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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fall Colors AND Rushing Rivers!
Bluefin 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!
Bluefin 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
Bluefin 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: Leveaux Mountain Trail
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report: 95% Summer Colors and 5% Fall Colors
Labor 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…
Fall Senior Week Specials!
The last week of August and the first part of September is an ideal time for many adults to get away midweek. The North Shore of Minnesota is a little bit quieter with kids and families back to school, the weather is perfect (warm days and cool evenings), shops & art galleries are plentiful and open, and there are many great dining and entertainment options.
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is pleased to offer a special discount to our Seniors during several weeks of the Spring, Summer, and Fall seasons.
Shopping! The North Shore has a very vibrant arts community and you’ll find wonderful local shops and studios with artwork, clothing, gear and North Shore treasures. Here’s a great resource for a complete list of North Shore Shopping.
Entertainment! Sit back and relax at the Bluefin Grille on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-11pm and listen to a talented local musician while enjoying a cocktail or a bite from the late night menu. Hello, date night!
February is almost here and it’s the ideal month to celebrate our enthusiasm for winter adventures as well as cozy times spent with those we love. Here are a few reasons to plan a North Shore getaway in the coming month:
Winter Offers! Visit our Offers Page and start making plans for your winter adventure. Take advantage of our winter 4 for 3 Special to receive great savings on your February or March stay.
Winter Adventures! Join our variety of complimentary guided activities during your stay at the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Winter Hikes, Cross-Country Ski Tours, Snowshoe Tours, Wilderness Adventures, Kids Adventure Club, and yoga! We’re here to help you make the most of your winter vacation. Complimentary rentals for cross-country skis, snowshoes, and even ice skates for our two rinks are also provided.
Live Music! Join us at the Bluefin Grille on Mondays and Fridays for live music from accomplished local and regional musicians. You’ll also enjoy a large variety of wonderful musicians year-round up and down the North Shore. Check out the line-up at Papa Charlie’s at Lutsen Mountains for the Singer/Songwriter Series as well as Saturday Late Night Music and dance parties.
Valentine’s Day Specials! Join us at the Bluefin Grille on Wednesday, February 14th, Friday, February 16th, and Saturday, February 17th! In addition to our full menu, we’ll have a few sweetheart specials on these evenings: Steak Tartare Appetizer, Shrimp Crusted Trout entree and a Chateaubriand entree for two. Our culinary staff will also be creating some special dessert options!
Hygge Festival! February 9-15 marks the 2nd annual Hygge Festival in Grand Marais and the surrounding areas. This is a time to celebrate winter beauty, adventure and the coziness of spending time with those we love.
Northern Fibers Retreat! This special retreat on February 14-18 features a variety of classes, lunch-n-learn talks and demonstrations, and more. For more information and to sign-up for classes visit the Grand Marais Art Colony website.
Candle-light Ski! Join the Sugarbush Trail Association on Saturday, February 18th on our local Onion River Road Trail to enjoy a memorable evening of cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or hiking along the candlelit trails. A perfect way to enjoy the quiet beauty of the North Woods after dark by the flickering lights of candles in the snow.
Stress-Free Holiday Shopping
Who wouldn’t love another reason to plan a trip to Minnesota’s North Shore?
Give the gift of a North Shore vacation getaway with a gift card from the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. From lakeside lodging and romantic dinners on Lake Superior’s North Shore to rejuvenating spa treatments at Waves of Superior Spa and souvenirs from the resort gift shops, our gift cards can be used anywhere in the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts — at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing on Lake Superior.
With one little card, you’ll be giving lifelong memories. To purchase a Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts gift card, please call 800-BLUEFIN (258-3346). We’ll send your gift card out in the mail the very same day.
Girls Gone North Weekend Recap
Our 10th Annual Girls Gone North Weekend has come and gone. This year’s event theme was “Creativity is Cool (And Fun)!” We invited you to bring out your creative side as you enjoyed special time with your gal pals on the North Shore. For our signature event, we partnered with Cheers Pablo to host a complimentary Paint & Sip. This event was a great success! It was incredible to see everyone’s creative side come out as the instructors led us step-by-step through the process of creating an amazing painting of the beloved northern lights. What fun!
Guided hikes were another popular activity this year. Participants enjoyed beautiful snowy hikes and stunning views on popular trails like Carlton Peak, Caribou Falls, and Sugarloaf Cove. The scheduled trips to the local North Shore Winery were a big hit. This was a special event for Girls Gone North participants only and included a shuttle to the winery, a wine tasting, a souvenir wine glass, signature chocolate, and a tour of the winery. Fun was had by all as we experienced a taste of Lutsen! Participants this weekend also made visits to our Waves of Superior Spa, a yoga class, Friday Night Happy Hour, and lots of time to just relax and have girl time!
We gathered so many fun photos from this year’s Girls Gone North Weekend and are sharing them in a Facebook Photo Gallery that you can view here. Enjoy!
We hope to see you for next year’s Girls Gone North Weekend November 9-11, 2018!