- Big Rock Resort CCIC
- 7860 Hawthorn Trail - Minnesota
- Walker 56484 - United States
If you are already familiar with Big Rock Resort's reputation as a family vacation spot, you know that we offer quality accommodations and feature a northern Minnesota setting that is second to none. You may also know that most of our guests are repeat customers who have found their Big Rock Resort vacations to be value packed and consistently enjoyable.
Skis or snowshoes are required in the High Peaks Wilderness Area when snow depths exceed 8". Crampons are necessary for high elevation travel. Winter conditions in the mountains can be expected to be much more severe and variable than at lower elevations.High Peaks Wilderness and Ampersand Primitive Areas: The bridge at Stony Creek (Corey's Road) to access the Seward Range and the Raquette Falls Trailhead will be removed December 2nd for replacement. The replacement should be in no later than March 31st. There will be a temporary foot bridge in place during the interim to allow for crossing of the creek.
Elk Lake access to the High Peaks and Dix Mountain Wilderness Areas: The easement providing public access at Elk Lake prohibits public use during the big game hunting season. The public will not be allowed to cross the property from October through December. The road gate at Clear Pond will be closed and locked on October and remain closed through the Spring thaw. After December 2nd the public can access the trails to Dix and Panther Gorge, however they will have to park at the Clear Pond gate.
In the heart of Minnesota's famous vacation country and known for its fishing, the Leech Lake Area truly offers something for everyone in a natural setting that's not over-developed and bustling with crowds. People have been getting away from it all here for nearly a century. They've come for the fresh air, the blue skies and fish so big they created a word for them: "Lunker." You'll find fun and recreation, no matter what the season.
You'll have no trouble making every day memorable. There are town festivals, music festivals, restaurants from elegant to homespun, unique shopping, all manner of sports, museums, parks, historical sites, majestic bald eagles and a very special spot where, in a single step, you can cross the Mighty Mississippi.
For example, there are the Leech Lake Regatta, Mariners Fishing Tournament, Mercury Classic Fishing Tournament, Moondance JAM, Ethnic Fest, Reed's Sporting Goods featuring one of the world's largest collections of guns and sporting goods, live theater (in season) at the "Woodtick" Theater in Akeley and "Paul Bunyan" Theater in Bemidji and Itasca State Park, with the largest remaining stand of virgin white and red pine, and headwaters of the Mississippi River.
Leech Lake is an often breathtakingly beautiful, scenic lake with miles and miles of undeveloped shoreline. In fact, only 22% of its lakeshore is privately owned. Much of the shoreline is part of the Chippewa National Forest, and some is held by the Leech Lake Band of Chippewa. Pelican Island is famous for its birdwatching and, in the nearby Chippewa National Forest, the Leech Lake Area can lay claim to the largest population of nesting Bald Eagles on the North American continent.
North central Minnesita's treasury of Lakes - Spectacular Birdwatching
Imagine having the opportunity to view hundreds of different, often rare, species of shorebirds, songbirds, woodland, waterfowl, raptors, and other species in their natural habitat. Imagine all this in a spectacular, glacially sculptured landscape of deep pine and hardwood forests, fertile marshes and meadows, and clear blue lakes. Imagine viewing these winged wonders among a vast array of other rare fauna and flora. Then close your eyes and imagine Cass County "a birdwatcher's paradise".
Knowledgeable ornithologists credit Cass County and its adjacent forest areas as one of the most diverse, concentrated areas for birdwatching in North America. Visit during the spring migrations when species viewing can change almost weekly if not daily for weeks on end.Come view the largest breeding group of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, or dense rookeries of blue herons. Tread softly and listen for the signature call of mating loons across a distant lake. Spring and fall migrations bring countless varieties of duck and other waterfowl. Wrens, finches, warblers, nuthatches, woodpeckers, sapsuckers, owls, hawks, osprey? We have them in abundance!
Over the course of a year, over 230 different bird species are known to visit or take up residence in our woodlands, wetlands and meadows. The sighting of the uncommon species is often the common experience, in surprising concentrations, if you are fortunate enough to time your visit well. And we have expert naturalists available to answer your questions or direct you to the best seasonal sighting areas.
