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.

Welcome back spring deals

Bluefin Bay Family of ResortsIn a world that feels so uncertain, we’re all craving comfort in the familiar.

One thing that has not changed since Covid-19, is the beauty and majesty of Lake Superior. We’re fortunate to have this breathtaking BIG lake with endless views in our sights every day! It gives us peace of mind and we never take that for granted.

If you’re craving some time with Lake Superior herself, we’ve got the deals to welcome you back:

  • Spring Fever Special 3 for 2: This offer makes getting away for three nights a breeze. Stay three nights and receive one night completely FREE! This is our most popular special. But hurry, it’s only through May 31. Last minute getaway anyone? Book now
  • June Welcome Back Special: In June, we’re welcoming you back just as early summer hits the shore. Warmer days, lupines everywhere, the hiking and those smells! On the June Welcome Back 3-Night Special, you get 50% off your third night. Book now
  • June 4 for 3 Special: If you prefer to stay longer, this is the best deal. When you stay four nights, you’ll get one of those June summer nights totally FREE! What more incentive do you need. Book now

Stay with Peace of Mind

We all know things will look and feel different in a Covid-19 world – both for our staff and our guests. We appreciate your cooperation, patience and understanding as we navigate this new landscape together.

Please take a few moments to review our cleanliness and sanitation practices, safety procedures and resort service changes in response to Covid-19 on the Stay Safe 2020 tab on our website. We’ll update this page frequently as things change, so check back often.

We’re here to welcome you back safely, when you’re ready to enjoy the breathtaking views and miles upon miles of hiking, biking, nature trails and wide open spaces of the North Shore.

Stay safe. Be well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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:

Minnesota State Parks: A Summer Tradition!

Lookout mountain Cascade River state ParkSummer is a favorite season for exploring Minnesota’s beautiful state parks. Here at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we are fortunate to have easy access to 4 state parks. The closest one is within walking/biking distance!  In addition, we are near 4 others for the perfect day trip excursion.  These state treasures can be explored year-round and offer limitless opportunities for nature lovers, families, and adventure seekers.

Stay at Bluefin Bay and find your next adventure at these Minnesota State Parks:

  • Temperance River State Park: This amazing park is located within a couple of miles of Bluefin Bay and walking distance from Surfside on Lake Superior. Walk or bike here via the paved Gitchi Gami trail that leads from all 3 resort properties. You’ll love the hikes that wind up along the river just as much as the trail leading to the beach.  Who doesn’t love rock skipping and agate hunting? Our activity department also offers complimentary guided hikes and bike rides to this park!
  • Tettegouche State Park: We love this park for its diversity of activity options – you’ll find hikers, bird watchers, climbers and waterfall viewers. Don’t forget your camera for the hike to the spectacular High Falls on the Baptism River. Their beautiful visitor center complete with gift shop and interpretive center is a nice pit stop during your adventures.
  • George H. Crosby Manitou Park: Who doesn’t want to visit this great park when the description for it is ‘where waterfalls cascade through a volcanic canyon surrounded by majestic forest.’? This park is ideal for those looking for more challenging hiking options – the views are worth the effort! Combine this park with nearby Tettegouche for a full day of state park adventures!
  • Cascade River State Park: The name says it all. Enjoy the series of waterfalls easily viewed from the trails and wooden bridges winding along the top of this beautiful river gorge. Look for our complimentary guided hikes to this park including a spectacular hike to Lookout Mountain.

In addition to the parks in our backyard, we encourage stops at Split Rock LighthouseGooseberry FallsJudge C. R. Magney and Grand Portage. With Bluefin Bay as your base camp, these are all great day trip destination parks – you can even fit in a few parks in one day! Use this handy MN State Parks Mapas you make your way up and down the North Shore of Lake Superior.

New Activity: Onion River Canyon Snowshoe Hike

Onion River Canyon Snowshoe HikeHere at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we love adding new activities to help our guests explore all that Minnesota’s North Shore has to offer. This year, we added a complimentary guided trip that will appeal to those looking for a unique winter adventure. Join us as we take a snowshoe hike on the Onion River. Not along it, but right on the frozen river!

The beautiful Onion River is best appreciated while hiking through the canyon. After a quick shuttle ride to the Ray Berglund Wayside, we’ll begin hiking on the Onion River trail.  Once we pass the Onion River falls we’ll veer off the trail and begin our trek upstream along the frozen river. Listen as the water bubbles under your feet! Gaze at the breathtaking views and enjoy the peaceful feeling of being surrounded by nature among the canyon walls.

When the snow is deep and fluffy we will outfit everyone with snowshoes for the trek. When the frozen river is covered in packed snow we will outfit our boots in yak tracks.

Hike stats: This is a 1.5-mile round-trip hike, and the difficulty level is moderate. Because of potential spots of open water plus a few steep inclines this hike is recommended for those 18 and older only.

Check out the Activity Calendar to view all of our complimentary winter activities!

onion river canyon snowshoe

 

New Winter Adventures!

