Norpine Fat Bike Classic: January 23-31, 2021

What’s that? An event is happening? Could it be? It’s true! Thanks to our local biking organization, Superior Cycling Association, the Norpine Fat Bike Classic will be safely happening on the North Shore between January 23-31, 2021.

Norpine Fat Bike Classic

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:

  1. 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 Lutsen Mountainsyou can pick up your tickets at the Gondola Base ticket office.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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

If you are looking for any additional information, check out their “Ski Well, Be Well” page here.

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.

Explore the North Shore by foot, kayak & more

New safety protocols to help keep you safe & healthy

Bluefin Bay Family of ResortsSpring 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.

Bluefin Bay Family of ResortsGuests 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.

 

Ready For Spring?

north shore waterfall early springThe 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:

The Best of Winter Has Arrived!

winter waves and sunset at bluefin bayMarch 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.
  • MARCH WEEKENDS AT MIDWEEK RATES: Stay three nights or more and receive weekends in March at midweek rates. Valid Dates: March 4-22, 2020.
  • 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…

Trail Reports for Winter Fun on the North Shore!

sugarbush trails - guided cross-country trip at bluefin bayMarch 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:

CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING:

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.

Visit the Sugarbush Trail Association website for weekly updated trail reports and maps. As a guest, you can take advantage of complimentary cross-country ski rentals and Guided Ski Tours on the Onion River Road trail.

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.

DOWNHILL SKIING:

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.

SNOWMOBILING: 

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.

In addition to the above trail reports and resources, we also love the Minnesota DNR Snow Depth and Trail Conditions guide.

See you on the trails!

 

Plan an Unforgettable Spring Break on Minnesota’s North Shore

snowshoe hiking at oberg mountainPlan a Spring Break getaway the whole family will love! 3 Reasons this year’s spring break will be sweeter at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts on the shores of Lake Superior…

Unlimited Family Fun!

Does your family like to get out and enjoy every snowy adventure you can? For the winter adventure seekers, the snow and trail conditions will be top-notch through April. In addition, the longer days and warmer temps help you enjoy more of your favorite activities. Spend your days skiing & snowboarding at Lutsen Mountains, or cross-country skiing the local Sugarbush or Norpine Trails. Continue the outdoor fun with some epic winter hiking or snowshoeing. Our experienced activities staff offer lots of complimentary guided adventures for the whole family. From cross-country ski tours to snowshoe hikes along a frozen river. No experience necessary – take advantage of this perfect opportunity to try something new as a family! In addition, all gear including snowshoes, and cross-country ski packages are complimentary. Plus, check out free ice skates, hockey sticks, and nets for use on the Bluefin Bay or Surfside ice rinks. Visit the Activites Calendar for a full list of complimentary guided trips and activities.

Cozy Family Memories!

Do you love to snuggle in, get cozy, and spend precious quality time with your family?  You’re in luck! It all starts with our beautiful accommodations. Whether you select a stunning lakeside suite or a multi-bedroom condo or townhome you’ll get a front-row seat to one of nature’s greatest shows…Lake Superior!  Enjoy the indoor or outdoor (heated!) pool at Bluefin Bay, hot tubs, and sauna. Unplug and unwind as you put together a puzzle, play games, read books, or just enjoy a fire and the stunning views of the big lake. After a day of outdoor adventure or a day of indoor fun, Bluefin Bay is the place to be. Many accommodations have full kitchens, plus we offer two on-site restaurants to maximize your dining options: Coho Cafe & Bakery and the Bluefin Grille.

Great Deals and Special Offers!

Spring Break will be even sweeter when you take advantage of these Great Deals and Packages! 

  • March Weekends at Midweek Rates: Stay three nights or more and receive weekends in March at midweek rates (that’s 20-40% off the regular rates)! Valid March 4-22.
  • Ski & Stay Packages: For those who love to downhill ski at Lutsen Mountains and stay at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, you’ll want to book a Ski & Stay Package for the best deal. Plus – FREE daily shuttles to and from the base of the mountain!
  • Extended Stay Special: With this progressive savings deal, the longer you stay at any of our Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, the more you save! Stays of four nights receive 10% off, five nights 15% off, six nights 20% off and seven nights receive 25% off.

Rolling Out the White Carpet for Winter Fun!

Winter Oberg Loop HikeAt Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, our complimentary rental equipment, knowledgeable Guest Services team, and area attractions create the perfect trifecta to help you enjoy a customized winter adventure. Here’s an overview of our most popular winter activities.

  • Cross-country skiing: With more than 400 km of Nordic ski trails in Cook County, you’ll never run out of places to explore. Check out complimentary cross-country ski equipment and explore the area trails at your leisure or join one of our free guided ski excursions.
  • Snowshoeing: Winter hiking is at its best up here. Explore the great North Woods with our complimentary snowshoes. Ask for a trail map at Guest Services or join one of our free guided snowshoe hikes.
  • Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding: Bluefin Bay offers complimentary shuttles to Lutsen Mountains Lutsen Mountains is the biggest & best ski resort in the Midwest. Check out our Ski & Stay Packages to get the best deal on ski and snowboard vacations.
  • Ice skating rinks at Bluefin Bay and Surfside are a hit with families and friends alike.  Check out a pair of complimentary ice skates at Guest Services. We also offer hockey nets, sticks and pucks to sign out. End your skating time at one of our evening bonfires complete with s’mores…of course!
  • Nightly campfire and s’mores at Bluefin Bay and Pick up your complimentary s’mores packet at Guest Services.
  • Creative Kids Club – Join us as we get crafty building birdhouses and decorating them with a variety of craft supplies! Parents are encouraged to join in on the fun!
  • NEW! Craft Mini-Courses: We are excited to offer new mini-courses onsite as part of our resort winter Activities program! The courses are completely free and will introduce guests to the element of Northern craft. In February and March, we’ll be offering an Intro to Alcohol Ink Painting Class.
  • NEW! Fiber by the Fireplace: Join us at the Bluefin Bay guest services lobby for a relaxed evening with like-minded fiber artists! Bring a project you are working on and gather around the fire with a local fiber artist to share stories, work on projects, and soak up creative inspiration from others. All levels and abilities are encouraged to bring your fiber projects like knitting, crochet, needlepoint, etc. If you do not have a project to bring you can still join and learn the art of Kumihimo – a Japanese form of braiding! Our visiting local artist will also bring needles and hooks to use, plus yarn for sale if needed.
  • Yoga: Offered on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and all levels encouraged to attend.
  • North Shore Winery Shuttles: If trying a new wine is more your idea of adventure, hop on a complimentary shuttle and head to North Shore Winery for a tasting & Shuttles available daily when the winery is open.
  • Live music at the Bluefin Grille on Mondays and Fridays from 8-10 pm.

Learn more and see our full schedule on the Activities & Events calendar.