Need a place to stay? We have classic lakeshore resorts ready to accommodate birding groups of 4 to 40 or more, the vast majority in close proximity to great vantage points, some even with naturalists on staff. Prefer a more modern accommodation or a place to slip away for some great dining and shopping? Our communities, with their motels, restaurants and quaint shops, are never far away - and their legendary hospitality is a throwback to bygone days. For further information about lodging options, click on over to our Summer Accommodations page which links you to complete listings, with addresses and phone numbers for all our county-wide resorts, hotels/motels, B&Bs and campgrounds.
The families of John Baird and James Harlow donated 20 acres of prime bird habitat on Long Lake south of Walker to the Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation for a wildlife sanctuary. Prior to becoming the property of the Baird family, it served as a prestigious girls camp. The site contains 300 feet of waterfront and should become publicly accessible in 2000; it should also become one of the better birding sites in the Walker area."Local Ospreys Tracked As World Travelers": A number of familiar osprey annually making their summer home in and around Cass County continue to be tracked during fall migrations to points in Central and South America, including far western stretches of the Amazon rain forest in Brazil. Some have made their way along the Central America land route to South America, some across the Caribean, via south Florida, Cuba and Puerto Rico.
Northwoods Canoeing and Kayaking
Visit one of the last great and less frequented canoeing and kayaking areas in northern Minnesota. Follow, through miles of unbroken forest, the same water and portage trails blazed by native Americans well before the Age of the Pyramids. Recreate the little changed routes of 18th Century French fur traders, and, nearly two centuries ago, by explorers seeking the source of the "Father of Waters", the Mighty Mississippi.
Whether you want to retrace the pathways of those early explorers of yesteryear; DuLuth, Father Hennepin, Zebulon Pike (of the same fame as Colorado's Pike's Peak), Lewis Cass, Joseph Nicollet, Henry Schoolcraft, or just spend a gentle trip venturing through a chain of unspoiled, forest-locked lakes, Cass County has many, diverse water trails ideally suited for outings from a day to a weekend, or for an extended adventure through nature and history. Take your canoe or kayak far along unspoiled watercourses to fish, birdwatch or hike far from the noise and bother of motorboats or cars.
And best of all, at days end, take your choice of cooking your own catch-of-the-day over a fire at a moonlit campsite, or having a great meal prepared for you before retiring in one of our rustic, lakeshore cabins or modern lodging facilities. Neither miles of unpopulated wilderness, nor all the conveniences of town are far from your reach.
Cass County and adjacent areas offer water trails of varying lengths along the Mississippi, Crow Wing, Boy, Pine and Willow Rivers as well as a grand loop tour with some short portages through the Cass, Winnibigoshish and Leech Lake chain. Over a half dozen other county or nearby rivers and creeks, such as the Shingobee, the Daggett, the Laura, the Ada and the Necktie provide great additional backwoods canoeing and kayaking, especially during the high water, snowmelt-fed, spring months. Altogether, the county and its immediate surrounds serve up several hundred miles of canoeable waters, and by using some of the historic portage trails, you can canoe or kayak for days with little likelihood of seeing anything more than our diverse wildlife.
To quote Barry Babcock, noted Minnesota canoeist* and area resident, "it seemed inconceivable to me that anything else could rival the memorable wilderness canoeing experience I had in the Superior/Quentico. But since joining the Mississippi Headwaters Canoe Club, it soon became obvious that I had some of the finest canoe country right under my nose and didn't realize it. The region is blessed with richness and diversity perhaps unmatched elsewhere in the state."
When's the best time to go paddling? Mid-late springtime, with its high water, intense bird migration and general "critter" stirrings, generally offers the most opportunities for backwater exploration and wildlife observation. But anytime after early-April on our rivers (or "ice out" on our lakes 2 - 3 weeks later) through late fall will serve up a memorable experience. To the less adventuresome; note, the bugs generally don't arrive until early June and depart well before the debut of our spectacular fall color season in late September. And the height of fall color (late September to early October) provides a truly glorious and memorable time to go canoeing on our lakes and streams.