How to Get From the Twin Cities to the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes (Upper, Middle, and Lower) Near Barnes, WI

Want to reach northwest Wisconsin’s Eau Claire Chain of Lakes fast?  For a fast-forward, high-speed map check sandwiched in between brief but spectacular drone footage of Upper, Middle, and Lower Eau Claire Lakes, just click on the video.

Curious about northwest Wisconsin real estate?  To learn about the lake homes and cabins currently available on the Eau Claire Chain of Lakes and beyond, call Jean Hedren (that’s me) at (218) 590-6634.  E-mail: jeanhedren@edinarealty.com.

My blog and website: www.JeanHedrenRealtor.com.

Property Search: www.JeanHedren.com.

For more drone videos, home tours, and video tours of the boating channels between the Eau Claire Lakes, check out my YouTube channel: YourNWWisconsinRealtor.

The Secret Passageway Between Bond Lake and Leader Lake, Wascott WI

The Secret Passageway Between Bond Lake and Leader Lake, Wascott, WI

Here’s another in an occasional series of posts answering the question: “Can I really get there from here?”

Here in Northwest Wisconsin, maps often show a connection between two lakes, and fising guidebooks may mention a “navigable channel.” But can you really get there from here? The answer, of course, is “it depends.” First, it depends on the size of your boat. How much water does it draw, how wide is it, and how tall is it? If your boat has an awning or visor, can it be folded down? In some cases, the weather and the time of year can even make a difference. If the water is too low, there won’t be enough to float your boat. Too high, and you may not have quite enough headroom under a bridge. So your mileage, as they say, may vary. Keep your speed down, and proceed with caution.

So… Just how navigable is that channel? Here’s the answer for Bond Lake and Leader Lake, a pair of lakes in southern Douglas County. Although each has its own character, both of these deep, clear lakes are often mentioned together as one hyphenated name. There’s even a Bond Leader Lake Road in the neighborhood.

Leader Lake is a limited-access lake; its only public access is by canoe or kayak from a carry-in landing just off Bass Lake Road. Or, you can launch your boat on Bond Lake and follow the channel that connects the two lakes.

So here it is… The no-longer-secret passageway from Bond Lake to Leader Lake, complete with a few photos showing what you can expect. If you’re starting from Bond Lake, you’ll find the channel at the far northern end of the lake. If you’re starting from Leader Lake, the channel begins at the western basin’s southwestern corner—just south of the canoe landing. At normal water levels it’s navigable by canoe, kayak, fishing boat, and even pontoon. One or two spots are quite shallow, so proceed with caution.

And by the way… If you’d like to see a home on either of these two lakes, please don’t hesitate to give me a call. Jean Hedren, Edina Realty NW Wisconsin at 218-590-6634.

Today’s aerial video of a NW WI lake.

Can you name this lake?

Inspect and maintain your septic system

A conventional septic system requires maintenance, inspection, and service every three years to ensure continued operation.

Most waterfront homeowners in NW Wisconsin utilize a conventional septic system. Not only is a properly functional system designed to protect their family’s health, but also to protect the surface and groundwater from contamination.

Conventional septic system diagram

Conventional septic system diagram

Steps to ensure a properly functioning septic system:

  • Pump or inspect your septic system every three years.
  • Divert surface water away from the drain field.
  • Avoid driving or parking on the drain field to prevent soil compaction.
  • Avoid obstructed drain lines by keeping roots of trees and shrubs away from the drain field pipes.
  • To prevent drain field clogs, avoid putting cooking grease, oils, coffee grounds, cigarettes, sanitary napkins, tampons, disposable diapers, paper towels down the drain or toilet.
  • Compost your vegetable scraps rather than using a garbage disposal.
  • Conserve water with low-flow toilets, faucets, and shower heads.

How do you know if your septic system is malfunctioning?

  • Sewage is backing up in the basement or drains.
  • Water is ponding or creating wet areas over the drain field.
  • Bright green grass over the drain field.
  • Dense aquatic plants along only your shore land.
  • Sewage odors.
  • Bacteria or nitrate in nearby well water.
  • Biodegradable dye flushed through your system can be detected in the lake.

Out exploring? GPS and phone maps are great. But don’t forget the big picture.

Out exploring? GPS and phone maps are great. But don’t forget the big picture.

Scenic drive in Barnes, WI

Scenic drive in Barnes, WI

These days, more and more people are forsaking paper maps for phone or dash-based mapping systems. But when you’re looking for real estate, and maybe even when you’re just trying to find your way back to town, don’t forget the big picture.

Don’t get me wrong. I love gadgets, and I love technology. I’m no luddite technophobe. In fact, I’m the designated software trainer for the Edina Realty agents in northwestern Wisconsin. But I firmly believe that paper-based maps still have a place.

Here’s why. First, larger maps help you see the big-picture context. Without them, you’ll be looking at the world through a tiny window. Plus, when you’re driving through a dead zone your phone or tablet will only work if you’ve planned ahead and preloaded detailed maps of that particular area. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t.

So I’d especially like to recommend two entire books full of good old paper maps:

  • Northwest Wisconsin Fishing Map Guide, Northern Region. You can also find maps, fisheries info, and other lake information by going to the menu above and clicking on NW WI Lakes & Rivers. But when you’re out driving around, this 224-page volume can be an invaluable reference. Although it’s intended for anglers, it includes great maps and lake information that’s helpful for the non-angler, too. Available from Amazon, and also at finer bookstores, hardware stores, and bait shops everywhere.
  • Wisconsin Atlas and Gazetteer, by De Lorme. These 96 pp. of large-format maps show all the roads in Wisconsin—including the smallest dirt back roads. They also show terrain features, boat landings, and other points of interest. (For more about specific communities, you can also go to the menu above and click on NW WI Communities. And for the quickest routes to get here, click on Get Here.)

I love my phone, and buyers have told me the Edina Realty Mobile App can be extremely helpful. But to supplement your phone, tablet, or dash system, don’t forget plain old paper maps. They run on a user-friendly page-based operating system. Their batteries never die, and they work everywhere. Try one today.

Realtor Magazine: What to Expect from an Aging Population

Realtor Magazine full story: What to Expect from an Aging Population

By 2030, it is expected that a quarter of the U.S. population will be 50+. Affordable senior housing options or adapting current homes to meet accessibility needs of seniors.

Understanding the housing needs for this group will be crucial.

  • People are living longer and want an active lifestyle as long as possible.
  • Women are more likely to live alone.
  • High housing costs are a challenge.

What effect does the 50+ population have on the NW Wisconsin real estate market? Talk to Jean Hedren, a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES),  who has helped many 50+ buyers and sellers.

Classic lake cabin on Lower Eau Claire Lake, Gordon, WI

This appealing midcentury cabin on Lower Eau Claire Lake, Gordon, WI  features 109′ of level sandy lake frontage that’s perfect for swimming and fishing. And, by the way, the cabin is pretty nice too. Comfortable, open living area with gas fireplace and bathroom that includes a dry sauna. Guest cabin offers additional sleeping room. Two cabins, one affordable price.

Curious to see more? Call Jean Hedren, NW Wisconsin Realtor, at 218-590-6634.