The Norpine Fat Bike Classic is a fat tire biking event and being that it takes place in the middle of January, it is not for the faint hearted. There are two distances to choose between: a shorter 14-mile course and a longer 20-mile course. It costs $50 to sign up and the registration fee includes a membership to the Norpine Trail Association, entry into a prize drawing (which includes a two night stay at Bluefin Bay!), a bag lunch and some swag.
What’s different this year? With Covid-19, the event has been reimagined. Rather than a one day event, bikers will be able to ride the course anytime between January 23rd-31st. Riders are expected to be prepared with necessary repair equipment as the ride will not have aide stations on the course. You can register here.
If you have a Fat Tire bike and can’t make it during those dates, fear not. There are fat tire biking trails in the area that you can ride on all winter. Check out this map to see where you can ride, and be sure to purchase a trail pass!
Know Before You Go: Lutsen Mountains
Because this winter is a bit different, we thought we’d start a “Know Before You Go” series. As part of this series, we’ll explain what’s open and you need to know…before you go.
This week we wanted to chat about the biggest winter attraction in the area, Lutsen Mountains. Please note that this information is current as of today, December 30th 2020, but that it is changing all the time. For the most updated information, check out Lutsen Mountains website here.
Here is what you need to know before you go to Lutsen Mountains:
Buy Tickets in Advance. Lutsen Mountains has implemented daily capacity limits. This means that busy days will sell out. You can combine lodging and lift tickets by booking a Ski and Stay package or if you would like to stay longer and ski less, book your lift tickets separately from your lodging. You are required to purchase lift tickets and sign your waiver online and then you can pick up your tickets at the Gondola Base ticket office.
Use Your Car as your Basecamp. Because of the current guidelines in Minnesota, the restaurants at the Ski Hill are only open for takeout dining and bathrooms. This means you will be wanting to use your car to warm up and eat meals.
Arrive Together, Ride Together. Stick with your household on lifts. Guests are asked to self-group and load the lifts with their traveling party. Masks and 6 feet of social distancing are required when in lines and on the lifts.
The Rental Shop is Open. You are required to fill out rental forms online in advance and there are capacity limits for the building, so be sure to arrive early!
Other Information that’s Good to Know:
Bathrooms are open
Ski and Snowboard lessons are available
Outdoor seating is allowed with up to 4 people per table, from the same household
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Explore the North Shore by foot, kayak & more
New safety protocols to help keep you safe & healthy
Spring has finally sprung, summer is on its way, and this is the perfect time to explore our breathtaking North Shore by foot, bike and kayak! We’ve heard from many guests who have “cabin fever” and can’t wait to get out and enjoy the North Shore trails and open spaces.
We get it, and want to help you adventure safely. Here’s some helpful information about how to enjoy your favorite resort activities safely this spring and summer. Our aim is help you explore the North Shore safely — whether that’s venturing out on your own or joining one of our guided activities.
Guided Activities: Hiking in May; Biking, Kayaking, Yoga & More by June
Hiking: We’re offering a range of “socially distanced” guided hikes in May, with more in June and beyond. The waterfalls are gushing and it’s a great time to hike — though hiking boots may be required. Check our Activities Calendar for scheduled hikes.
Guests who join resort guided hikes should know a few things about our safety protocols. We’ll be asking guests to drive to the trailheads, rather than taking the Bluefin Bay shuttle, if possible. We’ll have room in the shuttle for up to one family group of four people. This will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and participants riding in a Bluefin Bay shuttle van will be required to wear masks. You can bring your own or we’ll provide them.
Biking: We’ll be starting guided biking tours on area trails in June. In addition, we’ll offer our popular Temperance River Bike and Hike — a 2.1-mile ride along the Gitchi Gami State Trail, combined with a short hike along the Temperance River, and back to the resort. Check our Activities Calendar for specific bike excursions, dates and times. Social distancing protocols are in effect.
Again this year, we’ll be offering both inland kayaking and Lake Superior kayaking adventures. We’ll also be offering our popular Wilderness Canoeing activity on the Poplar River. Since our canoes and inland kayaks are two-person tandems, we’ll require that you tandem only with another person from your family group. We’ll also observe the more than 6 feet — or one moose apart — social distancing rule both while getting fitted and while out on the water.
Yoga: Who couldn’t use a little yoga these days for stress release? We’ll be offering more yoga classes than usual this spring and summer, and we’ve moved them to the Surfside ballroom to allow for more social distancing between participants. Check our Activities Calendar for more details.
