The resort has a strong commitment to the Walker community and all events. Coming up on July 4th the city will support a fundraiser event for the Walker Area Youth Hockey – Shores of Leech Lake encourages all to register. Follow this link for information: http://walkerareacommunitycenter.com/walker-waddle.

Events of Leech Lake, 2012

Monday, May 21st, 2012

The Leech Lake area is just overflowing with events during the summer season. First on the list, the Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass Fishing Opener is on May 26th. Following the bass openers, June 2nd is the Muskie Fishing Opener. People will be flocking to the world-class fishing destination of Leech Lake for these openers! The 4th annual Leech Lake Walleye Tournament will be held from June 2nd-3rd this year. This is the largest walleye tournament in Minnesota and will attract 155 teams this season including elite fishermen, leisure fishermen, and even first timers! The contest will give away nearly $40,000 in cash and prizes! This is a non-profit event, and proceeds will go to Leech Lake area non-profit organizations.
Crazy Days in Walker happens 3 times throughout the summer season. This is a great time for shopping and finding great deals at the many shops in the area. Crazy Days will be held on June 21st, July 19th and August 9th this year.

 

Moondance Jam 21 will be held from July 18-21st this year. The pre-jam party starts on Wednesday, July 18th with Hairball, followed by Mountain Ash and The Bad Animals. Following the pre jam party, Moondance Jam is featuring Kid Rock, John Fogerty, and Heart this year along with a number of other bands on the main stage as well as the side stages. Moondance Jammin Country will go from June 22-23. The pre jamming party will feature 32 Below, Silverado, and Saturday Night Special. The full lineup for Moondance Jammin Coutry Fest includes: Neal McCoy, Kix Brooks, Bomshel, Hitchville, Billy Currington, Shris Cagle, Morgan Frazier, and Lost Highway.

 

YIKES! BIKES! Bikes Tour will happen on July 21st. This bike tour will include 18-mile, 40-mile, and 60-mile routes on paved roadways and trails. Each route is very scenic with a combination of beautiful lakeshores and thick wooded areas. There are also rest stops along the way and at the finish line for bikers to enjoy live music and snacks! This event will benefit the Leech Lake Area Habitat for Humanity.
The 6th annual Walker Bay Days will be on August 4th. Walker Bay Days is full of fun for families and kids with activities including: a volleyball tournament, a POW-WOW exhibition, a history tent, DJ entertainment, Bingo, sea plane rides, sailboat rides, a “big dig” for tokens in the sand for both children and adults, inflatable jungle gyms for children, a talent contest, a movie night, and a performance by the group The Laughing Hearts. Along with all of these activities, visitors to the Walker Bay Days can expect to spot a roaming magician and robotic puppets wandering the area, children may also encounter face painting, and a balloon animal artist! There will also be a 5K run/walk sponsored by the Walkers Lions which will award trophies to the overall male and female winners as well as ribbons to the top three in each age group.

 

The 41st Leech Lake Regatta will take place from August 10-13th. The Regatta is run by a volunteer committee of Leech Lake Yacht Club. There will be two fleets of races including mono-hull and multi-hull boats. This event attracts a large number of people to the Leech Lake Area – the event will include much more than just sail boat races, there will also be celebratory campfires along the shores of Leech Lake, music and camaraderie.

 

The 20th annual Ethnic Festival of Walker, Minnesota will take place on September 8th. This festival will be hosted by the Leech Lake Area Chamber of Commerce and will celebrate the cultures of our ancestors. There will be a variety of ethnic cuisines as well as crafts and artistries of various countries. Ethnic Fest will also include a parade with partakers from far and near.

Leech Lake Area Activities

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

The Leech Lake area is one of abundant scenery, great history and endless entertainment. This is a destination for vacationers, couples, families, groups, day trippers, adventure seekers and more.

