Located near Walker, Hackensack, and Longville, Minnesota, the Leech Lake area is a popular area for lake homes, second homes, and vacation renters. Located in the Chippewa National Forest, Leech Lake is in a beautiful area. Soaring bald eagles are common sights in the area. In the summer, loons can be seen and heard on area lakes along with a variety of waterfowl.
Leech Lake property for sale includes a variety of types of lake homes, cabins, condos, townhomes, and lakeshore; the area has everything for sale from stunning log homes with panoramic lake views to quaint small cabins with sunset lake views. Leech Lake property for sale also includes small and large condos and townhomes with access to boat docks or harbors. Of course, the area property for sale also includes lake lots and land – build your dream home!
About Leech Lake
With 11 islands and 316 miles of shoreline, Leech Lake offers a variety of types of shoreline: hard sand, rocky, weeds, and reeds. Whether it’s wading in water, canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, water skiing, fishing, or any other water-oriented recreation, it can be done on Leech Lake.
Covering about 110,000 acres, Leech Lake is by far the largest lake in the area. In fact, it is the third largest lake that is entirely in Minnesota. According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, (DNR) the deepest part of the lake is 160 feet deep.
According to the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, Leech Lake fills a basin that was formed by receding glaciers. Leech Lake is located geographically in three glacial zones, which contributed to its very irregular shape and numerous bays of various sizes. Leech Lake is used as a reservoir that was formed after the construction of a dam in 1884.
Of course, people lived in the area long before 1884. Artifacts of early cultures have been found in the area and arrowheads still occasionally wash up on Whipholt Beach. The city of Walker decided to commission a monument to make sure the rich history and culture of the Leech Lake area was remembered. The “Circle of Time” consists of 13 bronze statues that are located in front of the Cass County Historical Museum, which is near downtown Walker. Each statue depicts information about the people of the area from pre-historic times to now.
The Leech Lake area is an area rich in Native American culture. According to the “Circle of Time” information, the Ojibwe Tribe has been the primary tribe in the area since at least the 1700s. Missionaries, fur-traders, lumbermen, and homesteaders also called the area home.
Things To Do
Anglers from all over the world come to fish Leech Lake…it is a world-class fishery. Leech Lake fishing is extraordinary! Many things contribute to the excellent fishing conditions. With 7 major inlets (from creeks to rivers) and 9 minor inlets; varying water depths; the size of the lake; 11 islands; and variety of vegetation, there is so much habitat for fish.
As noted by the DNR, Leech Lake is known for its walleye and muskie fishing. In addition, it also has an abundance of northern pike, yellow perch, sunfish, largemouth bass, and black crappie. In a typical winter, our area lakes freeze, which provides great opportunities to continue the fishing season. Did you know, people drive full-size trucks onto the frozen lakes and have ice houses that are as comfortable as most luxury RVs with heat, beds, satellite TV, and, of course, ice holes?
As we have mentioned, Leech Lake is approximately 110,000 acres. Fortunately, there are a number of boat landings around the lake. The DNR has information about 9 public access sites. Eight of the sites are boat landings and one of them is a shore fishing site. Many of the public access sites have restrooms, picnic areas, and beaches. Not all boat landings are accessible to large boats so be sure to check the DNR’s website for specific information.
Exploring Trail Systems
The Leech Lake area has extensive trail systems with beautiful scenery. Many real estate owners and visitors enjoy the area’s trail systems. These quality trail systems are easily accessible for motorized or non-motorized adventure. The area has All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) and Off-Highway Motorcycle (OHM), mountain biking, biking, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, snow shoeing, horse-back riding, and hiking trails.
Probably two of the most common trails in the Leech Lake area are the Paul Bunyan State Trail and the Heartland Trail. The majority of these two trails were built on level, abandoned, railroad tracks. These paved trails can be easily accessed in Walker and Hackensack. Many people use them in the summer for walking, biking, or in-line skating; and in the winter time, they are used primarily for snowmobiling.
According to the Longville Chamber of Commerce, there are over 450 miles of interconnected, groomed trails in Cass County. Most of these trails are used year-round. Four of the trails are mentioned below:
- According to the DNR, the Paul Bunyan Trail is the longest trail in Minnesota and the longest continuously paved rail-trail in the USA. It is definitely a local gem. Beginning in Crow Wing State Park in Brainerd/Baxter and ending in Lake Bemidji State Park in Bemidji, it is about 120 miles long and connects to other trails. The DNR has maps and information about bike-in camping, picnic areas, and rest shelters. Snowmobilers must have a snowmobile state trail sticker; there are no other fees or passes required to use the Trail.
- The DNR, of course, has information about the Heartland State Trail, too. It is one of the first rail-to-trail projects in the USA. It is a 49-mile paved trail that is connected to the Paul Bunyan State Trail and is easily accessible from Walker, Akeley, Nevis, Dorset, Park Rapids, and Cass Lake.
