My wife and I stayed at River Point Resort for a week full of relaxation, exploring northern Minnesota wilderness, and fishing. We couldn't have enjoyed the trip any more! The accommodations were excellent including the fully furnished cabin overlooking the beautiful Birch Lake. The cabin had everything we could have needed and was very comfortable. The staff was helpful and made sure our every request was awarded. Everyone met us with a smile and tried to make our trip as enjoyable as possible. Any questions about where to hike, canoe, or fish were happily answered and was greatly appreciated by us.
It was amazing to fall asleep to the sounds of the loons and wake up in excitement to go walleye fishing and watch the sun burn the early morning fog off the lake. The walleyes were definitely biting and we were also able to set hooks into a few huge small-mouth bass. I am an avid musky fisherman as well and while casting my musky gear for some spring pike action I unexpectedly hooked into a musky! It was the first Shoepack strain musky I have caught! Birch Lake is a structure hunters dream with endless rocky points and reefs to explore. River Point also offers a full guide service for anyone who wishes to utilize the service.
Aside from the great fishing we also paddled miles of untouched lake shore and hiked through the woods for some awesome wilderness viewing. The huge stands of norways and white pines are a sight to be seen. We heard reports of recent moose sightings in the area and were hoping to see one however never connected, hopefully we will see one in a few months when we return to River Point for our next trip!
There is nothing like being able to leave work and all other stresses behind and truly enjoy an amazing week in such a beautiful area. Our stay at River Point Resort is top of our list of favorite trips and we are excited to return this spring for another week of enjoying northern Minnesota.
The setting on Birch Lake is beautiful, and the cabins we stayed at were clean. Our first visit there was great, granted we don't complain about things and had no issues anyway, service with a smile. But our second visit was not so great...the pontoon we were promised did not have a working live-well. Same pontoon from year before. We were really dismayed bc we had a 2 week stay. When we asked about getting fixed, they pulled it out of the water, and couldnt figure out what the problem was, so we were told it would be fixed in a few days because they had to go out of town for a few days and we would be given the better pontoon while ours was getting fixed...that day came and I asked then about using the other pontoon like they said, and was told someone had rented it out, and was told in a way that seemed like they had forgotten they even offered me the replacement. When I asked about getting mine fixed, was told could not get fixed during our stay. End of issue. I am a fisherman and needed all devices working...yet couldnt get it fixed, and no refund of any kind for our inconvenience. It really hurt my fishing experience. Since I dont complain a lot, I let it go. Enjoyed everything except for that. It left a bad taste in my mouth. Jane seemed like a nice lady, and we only acted nice to them always. However, we made reservations for the next year b4 we left. After a few weeks my spouse found that because of her job, we were not going to be able to make it the next year and emailed to cancel, but my spouse was rudely treated and that really did it for me...we will not be going back again...dispite the magazine ratings that they conveniently mention on their web page.
Guess economical problems is affecting even the affluent, like Riverpoint Resort, but I never would have thought they would have let my pontoon go for 2 weeks without fixing and no replacement.
Fishing also was not that great, but may have been off-year.
We felt like we were a burden. Simple requests like “can you recommend a place to eat in town” or "what will the weather be tomorrow" (cell service poor and no tv in room) were met with heavy sighs. The grounds are pretty but the accommodation is of poor quality. Drains not draining, no/few towels and a disinterested staff really spoiled an otherwise great trip. Once in town we met the great people of Ely and everyone was helpful, kind and fun. Maybe these folks have been in the hospitality business too long but just about everyone working at River Point seemed to hate what they were doing and viewed the guests as a nuisance. If you avoid this outfitter you will avoid the only negative experiences we had in a week in wonderful Ely, MN.
Staying in a place closer to town is also helpful as there is so much to do. Great custard stand, good restaurants in the evening and canoeing in the day.
We reserved a chalet that was advertised as having "outstanding lake and forest views" with "privacy and serenity" and a queen bed. The chalet we received (Evergreen chalet) overlooked the gravel parking lot for the resort, which was extremely loud and dusty. It had absolutely no privacy. Also, it had a small double bed and single bunk beds. The owners were extremely rude and would not accomodate us in any way. We left after staying only one night, and they would not refund our money for the other nights. In addition, pay attention to the ridiculous fees that are charged: such as $8.50 per day to launch your own canoe/kayak from their property and $30 if you lock yourself out of your room after hours.
They claim to only be a few miles from Ely however they fail to mention their long dirt access road coming in. I don't know how many miles long it is but I can still feel the ruts, potholes, and bumps. Their so called villas and chalets are jammed in together in a very small area. Not the Northwoods experience we were looking for and birch lake is more like a long river with a dam keeping it their. Their lodge offered no meals or any spirits not even any outdoor fish frys or cookouts. Never Again at those prices we could have stayed somewhere offering full service.
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