“ONCE YOU SEE SUNRISE TRAILS, I’M SURE YOU’LL WANT TO LIVE HERE.”
What began as a retirement dream ended up as the beautiful and serene Sunrise Trails development in Chisago County. Willard and Jan Carlson first bought this parcel of land in 1970 when their children were still at home. The Carlson kids often hiked, skied, canoed, camped, and enjoyed family picnics by the river (usually after they helped dig holes and plant the many evergreen trees that now frame the development!).
As a preservation-minded developer, Carlson knew he wanted something more than a typical suburban-looking development. He wanted to preserve the natural beauty of the land in and around the meandering Sunrise River. Toward that end, he learned about the rural cluster design and he believed he’d discovered the answer to his dreams: rural living, surrounded by nature, with a neighborhood feel, comfortably situated near towns with essential services and community activities.
Carlson built one of the first two homes in the development and has enjoyed all that Sunrise Trails has to offer for more than a decade. The hamlet, as he likes to call it, grew quickly in the mid-2000s, but like all real estate, its completion slowed during the recession. Today, the home sites in Sunrise Trails are more than 50 percent sold while another dozen lots await owners who share the Carlson’s dream of community living with nature’s best.