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Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort and RV Park

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With a three-day weekend approaching and no basketball tournaments scheduled, I asked my sons, Cory and Adam, a couple of weeks ago, if we should make an ice fishing trip to Mille Lacs Lake. YES!! They were as eager as I to start packing the gear.

My first thought, however, was where could I get accurate Mille Lacs Lake ice and fishing information, besides here at Hot Spot Outdoors. I would like to think I’m like most of you HSO readers, and was curious about this “new” resort that I’ve never visited before and have heard mentioned on HSO many times. So, I called Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort, to get a personal update on ice and fishing conditions.

With ATVs and gear loaded, we traveled to Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort for not only our lake access point but, to also take a look around, to give you more first hand information about the resort. With the ice thickness being inconsistent this season, the most important part of our ice-fishing trip was safety; we wanted to make it back to land! Our initial plan was to ride ATVs and pull our Otter Outdoors fishing shelter behind. But, when the temps dipped below freezing, our on-ice travel plans changed and we were able to drive our truck out to the fishing spots. I was satisfied with Appeldoorn’s staff reports that the ice in the Doe Island area, where Appeldoorn’s fish houses are located, was in fact 18-inches thick, and safe for vehicle travel. Plus, I relaxed some more knowing that my young sons wouldn’t have to ride ATVs in near zero temps that morning; another safety issue that concerned me.


Typical Resort To Family Resort

From what I gathered, Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort is a complete makeover project of what used to be known as Karpen’s Resort. Rather than be just another resort on probably the most premiere walleye lake in the world, Appeldoorn’s owners are steering the resort makeover towards being a true family resort on one of the best walleye factories nature has to offer.

Each rental cabin was hoisted off its foundation to update its footings, completely remodeled, both inside and out. The rental cabin we witnessed was clean and looked comfy. A place where we could easily call it “home away from home”.


Karpen’s old restaurant/bar building is completely gutted and is in the process of becoming Appeldoorn’s premiere family cabin; containing six- bedrooms! With a full view and waterfront access, I’m sure this premiere cabin would be ideal for a family reunion vacation. Also, around the lake front corner of this cabin, a private 8-person hot tub is slated to be located just outside the cabin’s door. What a way to relax after a hard day of fishing huh?


Also, near the lake, the sandy beach will be a nice spot for kids to play and swim. I believe I heard some playground activities would be constructed, in that area too.

Ice Fishing

Since we arrived after checkout time, we snuck into some of Appeldoorn’s standard and deluxe fish houses while we were ice fishing on the lake, to check them out. The fish houses have been updated and met our approval standards that even a wife/mom would stay in.

Standard Fish House


Deluxe Fish House


Table, chairs, rattle reels and inside bathrooms are some of the comforts included in each fish house.



From what we witnessed, the staff at Appeldoorn’s were courteous, professional and made sure to answer all questions from each customer. Some basic supplies, foods and amenities such as underwater cameras, depth finders, generators and TVs were also available in the check-in office, to cater to your ice fishing experience and needs.

On ice travel from Appeldoorn's is a #1 concern. After a crack in the ice was safely healed, this bridge was pulled back to shore, ready for use if needed again.


One of Appeldoorn’s Resort services you may have heard about before on HSO is its guiding service, for summer or winter fishing. Well, we met Jim McCrank, known on HSO as “The Cranker”. After Jim pointed us in the direction to a couple of spots to wet a line, we saw Jim out picking up trash and checking on fish house customers while out in his Wilcraft mobile fishing machine. What a nice perk to see another of Appeldoorn’s staff making his rounds on the lake, to check on customers. That's something you don't see at every resort.


Although triggered numerously by just “nibblers”, Cory and Adam checked the “flag up” outside the Otter Lodge; bringing along the chips just incase it takes longer than expected, too.grin.gif


Also, for some of you who want a “lake place” without all the work that goes with it, opening this summer is the RV Park. This is where you can purchase a “Park Model” and have it situated on a leased site at the resort. The park layout looks great! A variety of Park Model plans can be selected with many different options like a screened porch, single or double loft, furnished or unfurnished.

From our personal trip, even though the "bite" wasn’t on, the on and off ice atmosphere we witnessed going on and around Appeldoorn’s Sunset Bay Resort was one that we enjoyed, appreciated and we will go back for more. If you need more information about Appeldoorn’s Resort, you can access its HSOforum by clicking on this link.

Appeldoorn's Sunset Bay Resort and RV Park

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I would also agree with everything you stated Dave. I have had the pleasure of meeting the owners Chuck & Marlyn,the staff and Cranker at Appeldoorns.

I have made it up there twice this season and plan on a couple more trips. The Staff and Cranker go all out to see that you have a wonderfull stay.

I could not add anymore about the facilities as they are very nice and clean.

A big Thanks goes out to Chuck, Marlyn, the Staff and how can one forget the Cranker. smile.gif

Cranker helps keep us all abreast of the ice conditions and fishing reports. smile.gif

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I was there from Thursday night 1-11-07 to Sunday 1-14-07, stayed in house #19. Big cold front came through which slowed down fishing, but the houses were nice, the people were friendly and the trip was great!! I will rent again from them in the future. It was also nice to meet the cranker cruising around in the wilcraft!

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