Basswood Lodge at Cotton Lake—A Wonderful Birding Destination
Perched upon a breezy bluff with a birds-eye view across sparkling Cotton Lake Basswood Lodge is a perfect getaway for the birder, nature lover, or for anyone who might enjoy a few days of tranquility and a place to reconnect with oneself and the natural world.
Basswood Lodge is actually nothing more than a traditional Minnesota lake cabin, one of thousands sprinkled around the land of 10,000 lakes; this one as quaint and cozy as you might remember a lake cabin of days gone by. She’s tucked within the hillside to blend harmoniously with oak, maple, birch and of course basswood trees—a forest that provides shelter from the west wind and gracefully frames the lake view. If you enjoy birds and bird watching you will never tire of Basswood’s lake-side deck, eye-level with the forest canopy. Take your morning coffee outdoors, warmed by the morning sun, surrounded by beautiful nature. In fact, after a morning or two like this you may find yourself completely at home.
On the inside, Basswood is spare but complete and finely finished with lovely Douglas fir flooring; warm, reclaimed wood paneling and clear pine windows and doors. Offsetting the subdued tones of abundant wood features, paint colors such as “Morning Light” and “Crystalline” lend brightness to the ceilings and certain walls. Our main level consists of the kitchen, living room and dining area, and the adjacent master bedroom and bathroom. On warm nights it is pleasant to sleep with the French doors open to the screen porch, and wake to loons calling and the conversations of morning birds. A ship’s ladder leads guests to the loft which we’ve furnished with one full size bed, one twin bed and ample seating. The loft is a nice place to read on a stormy day. A feature window captures eagle-eye views across Cotton Lake to forested Shelley Island. Guests who take the loft accomodations will enjoy their own full bath as well.
There is a pleasant footpath down to our sand and gravel beach and the clean swimming water of Cotton Lake. Bass fishing is good right from shore, and better from the end of our 32’ dock. Bring your own boat for the best Cotton Lake has to offer. Public access is easy at the state access straight across from our cabin. Best of all the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge south boundary is one mile up the county road. The refuge offers some of the best birding in Minnesota and is wonderful for day hikes, road bikes and captivating scenery. It is a slice of Minnesota the way it used to be, complete with virtually all the wildlife and tree species we were blessed with, including two rare species—trumpeter swan and gray wolf.
Our family looks forward to enjoying the beauty and tranquility of Cotton Lake for years to come. We would love to share our delightful lake cabin with like-minded and appreciative guests.
As a word of caution, Basswood Lodge is situated on a bluff overlooking Cotton Lake. The lake path is not long but just a little steep. The walkway to the cabin’s main level is also upward, along a stone pathway, and a short stair step. In other words, the cabin may not be entirely suitable for the elderly, infirm or disabled guests. On the other hand, Basswood Lodge is entirely suitable for children and adults in reasonably good shape. And as a side benefit, the hike to and from the lake will get your heart warmed up and pumping, so when you have to leave for home, you’ll go in better shape than when you arrived.