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Bigfork Minnesota Community Guide


Location of Bigfork in Itasca County and Minnesota

Bigfork, population 446, has been experiencing a steady growth and is the population and business center in the north eastern portion of Minnesota’s Itasca County. The Northeast portion of Itasca County is labeled, and is often referred to as, the "Edge of the Wilderness area.." Located in the heart of gorgeous lake country, tourism is a significant part of the economy. An active logging industry, including approximately 50 jobs at the Rajala Lumber Mill, and almost 200 jobs at the nearby Bergquist Company, a switch manufacturer, also help support a diversified retail and recreation business in the City. Bigfork is a center for rural health care, combining Bigfork Valley Hospital, Scenic Rivers Health Systems medical clinic and Northland Dental Clinic, Bigfork Valley Communities (long term care) and Bigfork Valley Villa (senior apartments) into one health care campus. The city is one of five neighboring communities that have banded together to form the "Edge of the Wilderness". This unification to help sustain economic growth is largely attributed to the governing oversight of the Northern Itasca Joint Powers Board.

Courtesy City of Bigfork

 Bigfork (city) 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2000-2010 Change
Actual Percent
Population 399 457 384 469 446 -23 -4.90
Land Area (sq. mile) 1.60 1.69 1.57 1.78 -- -- --
Density (persons per sq. mile) 249.4 270.4 244.6 263.5 -- -- --
Housing Units 157 188 175 226 241 15 6-64
Households -- 160 152 208 195 -13 -0.63
Persons Per Household -- 2.86 2.53 2.25 2.29 0.04 --


Bigfork is a city in Itasca County, Minnesota. Minnesota State Highway 38 serves as a main route in the community. Minnesota State Highways 1 and 6 are nearby. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.8 mi˛ (4.7 km˛). 1.8 mi˛ (4.6 km˛) of it is land and 0.04 mi˛ (0.1 km˛) of it (1.66%) is water. The elevation is 1,309 ft (399 m) above sea level.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


As of the census of 2000, there were 469 people, 208 households, and 110 families residing in the city. The population density was 101.7/km˛ (263.5/mi˛). There were 226 housing units at an average density of 49.0/km˛ (127.0/mi˛). The racial makeup of the city was 97.65% White, 1.71% Native American, 0.21% from other races, and 0.43% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.07% of the population.

There were 208 households out of which 21.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.0% were married couples living together, 10.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.1% were non-families. 42.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 24.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.00 and the average family size was 2.68.

In the city the population was spread out with 16.8% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 31.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 47 years. For every 100 females there were 80.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $24,167, and the median income for a family was $36,250. Males had a median income of $32,083 versus $19,886 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,455. About 6.0% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.3% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


BIGFORK Township and its railway village are named from their location on the Big Fork River. The city of Bigfork was incorporated as a village on January 17, 1907; settlement began in 1892 when Damase Neveaux built a log cabin on the river and laid claim to a tract of pine timber. It had a station of the Minneapolis and Rainy River Railway, and the post office was established in 1902.

Like a lot of towns in Northern Minnesota, Bigfork was created by loggers, fur traders and trappers. Its largest boom was due to the major logging done in the early 20th century. This includes the CCC camps of the Roosevelt Era and local mills, including Rajala Mill Co. and Potlach, just to name a few who helped develop this area. More recently, it has been somewhat of a hub for tourism activities due to the many lakes in the area. Fishing in the summer is the main attraction, hunting in the fall, snowmobiling in the winter, and a breathtaking natural beauty in the spring.

Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society
A general view of Bigfork Minnesota, 1907
A general view of Bigfork Minnesota, 1907
Courtesy Minnesota Historical Society - click image to enlarge or purchase

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Bigfork City Hall
PO Box 196
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3782

City Hall Hours: Tues - Thur, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm

City Council Meetings: Second Tuesday of the month at 6:00 pm at City Hall

Title Term Ends Name and Address


Mayor 12/31/2016 Amy Pifher
205 Ottum Avenue

Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 743-2415
Clerk/Treasurer appointed Angela Storlie
PO Box 196
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 743-3782
Council Member 12/31/2018 Eric Storlie
302 State Hwy 38 N
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 969-2715
Council Member 12/31/2018 Andrew Francisco
101 Division Avenue
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 244-1595
Council Member 12/31/2016 Peter Johnson
201 Rajala Mill Road
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 244-0749
Council Member 12/31/2016 Randy Nei
PO Box 443
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 969-6080

Post Office:
US Post Office
305 Main Street
Bigfork, MN 56628-2001
Phone: (218) 743-3561
Toll Free: (800) ASK-USPS
US Post Office
Regular Business Hours:
Week Days      
9:00 am - 12:30 pm
1:30 pm - 4:00 pm
Saturday           Closed 
Latest Collection at Post Office:
Week Days            4:00 pm 
Saturday                4:00 pm

Utility Type Utility Name Utility Phone
Electricity North Itasca Electric Co-op Inc. (800) 228-4966
Natural Gas Bigfork Municipal (218) 743-3782
Wastewater Bigfork Municipal (218) 743-3782
Water Bigfork Municipal (218) 743-3782
Telephone The Peoples Telephone Co (218) 743-3144
Cable TV North American Comm Corp (320) 848-6781

Major Employers:
Employer Products/Services Employees
The Bergquist Company Computer & Peripheral Equipment Manufacturing 154

The Bergquist Company, Bigfork Minnesota

Bigfork Valley Hospital & Clinics General Medical & Surgical Hospitals 145
Bigfork Public Schools - Dist #318 Elementary & Secondary Schools 75
Kocian's IGA Grocery Stores 25
North Itasca Electric Coop Electric Power Generation, Transmission & Dist. 20
First State Bank of Big Fork Depository Credit Intermediation 11

Bigfork Veterans Memorial, 2004
Bigfork Veterans Memorial, 2004 Photo

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Minnesota State Highway Map of the Bigfork Minnesota area
Minnesota State Highway Map of the Bigfork Minnesota area


See the Northern Itasca Cooperative Calendar

Edge Center for the Arts
101 2nd Avenue
PO Box 303
Phone: (218) 743-6670

During the first full year in operation, the Edge Center for the Arts was in use 209 days. Besides the three local plays, seven exhibits, and the school’s use of the building, the space hosted professional touring shows and classes, a quilt exhibit, a hospital annual meeting, community education classes, and even a wedding. August of 2006 found thirty-six, young and old, men and women, and boys and girls painting 15’ x 30’ scenic drop for the Bigfork Centennial Celebration show that will be presented in August of 2007. The goal of building community through the arts is being fulfilled at the Edge Center in Bigfork.

Edge Center for the Arts, Bigfork Minnesota
Edge of the Wilderness Scenic Byway
Highway 38 between Effie and Grand Rapids

The adventurous voyageurs of nearly 300 years ago discovered it and now you can, too -- The Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway. Welcome to Highway 38, one of the first 20 designated National Scenic Byways. Travel this spectacular, winding byway by many pristine lakes, forests, swamps, rolling hills, and other unique features. Outdoor recreation, interpretive sites, and other exciting opportunities await the traveler. During fall, the northwoods is adorned with the brilliant colors of red sugar maples, bronze oak trees and glowing gold aspen and birch.

Edge of the Wilderness

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Chippewa National Forest
Phone: (218) 832-3161

Traveling to the Chippewa National Forest means traveling "up north". The Forest, located in the heart of northern Minnesota, is a celebration of seasons, culture, and environment. This northern hardwood forest mixes between the western prairies and the northern boreal forest to the north and east. It is a Forest with shared boundaries-red oak to white pine, wild ginger to wild rice and Canada lynx to sandhill crane. The border is also shared between governments as well, with the Chippewa National Forest working across shared borders with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. If you would like to learn more about what to see on the Chippewa NF, look at our informational flyers. ENJOY the Chippewa National Forest!

