Beware the Gales of November

November has arrived! And with it, Storm Season. While November is a quieter time of year on the North Shore in terms of visitors, it is Lake Superior’s loudest season.

In late Fall, low-pressure systems pass over Lake Superior which result in stronger winds. The winds, sometimes called “Nor’easters” can reach up to 50 miles per hour, with gusts up to 100 miles per hour.  These wind patterns can result in large waves on our Great Lake, known as the Gales of November.  The highest recorded wave on Lake Superior is 28.8 feet, although unofficial wave heights are believed to have exceeded 40 feet.

Thanks to Gordon Lightfoot, many have heard of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. But Lake Superior has claimed hundreds of ships into her cool depths. Another notable shipwreck event occurred on November 28th, 1905 when the Mataafa Storm caused 29 vessels to sink or be seriously damaged. One of those vessels was the 478-foot iron ore carrier William Edenborn, which was towing the 436-foot barge Madeira. The large waves caused the towline to part around 3 a.m. and the unpowered Madeira crashed into the shoreline. Around the same time, the Edenborn was whooshed into the mouth of the Split Rock River. The carrier was split in two. Luckily, the Edna G. provided life saving services to both crews and only 2 seamen lost their lives. That storm led to the construction of Split Rock Lighthouse, which was completed in 1910.

Winter Wave

If you are interested to learn more about Lake Superior shipwrecks, read this article by our friends at North Shore Visitor. Next time you stay at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, be sure to visit the North Shore Commercial Fishing Museum, which is located between Bluefin Bay and Coho Café. Also, Split Rock Lighthouse will host a virtual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Beacon Lighting on November 10th, which is totally free to attend!

And if you have not had the opportunity to discover this memorable season for yourself, consider visiting us this year! Stay 3 nights and take advantage of our Gales of November offer for a free night on us.

Fall Color Report: October 6 – Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts

For this week’s Fall Color report, we couldn’t resist telling you about the delightful scene at our different properties: Bluefin Bay, Surfside on Lake Superior and Temperance Landing on Lake Superior. The DNR’s Fall Color map shows that the North Shore area is past peak, but near the lake the leaves tend to hang around a bit longer than they do inland. It makes for a magnificent view from the guest rooms, pool areas and Bluefin Grille. The dark blue of Lake Superior is the perfect contrast against the yellows and golds. We also begin to see a bit more wave action in October on the big lake. Here are updates from all 3 of our resorts.

 

Fall Color Bluefin BayBluefin Bay

Whether you select a stunning lakeside suite, multi-bedroom condo, or a guestroom overlooking the ancient Sawtooth Mountains, you’ll get a front row seat to one of nature’s greatest shows. At Bluefin Bay, we bring you closer to the lake, and to each other.

 

Fall Color at Surfside

Surfside on Lake Superior

Dramatic angles, vaulted pine ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, vast expanses of glass, in-suite fireplaces, double whirlpool tubs, glass and tile showers, and more balconies and patios than any other resort on Minnesota’s North Shore – are all right here waiting for you.

 

Fall Color Temperance Landing

Temperance Landing on Lake Superior

There is perhaps nothing as warm and inviting as a log home for escape from our hectic, fast-paced lives. Place it on Lake Superior’s North Shore and you’ve got the perfect destination for family vacations, a couples’ retreat or friends’ getaway.

 

 

This will be our last Fall Color report for 2020. We’ve received questions from guests wondering if the colors changed earlier this year than usual. The answer is yes! You can view maps from previous years on the DNR’s fall color page on their website, which we found to be very interesting!

Fall Color Map Comparison,

 

Fall Color Report: September 29 – Britton Peak

We are due for an update as the color has shifted quite a bit since last week’s Fall Color Report. We had some rain over the weekend and the maple canopy is beginning to come down. On a happier note, the Birch and Aspen trees are totally at peak right now. This means that the drive to the North Shore is breathtaking. It also means that any of the hiking trails closer to the lake are lit up with golden hues. Think Carlton Peak, Tettegouche State Park, Palisade Head, Lookout Mountain and today’s choice, Britton Peak.

Fall Color View Britton Peak

This is the overlook from our hike at Britton Peak. Britton Peak is a swift vertical climb that offers sweeping views of Lake Superior and Carlton Peak. It’s perfect if you are looking for something quick and close to Bluefin Bay as it’s less than 3 miles away.

Britton Peak Hike Fall Colors

The perspective from the hiking trail is exquisite. The undergrowth is changing and the forest floor is covered in vibrant leaves. The little bit of rain also permeated the woods with the delicious scents of Fall.

It’s an extraordinary season on the North Shore. We all wish that Mother Nature would extend it, but it doesn’t look like that will happen this year. Stay tuned for next week – we’ll update you on the fall colors at the different properties that make up Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts!

 

Fall Color Report: September 22 – Oberg Mountain

We are kicking off Fall Color reporting with our favorite destination for this time of year, Oberg Mountain. We tagged along with the Activities Crew as they ventured out on their tour on Saturday and boy are we glad we did! As of today, the DNR is currently reporting our region to be in the 25-50% range.

