Off-Grid Living on the North Shore

One draw that continually brings people to the north shore is the desire to separate from the hustle and bustle of modern life. Folks make the drive up Highway 61 looking to disconnect and relax with family and friends. The level of disconnection varies from family to family. Some just like to get away to the Great North Woods yet still enjoy the comforts of home, while some want only the bare necessities. Luckily, Cook County provides for all different levels of connectedness with a far-reaching grid that provides reliable power to many areas. In this post, we’ll take a look at some properties that do things a little differently.

There are many reasons people choose to live off grid: self-sufficiency, independence from power companies/cooperatives, economic, environmental, necessity, and the desire to disconnect. There are also many ways to go off-grid: solar, wind, water, geothermal, propane appliances and generators, etc. Many users engage a combination of these methods to generate reliable power to suit their needs.

This property is off the grid on McFarland Lake up the Arrowhead Trail in Hovland. The owners use a combination of solar panels, a year-round generator and propane appliances to power the home. This allows the family to enjoy a fridge, stove, and lights, despite being off the grid on the Arrowhead Trail and a paddle away from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness!

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Another great example of full service systems is this property on Greenwood lake. On the inside, you’d hardly even notice the fact this property lies far off the grid. Kitchen appliances are plugged in and working, the television and satellite receiver sit next to the wood stove in the living room, and the home is equipped with power outlets in most rooms.

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The owners of properties like these are more concerned with isolation from the outside world, rather than fully disconnecting from it. They use generators stored in sheds with solar panels and battery storage systems to power their northwoods getaways. With the exception of maintenance and an adequate fuel supply, these property owners enjoy their powered homes much like on-grid families would.

On the other hand, take this peninsula property on Two Island Lake. This property, while being much closer to an established grid system and Grand Marais when compared with properties on Greenwood or McFarland Lakes, utilizes only the necessities from their off-grid system. This family has identified the most important needs and equipped a generator power system to provide for them. Kitchen appliances are powered via propane, as are the lights (which can also run on a separate regular electrical system for use with the generator as an alternative), and floor furnace so they can enjoy their cabin all year long.

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All of these properties are excellent examples of off-grid options. If you’d like more information about off-grid systems, check out this article from Home Power – it’s a good place to start and includes many other articles detailing the process of implementing alternative power.

Home Power – So You Want to Go Off-Grid

Whether you are looking to bring a full service system and power to your northern retreat, or just enough to let you light and heat your home, there are options available! If you’d like more information on any of these off-grid properties, give us a call! (218) 387-2131 – we are happy to tell you all about these properties as well as other off-grid homes currently on the market!

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