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…

 

 

Fall Color Report: Fall Fun at Lutsen Mountains!

Gondola at Lutsen MountaindBluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 90% Summer Colors and 10% Fall Colors. We are reporting little to no color change by Lake Superior with a bit more fall colors peeking through 1-2 miles inland. It’s still mostly green out there!

A fall color tour to Minnesota’s North Shore isn’t complete without a trip up to Lutsen Mountains. It’s less than a 10-minute drive from the shores of Lake Superior at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts and offers fun for the whole family.

The Summit Express Gondola is one of our favorite ways to view the fall colors. You’ll travel above the treetops heading up 1,000 feet to the top of Moose Mountain with views of the autumn colors, Lake Superior and the Sawtooth Mountains. Hop out at the Summit Chalet for even more breathtaking views, scenic overlooks, and hiking trails. For those looking to add a long hike to their Lutsen Mountains experience, we recommend heading out on the Superior Hiking Trail starting from the end of the road that runs past the main ski area. This 4.5-mile hike winds across the Poplar River and around the back of Mystery and Moose Mountain through forests of cedar, brightly colored maple and aspen. The hike ends at the top of Moose Mountain where you can purchase a ticket and head back via the gondola – a sweet way to end a rewarding hiking adventure! The Summit Express Gondola is open daily through October 21.

The Alpine Slide is perfect for those looking for a few thrills during their fall color tour. One of the best parts of this activity is the chairlift ride to the top of Eagle Mountain providing a unique view of the fall beauty. Your trip down can be fast and thrilling or slow and easy as you zip down a half-mile track on your sled. This one is a family favorite! The Alpine Slide is open weekends through October 21.

This week’s Lutsen Mountains fall photo gallery…

Fall Color Report: Leveaux Mountain Trail

Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 95% Summer Colors and 5% Fall Colors

Leveaux Mountain Hike Loop OverlookLabor Day 2018 has come and gone and it’s now time to think FALL! Changing leaves, crisp mornings, sunny afternoons, and abundant outdoor recreation activities. Yes, please!

Here on the North Shore we typically see peak fall colors between mid-September and early October. Because of the powerful Lake Superior, we are fortunate to experience longer color than the rest of Minnesota. The first color change starts inland and gradually moves toward the Lake Superior shoreline where the last of the trees turn for the season. For almost a month, you can enjoy many different spectacular color drives or hikes depending on when you visit.

Each week, starting today, we’ll report on a different activity that is perfect for viewing the fall colors plus an update on the fall color change. Look for it every Monday morning until Mid-October.

  • Yesterday we drove to the top of the Onion River Road and headed out on one of our favorite guided resort hikes: The Leveaux Mountain Loop. This hike takes off from the same trailhead parking lot as the popular Oberg Mountain Loop. Don’t miss the less-traveled Leveaux hike where you’ll experience an almost magical feel as you hike through old growth cedar and red pine forests mixed in with maple and birch. For this hike, you’ll be on the main Superior Hiking Trail for part of it as well as the spur trail that leads to the overlook loops. The total hike is just over 3 miles and considered moderate in difficulty. A few switchbacks and short climbs are a bit steep but these are complemented by two gently rolling terrain loops at the top that provide incredible overlooks in all directions. Up here you’ll have a view of Carlton Peak, Britton Peak, Taconite Harbor, and Lake Superior on one side and a distant view of the Lutsen Mountain Ski Hills, lush inland forests, and the rest of the Sawtooth Mountain Range on the other.
  • We are reporting only a slight change in color and still 95% summer green colors on the trees. There were a few trees that decided to turn some of their leaves early which did get us excited for the colors to come. For now, summer is still here!

A few photos from our hike…