Last week I scouted four possible building sites for She Who Puts Up With Me's cousin to place a primitive one-room cabin on our property at Bogus Lake. I found some places on the property I didn't know existed, and while none of the spots is perfect, they all have a lot to offer.
Site 1: Beaver Overlook
This site is near the access road and overlooks a massive beaver dam. 15" logs litter the area where beavers cut down large trees but only used the branches.
- Easy access to the site from the road, only about 200' across level ground.
- Beavers already did most of the work clearing the trees.
- Guaranteed to see wildlife activity.
- Could be too close to the beaver pond to meet wetland setback requirements.
- Not very secluded--a cabin here will be visible from the road during the winter.
Site 2: High Point
The highest point on our property is at the top of the highest hill for a considerable distance in any direction, though not all the hilltop is on our property. This site has a steep dropoff in one direction, giving a spectacular view without clearing any trees. Were it not for the trees, there would be a 270-degree panorama affording views of Lake Superior, the BWCA, and possibly Bogus Lake as a bonus.
- Amazing views.
- Access is OK, with about 500' of moderate grade from the road. In other words, you can get here without climbing the cliff.
- This is a prime location for building a home, so we may want to reserve it for future use.
- Anything on this spot will be visible for miles.
- The best views require either a taller building or clearing some of the forest.
Site 3: Bogus Overlook
In my hiking I discovered a small knob above Bogus Lake which (according to my GPS) is just 100' inside the property line. A cabin built here would have the feeling of being perched above a small alpine lake, because that's about what it would be.
- Nice view; not as spectacular as site 2, but with a much more intimate feeling.
- Close enough to the lake to get there easily while still feeling perched up in the hill.
- The site is too small for anything but a small cabin, making it unlikely we'd want to use it for something else.
- Access requires climbing a hill too steep for an ATV. Building materials will have to lifted by hand up about a 10' climb.
- Could possibly be too close to the property line, since the GPS could easily be 50'-100' off in the estimate of the boundary.
Site 4: Deep Woods
Continuing along the hillside past Site 2, there's a broad expanse of mature (100 years old) sugar maple forest. The ground has just enough slope to keep it dry, and the thin underbrush made for easy hiking. Signs of recent moose activity were everywhere. A cabin here would have the feeling of being isolated deep in the woods.
- Very secluded.
- Easy to find a good spot to build.
- Fall colors will be amazing.
- A long way from the access road--about 1500' or so--but the slope is gentle enough that this could be done by ATV.
- No view; however, if there's ever a forest fire, you could see Lake Superior from anywhere on this hillside.
- Getting supplies (food, water, etc.) will require hiking 10 minutes to the access road.