Lake View of the Chippewa National Forest

Golf On The Edge
59851 County Road 261
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3626

The course is 9 holes complete with a putting green, chipping & pitching green and a 350 yard driving range. It is not unusual to see deer, bear, timber wolves or Canadian Geese on the course. The statuesque bear situated near the clubhouse was donated to the course by the Baileys.

Golf On The Edge, Bigfork Minnesota
Scenic State Park
56956 Scenic Highway 7
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3362

With its pristine lakes, virgin pines, swimming beach, and nesting osprey, Scenic State Park is well deserving of its name. Here, visitors can hike the Chase Point Trail for hypnotic views of Coon and Sandwick Lakes and listen to the wind whistle through the the giant pines. The park's overnight facilities include campsites (boat-in, drive-in, backpack), and a guest house. The historic lodge houses interpretive displays.

Image of Scenic State Park

Lake Name Location Size
Lake info Lake Map Rec Map Topo Map
Anderson 10 mi SE 274
Antler 9 mi SE 306
Aspen 1 mi S 96
Bello 7 mi SW 493
Bustic 1/2 mi SW 82
Cedar 3 mi SE n/a n/a
Cemetery in town n/a n/a n/a
Connors 1 mi N 135
Coon 6 mi SE 627
Gunderson 5 mi SW 146
Hatch 7 mi SW 243
Jingo 4 mi SW 77
Johnson 5 mi S 305
Lundeen 4 mi S 76
Maple 6 mi SW 228
Mike 6 mi SW 101
Turtle 8 mi SW 2052

Health Care:
Bigfork Valley Hospital
258 Pine Tree Drive
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3177

Bigfork Valley is a diversified health care campus in the heart of the northern Minnesota lakes and pines country. On the shores of the Big Fork River, our facility offers state of the art medical services and a variety of senior living options – all under one roof.

Bigfork Valley Hospital, Bigfork Minnesota
Taylor, Peter L DDS
303 Main Avenue
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3600

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Bigfork Elementary and High School
100 Husky Blvd
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3444

Our school was established in 1925. In 1993, the old school building was demolished and a new addition of our high school was completed for the 1998-99 school year. This addition compliments our elementary school built in 1988. We have a student population of approximately 270, taking in a radius of 40 square miles for student enrollment. Early Childhood Family Education and Kindergarten through 12th grade are housed under one roof.

Bigfork Assembly of God Church
101 Golf Course Lane
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3500
Grace Community Church - WELCA
Highway 38
PO Box 195
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3368

Pastor: Rev. Ryan Aarestad,
Sunday Worship: see website

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
Highway 38
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 743-3275

Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses, Bigfork Minnesota

Old Scenic Community Church
25747 County Rd 340
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3953
Old Scenic Community Church sign, Bigfork Minnesota
Our Lady of Snows Catholic Church
302 Golf Course Lane
PO Box 11
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 743-3255

Our Lady of Snows Catholic Church, Bigfork Minnesota

Presbyterian Church
PO Box 1
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 743-3783
Presbyterian Church, Bigfork Minnesota
Riverside Church
63382 State Highway 6
Bigfork, MN 56628
(218) 743-3219


TV Guide Listings:
       -  Broadcast
       -  Cable
       -  DirecTV
       -  Dish Network

Local news, weather and area information and Links to the northern Minnesota communities of Marcell, Bigfork, Effie,Grand Rapids and other areas of Itasca County Minnesota. Located in the Chippewa National Forest, it also is home to The Edge of The Wilderness Scenic Byway. We are located in Itasca County in Northern Minnesota. We have Northern Minnesota news,Grand Rapids, Marcell and Bigfork news as well as Itasca County news. We have links and information on lodging, real estate, Vacations, The Edge Of the Wilderness, canoeing, hunting, fishing, retirement, tourism and campgrounds.The Chippewa National Forest is our home.


