5 Hikes for Kids in the Lutsen-Tofte Area

“Where can I take my kids for a hike?”

Kid Hiking in the Woods

This is a question we frequently receive at the Bluefin Bay Guest Services desk, so we thought it might be helpful to construct a list of the 5 best hiking trails for kids in the Lutsen/Tofte area.

What constitutes a great trek for kids, you ask? The formula we utilized is equal parts easy, safe terrain + fun stuff to look at = great hike for kids.

Caribou Falls This hike is just over a mile long and is an out and back. There is a bit of a steep climb toward the end but the waterfall you get to see is worth it. Pro Tip: This is also a great spot for swimming!

Temperance RiverTemperance River State Park is a super cool place to explore. The trail winds along the river for quite a while and you can go as far as you want. Important: You do need to be careful with younger kids as there are some steep overlooks!

Leveaux MountainThis is a bit of a longer hike at 3.2 miles. Leveaux Mountain shares a parking lot with the popular Oberg Mountain, but Leveaux is less busy and has fewer overlooks. The woods are fun to explore and there is one awesome overlook at the top. Pro Tip: This hike is lined with Maple Trees toward the top and is beautiful in the fall!

May Calendar WaterfallLake AgnesEnjoy a leisurely trek to beautiful Lake Agnes. This section of the Superior Hiking Trail will take you through a variety of different forests (Maple, Cedar, Birch) and offers an opportunity for swimming when you arrive. Pro Tip: Take the spur trail to White Sky Rock. You won’t regret it!

Cascade River State ParkCascade is one of the most popular State Parks in Minnesota and for good reason! The park is located where the river flows into Lake Superior and features beautiful waterfalls the whole way down. Pro Tip: If you are in the mood for something super quick, you only need to hike about a quarter of a mile to see the first (and largest) waterfall!

Discover a Hidden Gem at Sugarloaf Cove

There are many hidden gems scattered along the North Shore of Lake Superior but Sugarloaf Cove stands out as a favorite. Sugarloaf Cove is a 34-acre site located about 10 miles south of Bluefin Bay. Sugarloaf: The North Shore Stewardship Association was created in 1992 to inspire the preservation and restoration or the North Shore’s unique environment. For a $5 parking fee, you can enjoy lively hiking trails, access to educational programs and breathtaking views of the cozy Lake Superior cove.

July Calendar Sugarloaf Cove

Sugarloaf Cove has a fascinating history. From 1943-1971 the area was used by Consolidated Papers, Inc. as a site to store pulpwood logs during the winter. In the summer months, tugboats hauled the logs across Lake Superior to Ashland, Wisconsin. The paper company utilized at least 14 buildings on the site and a root cellar, metal mooring rings and boom logs can all be seen today as remaining reminders of the logging history at Sugarloaf Cove.

Bird Banding at Sugarloaf Cove on Minnesota's North Shore

This summer, they plan to host drop-in educational programs. Bird banding demonstrations have long been a beloved activity of many Bluefin guests. Occurring every Thursday morning, a Sugarloaf naturalist will band birds in order to monitor the populations of song birds that nest and travel through the area. The demonstration begins early and you can stop by any time to learn more about the banding process and its important in understand the lifespan, movement and productivity of song birds. This program, among others, is a way for Sugarloaf Cove to educate the public about the local environment.

To learn more about the programming, hiking trails and offerings at Sugarloaf Cove, click here.

4th of July Festivities

The 4th of July is nearly here! As we celebrate our nation’s independence here on the North Shore, we also celebrate all things summer – the Big Lake and its cool breezes, the endless miles of trails to explore by foot or by bicycle, kayak and canoe excursions, golfing, fishing, outdoor dining, bonfires on the beach complete with s’mores, and time spent with friends and family making memories! If you are joining us for 4th of July weekend you will certainly be able to make some memories as we have a full line-up of fun activities!

>>> Make sure to sign up for all activities here!

Friday, July 2nd

Saturday July 3rd

Sunday July 4th

Summer Activities for Kids

We often hear from our guests wondering about what activities there are for kiddos to do while staying at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. And we have good news! Here at Bluefin Bay, we have entertainment for all ages.

