Though Minnesota has a few large metro areas, there are still large swaths of the state that are incredibly remote. These areas are so sparsely populated that you often can pass right through a town without running into another soul. In Minnesota, most of those areas are surrounded by thick forests – and not much else. These 11 tiny towns in Minnesota fit that description. They’re miles from civilization, but they’re well worth visiting.
1. Angle Inlet
As the northernmost census-designated place in the continental United States - and the only part of the contiguous states above the 49th parallel - Angle Inlet is probably the most remote town on this list. It lies in the Northwest Corner, a small section of Minnesota that is separated from the rest of the state by Lake of the Woods. To get there, you must either cross the lake by boat or drive through Manitoba.
Argyle, Minnesota, may not be as remote as some of the northernmost towns in Alaska, but the town is still far away from any major cities. The town is home to just over 600 people. It is home to Old Mill State Park, where an old cabin and a steam-powered flour mill give a glimpse into the past.
In 2010, the population of Funkley, Minnesota, was just 5. It is the least populous town in all of Minnesota, likely due to its remote location far from any major cities. It is 150 miles from Duluth and 250 miles from Minneapolis, though it is in reasonable distance to Bemidji. Still, this small town's remote location is not for everyone.
Vining is another small town in northern Minnesota. It lies about 30 miles from Fergus Falls, the nearest town with a population of 10,000 or more. Because of the distance, being in Vining feels like being far away from everything. But the town is not without its attractions. The Nyberg Sculpture Park in Vining attracts tourists looking for offbeat fun.
Midway between Bemidji and Thief River Falls is Gully, a tiny town with a population of just 66 people. Its main attraction is the nearby Hangaard State Wildlife Management Area, a small patch of land full of scenic beauty.
About 60 miles southwest of Duluth, McGregor is certainly not the smallest or most remote town on this list. It is near popular resort towns like Nisswa. But it is also one of the parts of Minnesota least affected by light pollution. That means that this little town is perfect for stargazing. You'll have great luck if you visit nearby Savanna Portage State Park to look at the sky.
Grygla is a tiny town in Marshall County, Minnesota. It is in the state's northwestern corner, more than 60 miles from Thief River Falls. While it may not look much more than a wide pace in the road, Grygla is a great place to seek out some peace and quiet.
There are remote places in southern Minnesota, too. Theilman is about 40 miles from Rochester, so it is possible to get there without driving all day. But this is another spot with low light pollution. When you go - especially at night - you'll feel like you're far away from everything. Plus, the hilly bluff landscape of this part of Minnesota is absolutely stunning.
Effie is often listed as one of the smallest towns in Minnesota, and it certainly fits the bill for most remote as well. The town has population of about 120, and it's located in northern Itasca County - far from most car traffic. Because of that, visiting is a quiet affair that makes you feel like you're a million miles away from civilization. The thick forests surrounding the area only adds to that feeling.
On Minnesota's border with Canada, the small town of Ranier stands as a beacon for those looking for civilization in the midst of wilderness. Though it is about 3 miles from the larger town of International Falls, Ranier feels like a world away. Its location on Rainy Lake gives it a beautiful setting that makes it the perfect place to be to get away from it all.
In Minnesota's northwestern corner is the small town of Hallock. It has a population of about 900 people, so it is not the tiniest town on this list. But it is certainly one of the most remote. The nearest large town is Thief River Falls, about 60 miles away. Grand Forks, North Dakota is the largest nearby settlement, however, with over 50,000 people about 70 miles from Hallock.
Have you been to any of these tiny towns? Where is your favorite place to get away from everything? Share your answer in the comments below!