Antler Lake Store & Lodge
51761 Scenic Highway 7
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 245-2369

Antler Resort provides wilderness beauty and recreation on 40 spacious acres surrounded by the George Washington State Forest. We are easily accessible off scenic Hwy 7, just south of the Scenic State Park.

Antler Resort Lodge
Arcadia Lodge
52001 County Rd 284
Bigfork, MN  56628
Phone: (218) 832-3852

Located on the shores of Big Turtle Lake, Arcadia Lodge is located in northeastern Minnesota, 30 miles north of Grand Rapids, just off the Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway. It is completely surrounded by the Chippewa National Forest. Sparkling clear blue waters, the call of the loon, a soaring eagle and the tranquility of a new born fawn are all part of the true northwoods getaway that our guests experience.

Arcadia Lodge, Bigfork Minnesota
Loon Point Resort
51898 County Road 310
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 245-1470
Toll Free: (
800) 542-1470

Loon Point Resort has a variety of offerings. Clean, comfortable cabins, including 2 brand new log cabins, that become your special vacation spot are awaiting your arrival. Each cabin provides that special Minnesota Northwoods vacation, yet offers the amenities you want to make your stay comfortable and easy-going. All cabins are non-smoking.

2 Minnesota Loon Gathering
Maple Ridge Resort
42388 Turtle Lake Road
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 832-3837
Toll Free: (877) 261-3837

On the shores of Hatch Lake, nestled under huge Maple trees, you will find the perfect Northwoods resort setting. We welcome you to vacation at Maple Ridge Resort where you will find new and remodeled, spotless, modern housekeeping cabins. Here at the "Edge of the Wilderness", in the heart of the Chippewa National Forest, you will find a pleasant blend of rustic charm and modern accommodations. We promise to provide you with a quality vacation that will entice you to return year after year.

Sure Game Wilderness Resort
52385 County Road 31
Wirt, MN 56688
Phone: (218) 659-2740

SureGame is a unique resort nestled on the south shore of sparkling Clear Lake in the Chippewa National Forest. We are open year around for vacations and fishing. Trail riding or hiking, fall hunting, winter fishing and snowmobiling are activities to experience while staying at SureGame Wilderness Resort. We have nine modern cabins with 5 that are on the lake and the Pine Lodge with a huge deck that overlooks the sandy swimming beach. Come and enjoy it!

Sure Game Wilderness Resort, Wirt Minnesota
Wilderness Lodge
51760 Becker Road
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3458

Wilderness Lodge is located deep in the heart of the Chippewa National Forest, nestled in the pines along the shore of beautiful Turtle Lake. Lost in time, this grand log estate once served as a booming resort for fishermen, hunters, and families from across the United States and Canada. Today, Wilderness Lodge is a secluded Northwoods Bed and Breakfast Inn where guests can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and relax in the rustic elegance of our luxury log cabins.

Oudoor Fireplace Yukon Jack Cabin


Lost Lake Campground
Bigfork, MN 56628
Phone: (218) 743-3362

Located in George Washington State Forest on Lost Lake, managed by Scenic State Park. The campground is considered "primitive," designed to furnish only the basic needs of the camper. The campsites consist of a cleared area, fire ring, and table. In addition, vault toilets, one dumpster, and drinking water are available. All sites are on a first come, first served basis for a fee. The campground features 15 campsites, and a boat ramp down the road along Lost Lake. Lost Lake features panfish.

 Lost Lake Campground


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Aerial Photo

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Topographic Map:  [click image to enlarge, zoom in or zoom out]

 Topographic map of the Bigfork Minnesota area
Topographic map is courtesy of the Minnesota DNR - click map to zoom or enlarge    Home Page    Contact Us    Privacy



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