Complimentary, kid-friendly activities:

>>> Be sure to check our calendar of events for these activities to see if they are occurring during your stay and to sign-up.

Available equipment for kids:Biking

  • Kid’s Bikes & Burley Trailers
  • Kelty Child Carrier Backpacks
  • Tennis Equipment
  • Bocce Ball Sets, Soccer Ball (Soccer Fields at Surfside and Bluefin Bay), Pickleball sets, Ladder Toss, KanJam, Cornhole
  • Jump ropes, Frisbees, sidewalk chalk
  • Board Games and Playing Cards

We also have pack n plays and booster seats! Just ask your reservationist or leave a note when making your reservation online. 

New Summer Activities

We often hear from our returning guests that they cherish the memories they’ve made at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. This is one of our favorite comments because it means that we are providing our guests with experiences that they might not otherwise have an opportunity to partake in. In that spirit, we have expanded our activities program this year to include new adventures and more of the excursions that you all have raved about. All activities listed below are included in your stay at Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing.

Mountain Biking

Introduction to Mountain Biking will consist of riding a new single-track mountain biking trail called “The High Climber”. Although this particular trail is marked as easy, it is a rigorous activity. We will provide instruction, but you can expect there to be some hard peddling, rolling over some rock gardens, and sweeping berms. A fall or two is common and part of the fun! This activity will be available on Sundays and Thursdays throughout the summer.

Our other new activity, Outdoor Movies, is a bit more laid back. We will be showing a family friendly movie Friday evenings on a large inflatable screen outside on the lawn at Surfside Resort. No sign up necessary. We’ll bring the popcorn!Outdoor Movie at Surfside

Other Complimentary Activities This Summer

  • Daily Sea Kayaking on Lake Superior
  • Inland Kayaking
  • Shuttles to the North Shore Winery
  • Bike & Hikes
  • Campfire Music
  • Guided Painting Class
  • Kids Club
  • Yoga
  • Guided Hikes
  • Wilderness Canoeing
  • Naturalist Programs
  • Tennis
  • Soccer
  • Basketball
  • Yard Games

Area Events Update

The North Shore is well known for having fun, diverse events. In a typical year, there are major events every weekend with smaller events sprinkled throughout the calendar. We all know that this is not a typical year. Some events are still being decided upon while others have decided to move forward with safety precautions front of mind. Here a few updates for you.

Superior Spring Trail Race

The Superior Trail Races occur on the Superior Hiking Trail every year in the Spring and the Fall. These muddy, rigorous trail races are an incredible event to partake in and just to witness. This year, the spring event will occur on May 20-23rd and includes 12.5K, 25K and 50K events each day. There are extensive safety protocols in place and all race information emphasizes that it will be an “extremely low-key” experience. These races were cancelled in 2020 and we are very glad to see that they are back and will be held with the safety of the community as the top priority.

Biking Events

We have a lively biking community here in Cook County and are well-known for our fun, varied events.  The two being held this summer are Le Grand Du Nord (Saturday, May 29th) and theLutsen 99er Mountain Bike Race Lutsen 99er (Saturday, June 26th). Le Grand Du Nord is a gravel cycling event which features distances of 110 miles, 54 miles and 26 miles. Lutsen 99er is a mountain biking race which features distances of 99 miles, 69 miles, 49 miles and 25 miles as well as a kids’ race on Sunday. Le Grand is not allowing for any spectating this year, and the Lutsen 99er is only allowing for spectating at the finish line at Lutsen Mountains. Both of these events will be modified with safety in mind.

Grand Marais Arts Festival

The Grand Marais Arts Festival is a favorite event for many of our return guests! This year, it will be held the weekend of July 10-11th and the artist line-up looks amazing. Unfortunately, for the first time this year, it will not be held near the Grand Marais harbor. It will instead be located up at the Community Center due to road construction. Certain details are still being figured out, so the Grand Marais Art Colony encourages you to sign-up for their e-newsletter to receive updates on the event.