 

Leech Lake is one of the largest lakes in Minnesota; covering about 112,000 surface acres! It offers anglers a world-class fishing experience. The irregular shape of the lake and the many bays give this lake about 201 miles of shoreline, much of which consists of a mixture of gravel, rubble and boulder. This mixture is used primarily by the spawning walleye, which are plentiful in Leech Lake. Along with the large number of walleye, there is also excellent fishing for muskies, large and smallmouth bass, perch, crappies and sunfish.

 

Leech Lake is also a great destination for families and groups. People enjoy spending time along the sandy shores of the lake. There are all kinds of water sports that are popular on the lake including: water skiing and wakeboarding, knee boarding and tubing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing, jet skiing, boating, paddle boarding, and much more. Along the shoreline people enjoy games of volleyball, shuffleboard, jumping on water trampolines, swimming, floating, and relaxing. The entertainment on the lake is truly unlimited!

 

Off the lake, many people enjoy hiking and biking the surrounding trails in the area. The Leech Lake area consists of trails along the Shingobee River Valley offering hikers a great 8 mile hike. The Heartland Trail is Minnesota’s oldest paved trail with miles of beautiful scenery. Lake Erin Interpretive Trail is a nice 5-mile hike around Lake Erin. Mi-Ge-Zi Trail is a pleasant paved trail, 4 miles long, great for both hiking and biking. It is located in the Chippewa National Forest and routes around Pike Bay and Cass Lake. The North Country National Scenic Trail cuts through the Chippewa National Forest and is part of the longest continuous footpath in North America! Oak Point Trail, Paul Bunyan State Recreational Trail, Shingobee Trail, and Stony Point Recreation Area Trail, are some of the other trails in the area. Near to the area is the world famous Itaska State Parks with its own trail system with trails leading over the Mississippi River and beyond!

 

In addition to all of the lake activities, hiking, and biking, many people are attracted to the Leech Lake area for the great selection of scenic golf courses of northern Minnesota. There are also a number of casinos in the area where people enjoy bingo, blackjack, poker machines, and much more! The area also offers adventure tours including sightseeing, community events, and resort visits. There are also a number of museums to explore in the area, wineries, and breweries.

FEATURED MEMBER: Acorn Hill Resort Fishing Lodge and Family Resort

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Looking for that perfect family fishing resort? Acorn Hill is known for its family appeal and great fishing. They appeal to families with their endless amenities and activities including waterslides and a sandy beach, a pool and hot tub, a playground, volleyball court, basketball court, horse shoe, shuffle board, paddle boats, a game room, kayaks, campfire pits and much more. Some of the cabins even have private hot tubs! They are centrally located on a harbor of Leech Lake making it easy for fishermen to get to good spots on the lake. Leech Lake is great for walleye (stocked every year), muskie, bass, pan fish (like sunnies and crappies) and others. According to Richard Breda, the owner of the resort, “We provide everything fishermen need!”

 

Some of the fishing amenities include: boat rentals, guide services, fish house rentals, weekly pro fishing seminars, bait and tackle, fish cleaning facilities, and dock service. When asked how Richard would describe the overall atmosphere at the resort, he responded, “It’s beautiful. We are very secluded. You don’t hear any cars- the only thing you hear is boat motors.”

 

Acorn Hill was built in the 50’s. Richard Breda and Cynthia Prescott purchased the resort in 2000 and began a partnership with Doug Fure and Family to create a family friendly resort, perfect for people of all ages. The resort started out with just 6 cabins; it now includes 13 cabins and one house, 232 seasonal RV sites, and 7 rental RV sites! It was mainly a fishing resort when they bought it years ago, and they have successfully turned it into a family resort. Richard says his favorite part of running the resort is “I enjoy the people that come – the people that return every year and making new friends as well.”

 

Richard was eager to talk about the resort and some of the returning visitors that come year after year. He described a bunch of people that come every 4th of July weekend from all over the world, traveling incredible distances just to get to this beautiful, secluded piece of paradise. Richard would describe Leech Lake as “the best lake in Minnesota.” He ended our conversation by reiterating the beauty at the resort, stating “the scenery is just fantastic here.”