By Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Anyone who heads “Up North” on Friday afternoon knows it can feel like every Minnesota has a cabin.

But, how many actually do? Good Question.

In 2016, the Department of Revenue counted 135,000 non-commercial seasonal recreational properties on its tax rolls. What that really means is second homes. And, what that really means to most Minnesotans is cabins.

“That can be anything from hunting cabins to mansions,” Jeff Forester, executive director of Minnesota Lake and Rivers Advocates, said.

According to Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, the vast majority of the cabins here are homes on lakes. The counties with the most of them are Cass, Crow Wing, Otter Tail and St. Louis.

On average, a Minnesota cabin owner is 65 years old with a household income of $58,000/year. Minnesota cabins tend to stay within families as the Minnesota Lake Home and Cabin Property Ownership Study found ownership, on average lasts for 35 years.

About 80 percent of the cabins in the Land of 10,000 Lakes are owned by Minnesotans. According to the study, the next two states are North Dakota and Iowa.

Almost 90 percent of cabin owners say they want to pass it on to the next generation.

“As I like to say, it’s an heirloom, not an asset,” Forester said.

Heather Brown


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