Crane Lake: 'The end-of-the-road town where everyone knows everyone'

Crane Lake
Crane Lake
William Lager | MPR News

Crane Lake has made the top eight in our most-loved lake contest. See all the finalists and cast your vote here.

Just about 120 people live on Crane Lake year-round, but it still has love from people who get to spend just part of their time on the lake. Like James Reiling, as he told us via the Public Insight Network, or PIN.

Crane Lake's "Gold Coast," circa 1968.
Crane Lake's "Gold Coast," circa 1968.
Minnesota Historical Society

"Our family has been vacationing at Crane Lake since late 70s. This will be our fourth summer retired and spending our spring, summer and fall at Crane Lake. Crane provides access to many other fantastic lakes with great fishing, water sports, hiking and sightseeing. Scores of campsites to enjoy in Voyageurs National Park. Over the years we have stayed at most of the resorts and enjoyed excellent dining in all the restaurants. The best thing: The people of Crane Lake are wonderful hosts, whether restaurant, resort or marina owners. They genuinely love serving the visitors.

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On the Canadian border in the Kabetogama State Forest, Crane serves as an entry point for Voyageurs National Park, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario and Superior National Forest.

It's much more than that for people like Scott Sanborn, as he told us in PIN.

"For me, it's home. I've grown up there, spending summers working at Handberg's. Fall hunting ducks, deer, and grouse, winters snowmobiling and ice fishing, and springtime fishing and jumping into the the lake way to early when it's still far too cold. It's a place where there is no generational gap. My great, great grandfather moved to Crane Lake and I hope that my great, great grandchildren have the privilege to call it home as well. It's the end-of-the-road town where everyone knows everyone.

Tell MPR News and the Water Main: What makes your lake special?