Wayne Soderlund, 60, who owned a logging business, and his wife, Robin, a nurse, live near Cotton, Minn., and bought Barker Bay Resort eight years ago. They wanted a remote, boat-in resort and found it on Lower Manitou Lake. "It's an awesome lake for lake trout, smallmouth bass and muskies,'' Wayne said. And northerns. "Your chance of catching a 40- to 50-inch muskie is good.''

Running the resort now is their full-time job. They cater to black bear hunters in late summer and fall, trout anglers in the winter and muskie, bass and trout anglers in the summer. Only a handful of resorts or cabins are on the waterway, and no roads lead there.

"Both my wife and I love it,'' Soderlund said. "We have no regrets.''

If you go

We paid $55 per person, per night for our cabin. Summer rates are higher. For more information, see barkerbay.com.