Kid’s Adventure Club: Our planned kids’ adventures encourage curiosity, exploration and fun. This program offers a variety of activities from nature walks, to field games, to agate hunting on the beach. We invite parents to join in on the fun. Social distancing will be practiced during these activities. Parents are encouraged to join the fun.
Not comfortable in a group just yet – adventure on your own!
Our staff will be available to recommend areas to explore on your own and to supply maps and directions should you prefer to go solo. Bikes and tennis racquets will be available for checkout with our safety protocol in effect.
We look forward to helping you get out and enjoy the Lake and the North Shore this spring and summer.
A Lake Superior sunrise for you
Enter the Sunrise Challenge for a chance to win some Bluefin Bay swag!
The sunrise over Lake Superior is one of the most breathtaking things on earth! We frequently hear from guests who rise early to capture the sunrise from their condo or venture out with their morning coffee to the rocky shoreline to greet the sun as it pops over the horizon.
What is it about a sunrise that reels us in? Perhaps it’s the idea of venturing out before the rest of the world wakes…or being still in the quiet beauty of nature. Maybe, it’s the hope that comes with greeting the dawn of a new day. We all know that experiencing a sunrise can be an instant mood changer.
So, since you can’t be with us to experience the Lake Superior sunrise right now – we’re bringing it to you! Enjoy the sunrise video below shot last week by Ross, our Guest Services Manager – for you.
In that spirit, our next I Love Bluefin Show & Tell Challenge is all about the sunrise. Here’s your chance to get in on the sunrise action. You’ll get to enjoy a beautiful sunrise from home and we’ll get to experience it with you online. Plus, when you enter our virtual challenge you have a chance to win some awesome Bluefin Bay swag!
Show & Tell Challenge #2 – Show Us Your Sunrise!
Get out and enjoy a sunrise near you — any day this next week. Share a photo or video of your sunrise on social media. You’ll get to enjoy a sunrise and greet the day, and we’ll get to enjoy it with you.
Share your sunrise photo or video on Facebook or Instagram with the hashtags: #ILoveBluefin and #BluefinShowandTell. Posts must be up by Monday, May 4 at 5 p.m. to be eligible to win.
Win Bluefin Swag! We’ll select one random winner on Facebook and one on Instagram (2 winners total). Each will win a Bluefin Bay sweatshirt (his/her style choice and size) from the inventory currently in our gift shop.
Remember, posts must be up by May 4 at 5 p.m. and have the hashtags #ILoveBluefin and #BluefinShoeandTell to win. And, now, enjoy our beautiful Lake Superior sunrise.
P.S. Our Waterfall Challenge winners will be announced this week on Facebook so stay tuned!
Until we meet again…never miss a wave
Dear guests, friends, and fans of Bluefin Bay Resorts,
Hello! We miss you, and we hope you are staying home and staying safe.
These photos taken around Bluefin Bay this past week are a sad reminder of the difficult times we’re living in. The resorts, parking lots and restaurants are all empty — and it’s just not the same around here without you. We miss the faces of happy vacationers, kids playing, and employees bustling about.
At the same time, we’re seeing signs of spring, and we spring sprouts HOPE.
Today, as the last of the snow melts along the shore, the waves crash, the grass greens, and nearby waterfalls gush — our gratitude goes to the health care workers and first responders, grocery store workers, farmers, truck drivers, sanitation workers, social service nonprofits, child care providers, food shelf volunteers, post office workers, government leaders, agencies and ALL of those on the front lines providing care, relief and support during this public health crisis.
From all of us at Bluefin Bay, we THANK YOU!
Bringing Bluefin Bay to you
While vacations to the North Shore are not possible at the moment, we are allowed to dream. We plan to bring Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and the beloved North Shore to you at home – with beautiful picture, captivating videos, newsy updates, and entertaining stories. We all know, anticipation is the greatest joy. So, we’ll keep inspiring you to dream about your next getaway. Join us here on the I Love Bluefin Blog each week and on Facebook and Instagram where we can share memories and dream together. We invite you to share your favorite photos and memories virtually — until we meet again in person.
Readying to welcome you back safely
In addition to sharing our beautiful area with you online, we’re busy exploring how to safely reopen the resorts. We’re rethinking our services and how to make them safe during COVID-19. We’re looking into extra sanitation services, rethinking food service with appropriately spaced and outdoor dining and in-room delivery, and even exploring curbside check-in. We’ll keep you posted on all that is happening in and around the resorts to ensure that we can welcome you back safely soon. Check back here and on our COVID-19 update page here.
