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!
Explore the Shore by Pedal Power!
As a guest at Bluefin Bay or Surfside on Lake Superior, bike rentals for adults and kids are included as part of your stay. In addition, you can join in on a complimentary guided bike trip. Once again, we’ll be offering our popular Temperance River Bike & Hike. For this trip, we start off biking a 2.1-mile section of the Gitchi-Gami trail through the northern boreal forest. Once at the Temperance River, we’ll trek along the river on a short hike with views of beautiful waterfalls. Finally, a relaxing bike ride takes us back to Bluefin Bay. A mostly gentle down sloping path for an easy and rewarding way to finish the trip! This year, we’re adding another biking adventure to our activity schedule. The Onion River Bike & Hike will feature a 6-mile (12-mile roundtrip) ride along the paved Gitchi-Gami trail plus a short hike along the scenic Onion River.
Local Bike Races and Events
The Lutsen-Tofte and Grand Marais areas have become known as a haven for bikers and biking events. The Le Grand Du Nord Gravel Cycling Classic is coming up this weekend, May 25th. Starting out at the Grand Marais harbor this gravel course climbs almost 6000 ft! Live music, Voyageur Brewing Company beer and the vibe of Grand Marais make this a fun event for bikers and spectators.
On June 29, the Lutsen 99er returns. Several thousand bikers from around the country gather to race through the pristine north woods of Cook County. The race is most known for its 99-miles of mountainous course. But, it has now expanded to include a 69, 49, 25-mile course options, and Sunday kids races.
At the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we invite you to explore the shore powered by pedals! Bike rentals for adults and kids are included as part of your stay. You can even join in on a complimentary guided trip – you’ll love our Temperance River Bike and Hike for a ride on a 2.1-mile section of the Gitchi Gami State Trail. Pedal through the northern forest containing birch, balsam, and spruce trees. Once we arrive at the Temperance River, you’ll be guided along the river on a short hike to catch breathtaking views of the many waterfalls the river has to offer. After hiking alongside the river take a relaxing bike ride back to Bluefin Bay which is a gentle down sloping path for an easy and rewarding way to finish the trip!
The Lutsen-Tofte and Grand Marais areas have become known as a haven for bikers and biking events. The Le Grand Du Nord Gravel Cycling Classic is coming up this weekend, May 26th. Starting out at the Grand Marais harbor this gravel course climbs almost 6000 ft! Live music, Voyageur Brewing Company beer and the vibe of Grand Marais make this a fun event for bikers and spectators.
On June 23, the Lutsen 99er returns. Several thousand bikers from around the country gather to race through the pristine north woods of Cook County. The race is most known for its 99-miles of mountainous course, but it has now expanded to include a new 69-mile course, along with its 39, 19-mile courses and Sunday kids races.
In addition to the wonderful local paved trail that runs right to the Bluefin Bay properties, this area has incredible mountain biking opportunities with even more in the planning stages. For single-track enthusiasts check out the Sugarbush Trail Association Trails located just a couple miles from the resort and the Pincushion Mountain Biking Trails in Grand Marais.
When Was the Last Time You Did Something for the First Time?
The Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and the Lutsen-Tofte area provide the best winter outdoor recreation opportunities in Minnesota. Cross-country Skiing, Alpine Skiing & Snowboarding, Winter Hiking, Snowshoeing, and Ice Skating are favorite activities this time of year.
If you’re ready to try something new and amp up the thrill factor on your winter adventures you’re in luck! Here are a few winter experiences you won’t want to miss on your next North Shore vacation:
WILDERNESS ADVENTURE: This complimentary guided resort activity depends on weather, snow & ice conditions. If we decide to hike, we will put on some ice trekkers to grip on slippery sections and enjoy one of our local loops on the Superior Hiking Trail. This could be Cascade River, Temperance River, Oberg Mountain, Carlton Peak, or many more! When the snow is super deep and fluffy we will take out the snowshoes and float on top!
ICE CLIMBING & WINTER RIVER ADVENTURES: Our friends at the Grand Marais based Spirit Guiding Adventures will help you experience the excitement and wonder of Winter on Minnesota’s North Shore. Participate in the exciting sport of ice climbing on some of Minnesota’s best natural waterfalls all while being led by highly experienced, inspiring guides. They also offer Winter River Adventures where you’ll enjoy a guided tour on one of the many frozen North Shore rivers. This trip is a unique blend of back-country snow travel and optional low-angle ice climbing. For more information, trip details and costs visit their website here.
FAT TIRE BIKING: Fat tire biking is gaining in popularity as more people discover the joys of riding on snowy roads and trails in the winter. Cook County is expanding trails each year and experimenting with multi-use trails combining groomed skate skiing and fat bike trails to expand the network for biking enthusiasts. Our next-door neighbors at Sawtooth Outfitters in Tofte offer full-day fat tire bike rentals so you can try out this fun sport. They’ll also provide you with maps, directions, and tips to help you have a great experience.
BACKCOUNTRY CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING: Are you ready to head off the groomed ski trails and explore the endless miles of wilderness that surround this beautiful area? You might want to try backcountry skiing! With a little extra preparation and information, you’ll be ready to head off the beaten path into fresh powder for a winter experience like no other. Sawtooth Outfitters, located across from Bluefin Bay Guest Services building, rents backcountry skis and will provide you with maps and tips for your one of a kind experience. Our resort activities staff are also a great resource of information for first-time backcountry skiers.
And so the adventure begins…
Norpine Fat Bike Classic!
Calling all Fat Tire Bikers! Make plans to head to Minnesota’s North Shore at the start of the new year for the Norpine Fat Bike Classic taking place on January 6th, 2018. Ride through the wilderness of the Superior National Forest on a 16 or 24-mile course traveling mostly on the Norpine Ski Trails. Enjoy a weekend full of winter biking, fat tire demos, beer and wine tasting and close proximity to all that this area has: alpine skiing, winter hiking, cross-country skiing, shopping, dining, and cozy evenings snuggled up by a fire.
Fat Tire biking has been gaining in popularity in Northern Minnesota and along the North Shore. Winter bike trails are now open in our area offering preliminary limited use during the 2017-2018 winter season. The Norpine Trail System, maintained by the Norpine Trail Association, has a packed lane for shared lane use by skate-skiers and bikers plus a tracked ski-only lane. The Pincushion Trail System in Grand Marais, maintained by the Superior Cycling Association, also has a groomed singletrack trail that is heading into its second fat tire season. Our area also provides the added bonus of endless backcountry and forest service roads to explore with your fat bike.
A visit to Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts in January is the perfect time to take advantage of our January 3 For 2 deal! Breathtaking views and crashing waves against the rugged north shore of Lake Superior are even better when enjoyed during a complimentary night’s stay! Enjoy a FREE night when you purchase two nights in January.