New Activity: Cross-Country Skiing on the Norpine Trails

January 28, 2019

Cross-Country Skis on TrailIf you have enjoyed a winter stay with us in the past you may have joined a cross-country ski trip to the popular Sugarbush Trails. The Sugarbush Trail Association maintains 65 kilometers of ski trails through remote forest areas in the Lutsen-Tofte area. Even though we love these trails, there are 400 kilometers of cross-country ski trails to explore in Cook County! With this in mind, we wanted to offer more guided ski options in addition to the Sugarbush Trail tours.

This winter, we have added a complimentary guided trip on the Norpine Trail System. Running predominately in the Lutsen area these beautiful trails offer scenic routes through the Superior National Forest. For our resort trips, our trail choice will depend on the current conditions and size/ability of the group. One of the great things about this trail system is the opportunity to start from different trailheads and locations. We may start in an area located right off the Ski Hill Road that leads up to Lutsen Mountains. Or, we may travel farther along Highway 61 and hop on the ski system situated closer to Cascade River State Park. All trails wind through beautiful pine and hardwood forests where we’ll keep our eye out for animal tracks and spot lots of winter birds zipping among the trees. In addition, all levels of skiers are welcome and this trip is family friendly!

Did you know? We supply complimentary cross-country skis, boots, and instruction! Prefer to head out on your own? Stop by to check out equipment and pick up some maps and directions on where to go. Don’t forget to also stop by the desk to pick up a pass if you don’t already have a ‘Great Minnesota Ski Pass‘. These are inexpensive at $6/day or $20/year and help the non-profit organizations that maintain these wonderful trails.

Happy Skiing!

 

Mush! Let’s Go!

January 22, 2019

The John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon is coming up this weekend! Therefore, now is the perfect time to highlight one of the 2019 Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Calendar Contest winners. Taken at last year’s race, the photo below was captured by Lenny Palmer during the full marathon race.

John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon. Calendar Contest Winner

The iconic Beargrease sled dog race is the longest in the lower 48 states. In addition, it attracts world-class mushers and includes a mid-distance race plus lots of activities and events for spectators. This year, the mid-distance 120-mile race will be finishing nearby at Lutsen Mountains. The races start in Duluth on Sunday, January 27th with the 120-mile distance estimated to finish Monday, January 28th starting around 7 am. Head up to Lutsen Mountains to cheer on these brave mushers and amazing sled dogs!  The full marathon, at almost 400 miles, finishes at Grand Portage Lodge & Casino on Tuesday, January 29th. Visit the John Beargrease website for a full schedule of events, checkpoint times,  and spectator information.

This year, we are honored to be part of the mushing action as host of the race officials headquarters. It takes an incredible team of organizers, officials, volunteers, sponsors, vets, and fans to put on this iconic race.  Here at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we are excited to be able to support the efforts of this non-profit event.

If you head out to watch the events anywhere along the race route here are a few musher terms you may hear and what they mean:

  • Gee: The command for a right turn
  • Haw: The command for a left turn
  • Come Gee! Come Haw!: commands to turn 180 degrees in either direction
  • Mush! Hike! Let’s Go!: Commands for the team to start
  • Lead dog: The dog who leads in front.
  • Neck line: The line that connects the dogs to the main towline attached to the sled
  • Line out!: Command to lead dog to pull the team straight out
  • Whoa!: Command used to halt the team. Used along with pressure to the break on the sled

Good luck to all teams racing this weekend!

How Much Snow On The North Shore? The Most In The State!

January 14, 2019

MN DNR Snow Depth MapDo you see that pretty little purple area on the map?  That’s us! At the present time, it’s showing snow depths of 30 – 36 inches. We have the snow!

If you love outdoor winter activities then the Lutsen-Tofte area is the place to be. After all, we have the most snow in the state! We often get asked how much snow we have and how the trail conditions are for winter adventures. We know it can be hard to believe we have so much snow compared to other places in Minnesota. For this reason, we’re listing some great online tools to assist you with your winter vacation planning.

  • Love to downhill ski? Follow this link to the Lutsen Mountains Conditions page. While there, check out their cool Live Cam!
  • Are the skinny ski trails more your thing? With some of the best cross-country skiing in the country, it’s no wonder people choose Cook County for their cross-country ski trips. The Sugarbush Trail system connects directly to the resort and has 65 kilometers of groomed skate and classic ski trails from beginner to expert. Visit the Sugarbush Trail Report to stay up to date on conditions. The Norpine Trails in the Lutsen area is another beautiful ski system not to be missed. They also have some trails opened to Fat Tire Biking! Find more information, trail maps, and trail conditions here. As a guest at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you also have the option to sign up for a complimentary guided ski trip to the Sugarbush or Norpine Trails. In addition, all ski equipment is included!
  • Prefer to cruise the trails on a snowmobile? Cook County has more than 400 miles to explore! You’ll find trails close to Lake Superior and trails that lead you into some of the most remote places in Minnesota. Visit the Visit Cook County website for a nice overview or check out the Cook County Snow Mobile Club – Ridge Riders website. This group is dedicated to maintaining these wonderful trails.
  • The handy snow depths map to the right is created and updated by the Minnesota DNR and a great tool when planning your winter getaways.

 

More Snow! More Fun!

January 7, 2019

Oodles of snow has fallen on Minnesota’s North Shore this winter. 2019 started with a storm that brought almost 24 inches. In addition, another 10+ of inches of snow fell last night. As a result, all outdoor winter adventures are in full swing and prime condition. Snow lovers rejoice!

It’s time to book your getaway and enjoy winter at its best. Take advantage of our incredible winter offers!

  • January 3 For 2 Special: Stay three nights and receive one of those nights completely FREE! Valid Dates: Jan. 1 – Jan. 31, 2019
  • Winter 4 For 3 Special: Stay four nights and receive one of those nights completely FREE! Valid Dates: Feb. 1-March 25, 2019, excluding President’s Day Weekend
  • March Weekends at Midweek Rates: Stay three nights or more and receive weekends in March at midweek rates. Valid Dates: March 4-20, 2019
  • Ski & Stay Packages: For those who love to downhill ski and stay at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you’ll want to book a Ski & Stay Package for the best deal.

Helpful winter vacation planning tools:

Let’s go play in the snow!