We bring you closer
At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we pride ourselves on bringing you closer to Lake Superior and closer to each other. And we’ll continue to bring you closer, but for now, we’ll do it virtually. Make sure you “like” and follow us on Facebook and Instagram so you can join in dreaming of warm summer days, crashing Lake Superior waves, hiking our lush green Superior National Forest, and take a soak in our hot tub.
Please hashtag your photos when you share so we can ALL daydream. Stay connected here and never miss a wave!
The official start of spring is almost upon us. Even though we are still enjoying outdoor winter activities to their fullest, we can’t help get a little excited for all things spring!
Got Spring Fever? We’ve got the cure. Take advantage of our Spring Fever Special and enjoy a FREE night when you purchase two nights (midweek night is free). This amazing deal starts March 22 and runs through May 31.
In addition, the waterfall season is almost here and it’s fair to say that the North Shore of Lake Superior has the best waterfall viewing of anywhere in Minnesota, perhaps the Midwest. This year we’re predicting an exceptional waterfall season. In fact, we are already seeing many rivers starting to put on their spring flow show as the days begin to warm up. You can easily spend a few days driving up and down highway 61 checking out all the wonderful falls. Learn more and get great travel tips for the waterfall season here.
Upcoming spring events and activities:
April 10-12: Easter Weekend activities at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts: Golden Egg Hunt, Saturday Egg Hunt, and Coloring Contest
March is here. Think long sunny days and star-filled nights. Rising temperatures and rolling Lake Superior waves. Crisp, clean snow and unbeatable outdoor adventure. Winter is at its peak up on the North Shore – and just in time for a Spring Break getaway. We have the best snow in the state. 400+ kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails. Premier downhill skiing at Lutsen Mountains. Snowshoeing adventures. Outdoor and indoor hot tub & pools. Waves of Superior Spa. And some of the best deals of the year!
Make plans now to get outside and embrace winter at its best! Take advantage of these amazing March Offers for your much-needed Spring Break or late-winter getaway:
WINTER 4 FOR 3 SPECIAL: Stay four nights and receive one of those nights completely FREE! Valid now – March 22.
SKI AND STAY PACKAGES: March skiing is epic at Lutsen Mountains! 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. We offer FREE daily shuttles to and from the base of the mountain, frustration-free equipment rental at our neighboring Sawtooth Outfitters, and a variety of Can’t-be-beat Ski & Stay Packages.
Lake Superior sets the stage. We’ll take care of the rest…
March is almost here! The North Shore is seeing the most snow in the state, longer days, and higher temps. It’s time to get outside! With this in mind, here’s an update on the area trail conditions and resources for planning your late-winter getaway:
The local Sugarbush Trails have a nice deep base of snow. As a result, all 65 kilometers are groomed and open! With direct access to Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, you can easily explore this beautiful area.
Our Activities Department also plans guided trips on the Norpine Trails. This beautiful system is located in the Lusten area and winds through pine and hardwood forests. The Norpine Trail groomers are reporting all trails are open and in good condition!
Cook County has 400 kilometers of cross-country ski trails making it the largest network of trails in North America. The overall trail base ranges from 12-27 inches creating some of the greatest groomed trails we’ve had in years. Check out the Visit Cook County website to discover all the wonderful trail systems to be explored in our area.
A long and snowy season has made for some epic ski and snowboard days. Because of this, Lutsen Mountains has a snow base of 30-72 inches on all primary runs. With 4 mountains and 95 runs, everyone will enjoy skiing or snowboarding at the Midwest’s only mountain ski area.
We provide free shuttles to the base of the mountain and you’ll love the Ski and Stay Packages for the best deals.
HIKING & SNOWSHOEING:
Winter hiking is a favorite activity here on the North Shore and trails are in great condition right now. Just after a snowfall, strap on a pair of snowshoes (complimentary rentals to resort guests) to trek through the deeper snow. Many trails that you enjoy in the summer are packed and accessible during the winter! A pair of winter boots or ice grips are all you need to experience a walk through the snowy woods. Let our activities staff show you the way on a guided hike or snowshoe adventure! Visit our Resort Activities & Events page for details on our guided adventures.
Explore the Lake Superior shoreline plus inland woods and lakes on the endless miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Local snowmobile clubs are reporting good conditions on the trails. The Cook County Snowmobile Club has updated trail conditions and maps for the local trails. Or, visit the North Shore Visitor website for info on snowmobile trails all along Highway 61.