Mille Lacs is One of the Most Popular Ice Fishing Lakes in Minnesota
In the Land of 10,000 Lakes (it’s actually 11,842, but that isn’t nearly as easy to remember or market), being among the most popular is really quite something. But, as long as we’re showing a little bravado, let’s take that a step further…
The Red Door Resort in Aitkin is definitively the best overall ice fishing resort on Lake Mille Lacs, one of the most popular ice fishing lakes in all of Minnesota.
Quite a claim, right? Don’t worry, we’ll back it up. In fact, we’ve got 1,000 reasons why it’s true (actually, we’ve got ~1,142 reasons, but that’s not as catchy). But in this blogpost, let’s just focus on 5 of the biggest and best reasons:
- Location on the Lake
- Ice Highways
- Accommodation Choices
- Proximity to the Twin Cities
- Activity Options
Let's get started!
1.) Location on the Lake
Red Door Resort is supremely situated on a sweet spot on Lake Mille Lacs: the north shore, closer to the mud flats than literally any other resort. Now, the folks on other parts of the lake will push back a little, because staying on the north shore of the lake means that before you can even check in and drop a line, you’ve got to spend an extra ½-hour on US Highway 169 or State Highway 18. Fair enough. But what our south siders and others don’t realize is that they’ll spend up to a FULL HOUR (and that’s each way) driving on the ice just to get to the mud flats and other north shore hotspots.
Let’s do some quick math. Staying on another shore means no extra time on the paved roads, but at least two hours of slow, 10mph driving on the ice roads. On the other hand, staying at Red Door means an extra hour driving 55mph+ on the paved roads (½-hour coming in, ½-hour going home) and minimal time getting to and from the flats.
Bottom line: at least an hour of fishing time wasted driving on the ice vs. one hour on the pavement. And if you aren’t staying on the ice, the wasted time increases hugely. Hey, it’s your choice.
2.) Ice Highways
And speaking of driving on the ice… everyone has to, right? Even if it’s only for a few minutes, you do need to drive the ice to get to your spot. Here’s the thing: many places on the lake, you’ll get what we refer to as goat trails – sure, these “roads” are plowed, but you’ve gotta pull over to make room when passing a car going the other way. But at Red Door, we plow ice highways. If you know the area, think of Highway 169 – ON. THE. ICE. Seriously, whether you’re on our ice roads for two minutes or two hours, you’ve got smooth sailing. There’s a reason we sell so many ice road passes: we have excellent lake roads. Did we mention that when you stay with us, you don’t have to purchase a pass? That’s right, it comes with your reservation!
3.) Accommodation Choices
We’ve been doing this a long time, so we know that not all ice anglers are the same. Some come alone and never leave the ice. Some come with buddies and like to spend the day fishing and the night partying – on or off-ice (honestly, they don’t care). Others bring the family and need more room. And that’s why Red Door offers onshore and offshore options – you decide what works best for you. Fish houses are great – and we’ve got 15 different options! Our cabins are the comfiest – and we’ve got a bunch of 3-BR and 2-BR options, as well as the luxurious Stone House, which sleeps 7 in an I-feel-like-I’m-sleeping-in-my-own-bed home. Our motel rooms are perfect for family reunions or a group of pals… pack them in the motel.
Listen, if we don’t have an accommodation that suits you (or your group), we don’t deserve your business. And we can say that confidently because we literally have so many options!
4.) Proximity to the Twin Cities
Remember those 11,842 lakes? Yeah, well, the vast majority are way, way up north. Minnesota truly has world-class lakes and fishing (ice and open water), but the truth is that most of those lakes are a really long drive for many of us. If you’re planning a ten-day fishing excursion, a 6-hour drive to the Canadian border doesn’t seem so bad. But when you want a weekend getaway, you need a world-class ice fishing lake you can get two in just a couple of hours. If you ever wondered why Lake Mille Lacs is so darn popular… allow us to remind you that it is one of the best ice fishing lakes in all of Minnesota, yet it’s just a two-hour drive from where nearly 60% of us Minnesotans live. So, whether you’re from the Twin Cities and you want excellent local ice fishing, or you’re from out of state and will be flying into the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, Lake Mille Lacs is for you.
5.) Activity Options
We get it – as strange as it might sound to some, not everyone loves ice fishing. It might be sacrilegious to suggest, but no worries, as the Red Door Resort is adjacent to the Wealthwood State Forest, as well as nearly 150 miles of award-winning snowmobile trails and dozens of cross-country skiing paths. Further afield, you can access the Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Wealthwood Rod and Gun Club, and the Mille Lacs Indian Museum. Yeah, there’s a lot going on here. Even if you’re the group’s oddball because you don’t fish, you’ll be busy. We can guarantee it.
Let's wrap this up...
So, there you have it: five of the 1,000s of reasons to come to the Red Door Resort. It feels like it might be time to book your reservation? Oh, and keep coming back – we don’t just provide ice reports… we also keep you up to speed on the ICE OUT reports, getting you ready for the spring-SUMMER-fall seasons. At Red Door, you can’t go wrong.