Looking for the ultimate pandemic-era getaway home — safe and secluded, with no need for masks or social distancing? There’s a private island with a rustic log cabin in northern Minnesota that’s now on the market for $399,000.
The 2.5-acre island on Farm Lake is on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Accessible only by boat, the island comes with a small parcel of land on the mainland, with a boat lift and dock, where you can park your vehicle, then boat to the island.
“You can be from the car to the island in less than five minutes,” said co-owner Marcus Andrusko.
The island, with 2,320 feet of shoreline and covered with towering pines, birches, maples and evergreens, is a natural playground for kids, said Andrusko, who, with his wife, Abby, has four.
“The good thing about an island is you can release the kids and it’s safe — they’re not going far,” Marcus said. There’s also a second, smaller “play island” a wade away through a shallow channel.
Marcus has deep roots in Minnesota’s northern wilderness. “My family used to own a resort in that area,” he said. “I was taken to the BWCA as a 9-month-old baby, and I haven’t missed a summer yet.”
After the resort was taken by the government under eminent domain and made part of the BWCA, the family learned to camp, Marcus said. He eventually started a camp for at-risk youth, taking them into the Boundary Waters, which he ran for 15 years.
“We still wanted a place to go — our own cabin,” he said. He discovered the private island while snowshoeing, looked up the owner and asked if he was interested in selling. He was.
The 546-square-foot log cabin was originally built somewhere else, then reassembled on the island in 1983. It has a main living/dining area with a small kitchen and a wood-burning stove.
“It’s very cozy,” said Abby. There are also two bedrooms. The lone bathroom is an outhouse but it’s a fancy one, with electricity and a bay window.
There’s also a sauna/bunkhouse on the island, as well as an outdoor shower with hot water. All together, the island can sleep up to eight indoors, plus there’s a campsite for tents.
When they’re on the island, the Andruskos spend most of their time enjoying the outdoors — kayaking, canoeing, swimming and fishing. They’re only a short paddle into the BWCA, just minutes from two entry points.
Farm Lake is a good fishing lake, filled with walleye, northerns, crappies and other species, said Marcus. It’s also a good swimming lake, with warm water, added Abby.
They also enjoy beautiful sunsets from their west-facing cabin.
The island is about 250 miles north of the Twin Cities, a four-to-five-hour drive. The town of Ely is a 10-minute drive away.
Since buying the property five years ago, the Andruskos have put a metal roof on the cabin and added tongue-and-groove siding inside.
They’re selling the island and cabin, fully furnished, now only because they co-own it with another family that is relocating to Michigan and wants to sell, said Marcus. “We love the place.”
Abby Andrusko, 612-581-7787, Keller Williams, has the listing.