Other Events

There are a few other area events that have confirmed they will be happening this year including the Spring Sound Garden, Hovland Arts Festival, and the North Shore Water Festival to name a few. We are still waiting to hear details on the 4th of July celebration in Tofte, but the event hosts have said that they do plan to hold the event in some capacity. In order to keep updated on area happenings this summer, we recommend checking out the Visit Cook County Area Events Calendar. 

 

 

Plan Your Summer Vacation

It’s happening. Bright pops of green in the trees. Colorful wildflowers popping out of the ground. Wildlife sightings on the backroads. Summer on Lake Superior is more than a season, it’s a feeling.

Bluefin Bay Spring

Early Summer Offers

Don’t wait to start making the most of summer. If you can join us earlier in the season, you can take advantage of a couple offers we have available. If you are able to come up before May 27th, you can take advantage of our Spring Fever Special, which offers 3 nights for the price of 2. Then for the entire month of June, we are offering 4 nights for the price of 3.

Summer Activities

Summer activities are now live on our website through July! And let me tell you, it’s going to be a FUN summer. We have brainstormed new adventures and added more of our already popular activities.  From mountain biking to sea kayaking, it won’t be hard to find something to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Or, if you prefer a more relaxing vacation, sign up for a yoga class or a naturalist program. Live music by the bonfire, anyone? There are options for everyone.

Lodging Tours to Help You Plan

As you plan your trip, we wanted to remind you that we have tours of nearly every unit style at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing. This way you can truly get an understanding of the layout and the feel of a unit before you book.

 

Waterfalls Update

It has been a spectacular waterfall season on the North Shore so far and it keeps getting better! The spring season started off rather dry to the point where we were under fire danger warnings for a little while. Around mid-April, the weather turned and we had a full week of rain. The steady rain melted all remaining snow and got the rivers to really begin to run. Since then, the inland lakes have also opened up which adds even more water. The waterfalls are now flowing at their full glory and we expect they will continue to be spectacular through May.

The unique geologic formations along the North Shore allow visitors to witness breathtaking waterfalls ranging from the highest in Minnesota – the 120-foot High Falls at Grand Portage State Park (pictured above) — to raging falls right in Bluefin Bay’s back yard. If you’ve never experienced our spring waterfalls, it’s truly a sight to be seen, heard and felt. Check out our favorite waterfalls videos below or see our waterfalls page for more information on our favorite hikes.

Earth Day Clean-up

As Earth Day approaches and the spring snow melts, one can’t help but feel the need to spruce things up a bit. While it’s nice to get things pretty for the upcoming season, it’s also rewarding to give back to the community.

Adopt a highway

One event that the crew at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts looks forward to every year is our annual highway clean-up! Bluefin Bay has been apart of the Adopt a Highway program since 1990. That means that every year for the last 31 years, Bluefin Bay staff have taken time to clean the section of highway that runs through the town of Tofte.

Adopt a Highway Bluefin Bay

This year was no exception. The crew had a great time and we rewarded ourselves with pizza from Coho Café afterwards.

Wedding & Events Update

It goes without saying that it’s been a tricky 12 months for wedding and event planners. Because of all of the confusion of this past year, we wanted to post an update on what the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is currently planning in regards to events. In everything we do, the health and safety of our resort guests, staff and the community remains our top priority.

 

Tofte Cove Wedding Set Up

We’ll start by saying that our hearts go out to all of the couples that are navigating this pandemic while trying to plan their very special day. We have been doing our best to offer clear and consistent communication to our already booked wedding couples, but we know that it hasn’t been easy for you. Bluefin Bay Wedding

Moving forward, we’ll be hosting events for 40 people or less. Our ceremony locations include Tofte Cove or the Beach Patio near Bluefin Grille. There are two choices for your reception dinner: the Shore Room at Bluefin Grille (up to 16 people) or the Superior Room upstairs at Bluefin Grille (up to 40 people). For more information on prices and menus, click here.

Lastly, as a result of higher than usual occupancy across the Bluefin Bay Resorts, we recommend that you contact our Guest Services department to check for lodging availability before inquiring about event and wedding services.