We’re fortunate to have Temperance River State Park as our next-door neighbor. It’s so close that guests can walk or bike here from any of the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts properties. Today, we headed over there to check out the autumn colors and the riverside trails that meander north along both sides of this stunning river. Recent rains have helped create some spectacular waterfalls and fast flow! The birch and aspen have started to change along the river creating stunning contrasts of gold and yellow against the evergreens. In addition, we spotted a few pops of red from the maples.
We provide year-round complimentary guided hikes and seasonal biking excursions to this wonderful state park. It’s also a convenient spot for a quick stop while traveling to or from the resort properties. Head inland along the riverside trails or take the path that leads to the shores of Lake Superior. Between Highway 61 and the Big Lake, you’ll come across one more stunning falls, the mouth of the river, and finally the shore of Lake Superior.
Photos From Today’s Autumn Adventure:
We went on a hiking adventure to Leveuax Mountain to check out the fall colors. This hike provides panoramic views of the inland hills, Lake Superior, and southwest views of the Sawtooth Mountains. Because of this, we knew this hike would be perfect for viewing the color change difference between areas farther inland and areas closer to the shoreline of Lake Superior. The inland maples are just about at peak creating a stunning blanket of oranges and reds on the rolling hills. The birch trees have barely started to change color, and in some spots have yet to change color at all. Their yellows and golds will take over the landscape in the next couple of weeks. Closer to the lake, there is only about 50% color change but we should see a big change in the next week and a half.
The Leveaux Mountain Hike is one of our many complimentary guided hikes offered to resort guests. The distance of this hike is 3.4 miles and considered moderate in difficulty due to the length and a few short but steep climbs. The views are worth it! The trail follows a ridge through old-growth cedar and red pine forests rising 1,000 feet above the lake.
From the gallery below you can see how the trees went from mostly green toward the bottom of the trail, and areas closer to the lake, to mostly fall color as you look inland from the top. We felt like we were traveling through different ends of the autumn season in one hike!
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 25% Fall Colors. We are reporting little color change by Lake Superior with more fall colors peeking through 1-2 miles inland.
Experience more fall fun on Minnesota’s North Shore with a trip up to Lutsen Mountains. It’s less than a 10-minute drive from Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and offers fun for the whole family!
Lutsen Mountains is located a couple of miles inland from Lake Superior. On our Fall Color Report adventure this past weekend we hiked along the trails winding through this area and spotted some beautiful Fall colors starting along the top of the ridgelines.
The Summit Express Gondola is one of our favorite ways to view the fall colors. You’ll travel above the treetops heading up 1,000 feet to the top of Moose Mountain with views of the autumn colors, Lake Superior, and the Sawtooth Mountains. Hop out at the Summit Chalet for breathtaking views, scenic overlooks, and hiking trails.
For those looking to add a long hike to their Lutsen Mountains experience, we recommend heading out on the Superior Hiking Trail starting from the end of the road that runs past the main ski area. This 4.5-mile hike winds across the Poplar River and around the back of Mystery and Moose Mountain through forests of cedar, brightly colored maple and aspen. In addition, this hike ends at the top of Moose Mountain where you can purchase a ticket and head back via the gondola – a sweet way to end a rewarding hiking adventure! The Summit Express Gondola is open daily through October 20.
The Alpine Slide is perfect for those looking for a few thrills during their fall color tour. One of the best parts of this activity is the chairlift ride to the top of Eagle Mountain. Sit back and enjoy a unique view of the fall beauty. Then, zip down a 1/2 mile track on your sled! Your trip can be fast and thrilling or slow and easy. This one is a family favorite! The Alpine Slide is open weekends through October 20.
Here on the North Shore we typically see peak fall colors between mid-September and early October. Because of Lake Superior’s power, we are fortunate to experience longer color than the rest of Minnesota. The first color change starts inland and gradually moves toward the Lake Superior shoreline where the last of the trees turn for the season. For almost a month, you can enjoy many different spectacular color drives or hikes depending on when you visit.
This past weekend we took a single-track biking adventure on the new Jackpot Flow Trail. This amazing trail, that is nearing completion, will connect the nearby Britton Peak single-track mountain bike trails to the Lutsen Mountains Ski area. We did get to see some great pops of color a few miles inland from Lake Superior! Most of the forest is still lush and green but the inland hills are definitely showing signs of fall. We’ll provide a weekly report on the fall color progress through peak color in mid-October.
5 Best Things To Do on the North Shore This Fall
1 – Go for a Hike…or Two or Three! Hiking is at its best on the Superior Hiking Trail in the Fall. The temps are cooler, the leaves are in their glory, and area wildlife comes to life! Check our resort activities calendar for a guided hike or try one of these favorites on your own. Our Fall Favs: Oberg Mountain Loop, Carlton Peak, and Caribou Falls, New this year – Section 13!
2 – Enjoy a Wilderness Canoe Trip – Experience fall colors via a wilderness canoe paddle on the Poplar River in Lutsen. Bluefin Bay Resorts will shuttle you there and back and provide all of the equipment for a great group or family outing on the water.
3 – Hit the Bike Trail – we’ve got inland off-road biking and the paved Gitchi Gami State Trail along the shore. From Bluefin Bay you can take the Gitchi Gami to a number of great hiking trails such as Temperance River State Park and the Onion River trail. Our Fall Favs: Heartbreak Hill Loop by Bike and the Temperance River Hike & Bike. Like to go off-road with your biking? The Britton Peak single track trailhead is only a few miles from Bluefin Bay Resorts. The new (almost completed) Jackpot Flow Trail connects the Britton Peak trails to Lutsen Mountains Ski Area and offers some of the most beautiful mountain bike riding in Minnesota!
4 – Get an Ariel Perspective: Ride the Luten Mountains Summit Express Gondola to experience breathtaking fall colors from above!
5 – Enjoy our NEW Fall Activity – Fall Color Tour! All things Fall! Hop into one of our vans as we take you on a backroads driving tour of the Lutsen-Tofte area blanketed in fall colors. Plus, a stop at Wild Country Maple Syrup! This tour starts September 21 and will run through mid-October.
September is here and it’s officially time to get excited about the upcoming fall color show along the North Shore! At the same time, we want to enjoy the late summer as long as possible. We will NOT be breaking out the pumpkin spice quite yet. But, we do want to announce a new complimentary activity starting on September 21st:
All things Fall! Hop into one of our vans as we take you on a backroads driving tour of the Lutsen-Tofte area blanketed in fall colors.
This fun tour starts with a drive up the beautiful Temperance River road. First, a stop at the upper falls to enjoy a short walk to the perfect photo op – a river view with a beautiful colored hill in the backdrop. Then, it’s back to the van to head to the Six Hundred Road and eventually a stop at “Heartbreak Hill”. Another photo op of the canopy of leaves along this picturesque road. Our trip continues down the Six Hundred Road leading us to the famous Honeymoon Trail via the Sawbill Trail. Enjoy a scenic stopping point at White Pine Lake with a fishing dock perfect for viewing the colors around this serene remote lake. Our next stop will be Wild Country Maple Syrup! While here, we’ll tour the facility to see where they tap the trees, learn how the system works to transfer sap to the boiling room, and visit where they bottle the final product. In addition, enjoy a self-service store with a variety of products to sample and purchase!
On our final stretch, we’ll head down the Caribou Trail back to highway 61. A quick stop at the Poplar River Falls (another short walk) will give us one last waterfall and scenic view of the leaves.
This new activity will be available 4 days a week starting September 21st through October 12th. This will be a popular activity – you may sign up online ahead of time.