- The Woodtick Trail is a 13-mile road. Chippewa National Forest website has an informative pamphlet that is a vehicle tour of the Trail. There are 15 markers along the Trail; the pamphlet provides you with description of each of the 15 markers. For instance, Marker #5 is a parking spot for people who want to park and walk, hunt, or ski, the North Country National Scenic Hiking Trail. Marker #11 is the Moccasin Lake Access. It is a great panfish lake and there is also a backcountry camping site.
- The Woodtick Wheelers is a local ATV and OHM club with more than 420 members. They are wonderful trail ambassadors and schedule a number of rides annually; group rides are listed on their website. If you want to ride with a group, contact the Woodtick Wheelers.
- The North Country National Scenic Hiking Trail (NCT) is a 4,600-mile long trail stretches from New York to North Dakota. We are very fortunate to that part of the NCT goes through our area.
- The North Country Trail Association has interactive maps and information about NCT. If you want to hike the Trail but do not want to hike alone, the North Country Trail Association has information on their website about their group hikes. The NCT in our area is cleared and maintained by volunteers. People interested in participating in maintaining the Trail can contact the North Country Trail Association.
Within minutes of Walker, there are two 18-hole, public golf courses: Tianna Country Club and Longbow Golf Club as well as a 9-hole public golf course: Wedgewood Golf Course. All three have driving ranges.
Walker City Park has tennis courts that are available at no charge.
There are so many fabulous sand beaches in the area. Three of the beaches are mentioned below:
- Walker City Park – The park in downtown Walker has a fabulous sandy beach, great swimming area, a raft to swim to, restrooms, lighthouse, large grassy area, tennis courts, basketball courts, playground, boat launch, and covered picnic areas.
- Whipholt Beach – This long sand beach is about 13 miles east of Walker. There is ample parking. It is very close to Huddles Resort where people go for a tasty ice cream cone after a day at the beach.
- Bear Island – You can boat to any beach, but it is fun to boat to Bear Island and enjoy the sand beach. Many people pack a picnic lunch and cooler and enjoy a hot summer day while cooling off in the water. If you do not have a fishing or pontoon boat, many local resorts rent them for a full or half day.
- The park in Hackensack has a swimming area with a sandy beach on Birch Lake. It also has a covered picnic area, fishing pier, restrooms, a playground, boat landing, tennis courts, and grassy area.
The Leech Lake area has a wide variety of shopping – everything from clothing, sporting goods, and thrift stores to art shows, flea markets, and estate and garage sales.
The Leech Lake Chamber of Commerce lists almost 20 different restaurants in their guide. Some of them you can travel to by boat, bike, or vehicle. No matter what you are hungry for…or your budget, the Leech Lake area has a restaurant for you.
The Leech Lake area has an incredible variety of annual events. There are fishing tournaments, music events, a winter fishing festival, Pow Wows, Fourth of July celebrations and parades…just to name some of them. Northern Lights Casino offers many events annually. The Leech Lake area also has regattas, marathons, art shows…and so much more!
If you do not have your own land to hunt, there is public land in Cass County. According to the DNR, wildlife management areas (WMA) are the most commonly hunted public lands. A variety of game species can be hunted: Bear, Deer, Doves, Forest Upland Birds, Pheasants, Sharp-tail Grouse, Small Game, Turkeys, or Waterfowl. In the Leech Lake area, near Walker, there are 3 WMAs. Ah-gwah-ching WMA has 228.42 acres; George Cook WMA has 150.78 acres; and Mule Lake WMA has 351.14 acres.
There is also hunting allowed on some public land in Cass County. Be sure to check the Cass County, Minnesota, website or search a county plat book to obtain information about public land to be aware of the property boundaries and land topography.
Visiting Sugar Point Battle Monument
This roadside historical marker is located at Whipholt Beach, which is about 13 miles east of Walker, MN. This battle was fought in October 1898 between Native Americans and soldiers. The Native Americans won the battle. Leech Lake Tourism Bureau has the interesting story and facts about the battle and the outcome.
Visiting Cass County Historical Museum and Pioneer School
The museum and school are open in the summer. There is a small admission fee charged…unless it’s “free Friday”. According to the Cass County Historical Society, the Pioneer School was built in 1912 and used until 1937. The Museum has Native American, transportation, and military exhibits. They also have a Trapper’s shack, lumbering artifacts, an exhibit of a typical late 1800’s home, and so much more. For those of you who like history, it is well worth your time. The “Circle of Time” bronze statues are in this area of Walker, too.
For many Leech Lake property owners, their Leech Lake home is their second “home”, which can be cabins, homes, townhomes, condos, or lots for their RVs. They along with their guests have so many options for deciding how they want to enjoy the area! There is a wide variety of properties for sale on Leech Lake.
Additional Area Lakes