Sailing South Lake Mille Lacs

      After our brief stop at Hennepin Island the wind picked up ALLOT! A small thunderstorm blew over from the Northwest and we sailed on a run Southeast at almost 5 knots without the jenny and with a reefed main. We were in Isle Bay in 30 minutes. We took down the sail and motored into the Thaines River heading towards McQuoids Resort.

      The Thaines River     is frequently dredged and quite deep at it's center. It has "no wake" buoys, but no Navigation markers or lights. Watch out for submerged logs and large branches. About 1/4 of a mile into the River is McQuoids Resort.

Thaines River Entrance        Latitude:  N 46o 8.54'       Longitude:  W 93o 27.88'

      McQuoid's Resort is a large hunting and fishing resort, it has a boat launch that leads out into the Thaines River and several small slips. The docks alongside these slips are not well maintained and some of them only have one pole at the end to tie up to on either side and no pole or post to tie the bow. Someone stabbed a large branch into the mud alongside one of the docks as a makeshift pole to tie up to. However the slips are lit up at night by a street lamp and at the base of this lamp there is an outlet to hook up power. McQuoid's charges $7 a day for the slip.

McQuoid's Resort

     McQuoid's has cabins to rent (large trailers with cedar siding and decks) and even cedar sided  houses to rent, a place to park large campers, boats on trailers and a motel. All the cabins have gas grills. The motel is very much like any motor lodge or Econolodge except it does not have internet access nor does it have a pool and is certainly not deluxe as they advertise. The grounds are well maintained and there is a playground for the kids. The closest restaurant is a mile or so from the resort. There is the Isle Bowl & Pizza that offers Pizza delivery, but on the day we were there they did not have anyone on staff that could deliver.  McQuoid's motel staff will bake you a $5 Tombstone or DiGiorno Frozen pizza for $10, and call you in your room/cabin to come pick it up at the front desk when it is done. In the mornings they offer a continental breakfast in the lobby.  The atmosphere is lackluster and impersonal. The concierge made a mistake with our accommodations and dismissed us in a matter of fact manner without any apology. We don't not recommend McQuoid's, but if you can find something better…  or if you are caught in a storm... McQuoid's is do-able.

McQuoid's        Latitude:   N  46o  8.67'       Longitude:    W 93o  27.74'

Scenic Bay Resort

      We didn't stay at this resort but it's well maintained docks caught our eye as we left McQuoids. Located at the southern shore of Isle bay, Scenic Bay Resort could have been a better choice.

Scenic Bay Resort

Scenic Bay Resort          Latitude:   N  46o 8.34'        Longitude:  W 93o  28.50'

Father Hennepin State Park is a 316  acre park on the Southern shore of Mille Lacs just west of Isle. It has two boat launching ramps and a long fishing pier. Boats are not allowed to tie off the fishing pier.
Get a park pass before you start your sailing trip, then you can anchor off their very nice beach and swim to shore. 

They also have several campsites overlooking the lake. You can reserve one by phone, take a tent, get to shore by dingy and camp out overlooking your anchored boat.

Latitude:   N   46o 8.93'
Longitude:    W   93o 29.78'

      Izaty's is the Cadillac of Marinas on Lake Mille Lacs. We marveled at seeing the first Coast Guard approved navigational makers on Mille Lacs at Izaty's Harbor entrance. Red buoys on your right when returning to harbor and green on your left. But, in keeping in style with the rest of the lake, they still sported some yellow traffic hazard blinkers on poles.  Izaty's Marina is deep, well protected and can be easily maneuvered. Stop first at the Harbor Master's shack (also doubles as bait shop and bike rental office) to get a slip assignment and a laminated pass. The slips are $20 a night and you cannot sleep on your boat, but you can choose from their hotel ($120+ a night), two bedroom all commodities Beach Villas ($280+ a night) and 3+ bedroom, all commodities, Townhomes (380+) for daily rentals.
      When you arrive, go to the club house overlooking the Marina to check into a room/villa or townhome. They will ask you for the make and year of your vehicle and they will look perplexed when you tell them you arrived in your boat. Nevertheless, they will happily send a golf cart to your slip to pick up your luggage, all the while commenting on what a unique situation it is to have people arrive in a boat.
      Bring your golf clubs, they have two beautiful golf courses. Bring your tennis racquets, they have two Tennis courts. You can rent mountain bikes and Jet skis. They don't have a sandy beach, but they do have an indoor and an outdoor pool with lounge chairs and a bar on the deck, adjacent is a Volley ball court. They have weekend entertainment with live music. Their Restaurant /Bar serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and boasts having an award winning chef, although we suspect he was on vacation while we were there, because the food certainly did not do justice to such an presumptuous place. However their wine list had more options than their entrée list and they knew better than to serve red wine chilled.
      We had originally contacted Izaty's as a place to keep our boat for the summer, but their ownership changed and the new owners gave all the slips in a package deal to people that bought timeshare townhomes and villas. 
     Izaty's is certainly a treat, and if you have the money to spend we highly recommend it. But it lacks the personal touch that you find at Barneveld's where you can explain to the Barneveld's grandchildren how your boat is powered by wind; or at Fishers Resort where you can chat with Dean Fisher, proprietor, while having coffee at the counter in the Fisher's Resort café.

Izaty's:        Latitude:  N  46o 8.14'        Longitude:  W 93o  34.96'

Izaty's Resort & Marina


Last Updated: August 2003