Sleigh riding since 1994

About Us

We are a family-run organization in a northwoods, homestead atmosphere. In 1971, Grandpa and Grandma Barr traveled west from Ohio to the North Shore of Lake Superior. Nestled alongside the famous Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness they found a home. However, they did not merely want a home "to call their own," rather, Grandpa and Grandma's hope was that many would find this place to be their own "home away from home." And it proved to be true.

Continuing on in this tradition of hospitality are daughter and son-in-law, Nancy and Mark Patten. We, together with family members and friends, welcome you to share in the beauty of our surroundings, simple lifestyle and our extended family.

Sleigh rides at Okontoe have become a yearly tradition for many, with riders aging from 1 month to 100 years old! Our guests, who have come from all over the United States and from over forty countries around the world, frequently comment that "this was the highlight of our vacation."

Since our sleigh ride beginnings in 1994, we have been featured in the Country Woman and Midwest Living magazines, the Minneapolis StarTribune, and on Ron Schara's Minnesota Bound and Jason Davis' On the Road television shows, for which we are very grateful.


"This was a fantastic evening. Your genuine manner and warmth made us feel welcome. Thanks for the trip back in time! Merry Christmas and may God bless you." (12-22-1998)

"Thanks for all you do to make this world a better place - God's blessings on you - you are a gift to this worn world!" - Diane, Minneapolis, MN (12-30-1998)

"Thanks so much... it was just like a fairy tale. What a fantastic birthday... absolutely beautiful. The ride was incredible and a great present for Amanda ( who has never even seen a snowfall)." The Ellingham Family, New Zealand (3-2-1998)

2012 Okontoe