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Crane Lake Background
Because of its unique location near the Canadian border, this end-of-the-road community serves as an important access to the Crane Lake chain of lakes. Access to Crane Lake is via County Highway 23. Orr, which is the closest full-service community to Crane Lake, is 30 miles away. Crane Lake students travel to Orr to attend school. The nearest medical facility is 50 miles away in Cook.
Location and abundant access to recreational areas establishes the community of Crane Lake as a popular short-term vacation destination. Many people visit and use the local lodging facilities for a few days to a few weeks at a time. Thousands of visitors also use the community as a point of departure for trips into the adjacent recreational areas of the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness, Quetico Provincial Park and Voyageurs National Park. While most of the visitors come during the summer months, there is a growing demand in winter because of the popularity of outdoor winter sports.
Tourism and logging comprise the major employment opportunities for the community. Federal State and County land surround Crane Lake. Private land available for economic development is limited.
Our community includes single-family homes and seasonal cabins, restaurants, taverns, lodges, rental cabins, canoe outfitters, an RV and tent campground, houseboat rentals, marinas, gift shops, construction businesses, a church, a volunteer fire department, a post office and a U.S. custom’s office that is open 12 months of the year.
The local form of government is the Town of Crane Lake Board of Supervisors. The Town Board was established in June 2002. There are 120 registered voters in the township. There are many seasonal residents that are closely associated with the community. Based on the number of seasonal dwellings in the community, it is estimated that there are between 200 and 250 seasonal residents within the area. The population trends show a gradual increase, most likely due to the quality of living within the town.