Located Midway Between the Twin Cities

Area Information


Located along the I-35 corridor, halfway between the Twin Cities (Minneapolis & St Paul) and the Twin Ports (Duluth & Superior) lies a beautiful region which is filled with lakes, forests, trails, and rural living. Scattered throughout farmlands and state parks are idyllic cities that offer modern living without urban stress. These towns – which include Hinckley, Sandstone, Askov, Finlayson, Willow River, Sturgeon Lake, Moose Lake, and many more – are filled with small businesses, solid school districts, medical centers, golf courses, and parks. They have rich history and strong communities, which come together for festivities such as Agate Days (Moose Lake), The Rutabaga Festival (Askov), the Ice Festival (Sandstone), and St. Urho's Day (Finlayson). Other aspects of history can be seen through the transitions of local industry, from quarries to railroads, then farming to tourism. The Great Hinckley Fire of 1894 and Moose Lake Fire of 1918 also have had historical significance to the region.

Being within the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this area has its share of lakes! Moosehead Lake, Sturgeon Lake, Island Lake, Hanging Horn, and the Pine Lake Chain are among the favorites for fishing, boating, or enjoying a weekend getaway at a lakefront cabin. A great variety of fish can be expected, such as bullhead, crappie, sunfish, bass, muskie, northern, walleye, and perch.

Minnesota is also a hunting paradise, with millions of acres of public hunting land available. Deer are among the most abundant local harvest, with many also enjoying turkey hunting. Privately owned parcels of land also provide great hunting opportunities; this area is a popular destination for hunting camps!


Falling primarily within the boundaries of Pine County and Carlton County, this area is home to several picturesque state parks, which offer ample opportunities for recreational activities like hiking, biking, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, whitewater rafting, camping, birdwatching, and more! Banning State Park, located off the I-35 near Finlayson/Sandstone, is over 6,000 acres, with the scenic Kettle River flowing through a 10 mile stretch. This park is home to the historic ruins of the Banning Sandstone Quarry. Moose Lake Start Park can be found just 20 miles north and boasts quality campsites and fishing at quiet Echo Lake. General Andrews State Forest is over 7,000 acres of rehabilitated forest land near Sturgeon Lake, and the Nemadji State Forest extends to the Wisconsin border. There are several trails that add to the recreational attraction of the locality, namely the Willard Munger State Trail, which is a paved trail system that runs from Hinckley north to Duluth. It is the 5th longest paved trail in the United States, boasting 63 miles in length. The Soo Line Trail also crosses through Carlton County, following an abandoned railroad grade, and provides opportunity for hiking, ATV/snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing.

Whatever your areas of interest or desired lifestyle is, we’re sure that this beautiful area we get to call home will have something to meet your needs!