Oberg Mountain Fall Colors

It’s always a challenge to predict the peak colors on the North Shore. As many of you probably know, it happens in two distinct phases. First, the maples come ablaze with bright red and brilliant orange leaves. Secondly, the aspen and birch present their golden glory. Some argue there is a third phase when the tamarack trees begin to change, which usually occurs in late October or even early November.

Fall Color hiking

We are very much in that first peak now and Oberg was a fantastic spot to view the colors. The maple trees are beautiful both from the ground and from the overlooks. The birch and aspen have just begun changing and have a little ways to go. The good news is that we don’t have any storms predicted in the forecast, which should help the leaves to hang on a bit longer this year.

If you are coming to stay with us this Fall, be sure to check the activities schedule in advance. We have guided hikes, bike & hikes, fall color kayaking and wilderness canoeing. All of these activities are designed to get our guests outside exploring the most colorful season on the North Shore.

Fall Color Report: October 8 – The Bluefin Bay Properties

The beautiful autumn golds have taken over the landscape along the Lake Superior shoreline. Blue skies and the dark blue lake are the perfect contrast against yellows, golds, and the dark green evergreens. We’re at 85-100% fall color in all areas of the North Shore. Many leaves are still hanging on the trees but they will be dropping in the next couple of weeks.

Today we toured around the Bluefin Bay Family of Resort properties to capture the fall views. This time of year, you will never miss a wave OR fall colors from any of the resort properties!

Bluefin bay in ocotberBLUEFIN BAY

Whether you select a stunning lakeside suite, multi-bedroom condo, or a guestroom overlooking the ancient Sawtooth Mountains, you’ll get a front row seat to one of nature’s greatest shows. At Bluefin Bay, we bring you closer to the lake, and to each other.

 

 

 

surfside on lake superior in fallSURFSIDE ON LAKE SUPERIOR

Whether on a romantic getaway, a relaxing retreat, or a family adventure, Surfside on Lake Superior provides the ultimate North Shore vacation experience. Dramatic angles, vaulted pine ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, vast expanses of glass, in-suite fireplaces, double whirlpool tubs, glass and tile showers, and multiple balconies and patios are all right here waiting for you.

 

 

 

temperance landing on lake superior in fallTEMPERANCE LANDING ON LAKE SUPERIOR

There is perhaps nothing as warm and inviting as a log home for an escape from our hectic, fast-paced lives. Place it on Lake Superior’s North Shore and you’ve got the perfect destination for family vacations, a couples’ retreat or friends’ getaway. Temperance Landing is nestled on the edge of Lake Superior and set against the backdrop of the Sawtooth Mountains in Schroeder, MN. And yes, it gets its namesake from nearby Temperance River State Park.

 

Fall Color Report: September 30 – Temperance River State Park

Temperance River Fall Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 70-90% Fall Colors. We’re reporting about 70%  fall colors by Lake Superior with 90% a few miles inland.

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:

 

 

 

Fall Color Report: September 23rd Leveaux Mountain Hike

Leveaux Mountain Hike in late SeptemberBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 50-80% Fall Colors. We’re reporting about 50%  fall colors by Lake Superior with 80% a few miles inland. 

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!

 

 

 

Fall Color Report: September 16th – Color Tour AND Family Fun at Lutsen Mountains!

Gondola at Lutsen Mountains. Bluefin Bay Fall Color Report

Photo: Sept 15, 2019

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.

Fall Color Report: September 9th

Jackpot flow mountain biking trail tofteBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 90% Summer Colors and 10% Fall Colors

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.

Fall Colors AND Rushing Rivers!

Temperance River State Park Late FallBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report:

Peak to Past Peak in most areas! 

Another fall color season is coming to an end. We’ve hit the halfway point in the month and most areas on the North Shore are at peak or are now past peak. Many of the hiking trails are lined with brightly colored leaves that produce that ‘autumnal crunch’ we all love. As is typical along Lake Superior, we are still experiencing nice color and leaves on a majority of trees.

Temperance River State Park is our next door neighbor, and we may be partial, but we think it is one of the best parks in the state. We decided to take a quick adventure there this morning and even caught glimpses of blue sky and that sun that has eluded us for most of this month. From Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you can walk or bike here via the Gitchi-Gami State Bike Trail or there are parking areas right on Highway 61 making it a very accessible state park. Once there, you can choose to take a southerly trail that leads to a bridge overlooking the falls of the Temperance River. From this bridge, you can see it descend the last of its falls plus watch it flow right into the big lake. This is a favorite photo op spot for Instagram-worthy pics and is a great location for wedding images. We followed the short trail that leads to the beach on the lake and noticed some nice color still on the trees

From the parking area on Highway 61, you can also head north and travel inland along the Temperance River. Another bridge just a quarter mile along showcases the deep river gorge and the wild river that has really been flowing after the recent rains. We almost thought it was waterfall season! Be sure to follow the trail farther north to check out a few other wild curves in the river that offer a pretty good show as the water swirls and rushes along. We offer many complimentary guided hikes and bike & hike trips to this popular not-to-miss destination.

The colors are quickly going past peak but the bonus this year is that river and waterfall viewing should be added to your fall adventure itinerary!

A few photos from Temperance River State Park…