Snowshoeing Hikes Our activities staff have been busy planning a few new guided winter adventures to add to our broad mix of offerings. Check out these fun new complimentary guided activities. We’ve designed them to help you discover unique places and will feature the best ways to trek along a winter trail based on current conditions.

  • Onion River Snowshoe Hike & Bonfire: This snowshoe hike begins at the trailhead to Leveaux Mountain and will lead you through a beautiful cedar forest for a half mile. Our journey will end at a Superior Hiking Trail campsite near the Onion River. We’ll even have a bonfire, s’mores, and hot cocoa to keep you warm! This is an easy hike with relatively flat terrain making it a perfect family activity or for those new to snowshoeing and winter hiking. While there you may want to take a quick jaunt a bit farther down the trail to a quaint bridge that leads across the Onion River. Keep very quiet and you may hear the river flowing beneath a layer of ice!
  • Snowshoe Hike at the Lookout Mountain Loop: Join us for a guided snowshoe hike to the top of the beautiful Lookout Mountain in Cascade State Park. When the snow is deep and fluffy we will outfit everyone with snowshoes for the trek. When the trail is covered in packed snow we will outfit our boots in traction cleats for a non-slip hike. This adventure starts out gradually along the Cascade River and then leads to a steeper climb to the top of Lookout Mountain. Enjoy the incredible views of Lake Superior and the eastern view of the Sawtooth Mountain range. Photo op! The total trip is 3.5 miles and the difficulty rating is moderate.
  • Benson Lake Snowshoe Hike: We’re excited about this new hike in the beautiful George H Crosby Manitou State Park. This adventure will begin with a half mile hike to the park entrance road until we reach Benson Lake. Once at Benson Lake, the trail loops and takes you on a 1-mile walk through scenic spruce and cedar groves. When the snow is super deep and fluffy we will take out the snowshoes and float on top! Wildlife spotting alert: This is a rugged, wilderness park where bears, wolves, moose, deer, and grouse share the trails with hikers! There are also plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the scenery of Benson Lake. The total trip distance is 2 miles and considered easy to moderate in difficulty.

 

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…

Fall Color Report: Happy October From Lookout Mountain!

Lookout Mountain Overlook Cascade River State ParkBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report:

1+ miles inland: 50-75% Fall Colors. 30-40% Fall Colors along Lake Superior. 

October is here! We decided to celebrate with a morning hike to Lookout Mountain in Cascade River State Park to check out the fall colors. After a couple of cold nights this past week most of the area is now in prime fall color viewing. We are still only at 30-40% fall colors closer to Lake Superior but the farther inland maples and aspen are showing their best bright orange, red and golden colors!

For today’s hike, we started off on the same route that our complimentary guided Cascade River Hiking Trip goes on – winding along the beautiful Cascade River with stops at a series of stair-stepping waterfalls which give this river its name. If you are looking for a little longer hike with the addition of some breathtaking overlooks we suggest trying the trail to Lookout Mountain. This out-and-back 3.5-mile trek along the Superior Hiking Trail through cedar, birch, aspen, and maple forests ends at an overlook with breathtaking views of the Sawtooth Mountain Range in full color. Plus, you’ll get great views of Lake Superior and the shoreline that leads up toward Grand Marais. This overlook is the perfect spot to stop for a snack and some Instagram-worthy photos!

This week’s Lookout Mountain trail fall photo gallery…

 

Fall Color Report: Sunset Hike to Oberg Mountain

Fall Sunset Hike on Oberg MountainBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report:

1+ miles inland: 15-20% Fall Colors 80-85% Summer Colors. We are still reporting little to no color change along Lake Superior with only 0-5% Fall Colors.

A favorite hike of guests and resort staff is the nearby Oberg Mountain Loop hike. This gorgeous trail travels in a loop atop the mountain and follows the ridgeline offering panoramic views from several overlooks of Lake Superior, Oberg Lake, and The Sawtooth Mountains. These spectacular overlooks make it a favorite fall color tour hike and at only 2.75 miles you can easily fit it into a day filled with other adventures. If you want to add even more of a wow factor to this hike we suggest heading up about an hour before sunset so you can catch the sun setting from one of the western overlooks. This is exactly what we did yesterday and it did not disappoint. There is something extra special about viewing a sunrise or sunset from atop a mountain!

As we drove the 1+ miles up to the parking area at the base of Oberg Mountain we traveled through a mostly green forest. Once on the trail, the first quarter mile was also predominately green and lush but heading farther up we started spotting some bright orange maple trees dotting the landscape. On the south side of the mountain that overlooks Lake Superior, there is very little color change with just a few trees that decided to turn early. Stops at the overlooks that face farther inland showed a whole different landscape. Green trees were spotted directly below with the view slowly changing to beautiful shades of orange looking farther inland. The setting sun really turned up the volume on the already vibrant orange colors!

After you complete the loop atop the mountain we recommend one more stop at the west facing overlook to watch the sunset. You won’t regret it and you’ll have just enough time to hike back down to the parking area before dark sets in.

This week’s Oberg Mountain Sunset hike photo gallery…