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.
Explore the North Shore by foot, kayak & more
New safety protocols to help keep you safe & healthy
Spring has finally sprung, summer is on its way, and this is the perfect time to explore our breathtaking North Shore by foot, bike and kayak! We’ve heard from many guests who have “cabin fever” and can’t wait to get out and enjoy the North Shore trails and open spaces.
We get it, and want to help you adventure safely. Here’s some helpful information about how to enjoy your favorite resort activities safely this spring and summer. Our aim is help you explore the North Shore safely — whether that’s venturing out on your own or joining one of our guided activities.
Guided Activities: Hiking in May; Biking, Kayaking, Yoga & More by June
Hiking: We’re offering a range of “socially distanced” guided hikes in May, with more in June and beyond. The waterfalls are gushing and it’s a great time to hike — though hiking boots may be required. Check our Activities Calendar for scheduled hikes.
Guests who join resort guided hikes should know a few things about our safety protocols. We’ll be asking guests to drive to the trailheads, rather than taking the Bluefin Bay shuttle, if possible. We’ll have room in the shuttle for up to one family group of four people. This will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis and participants riding in a Bluefin Bay shuttle van will be required to wear masks. You can bring your own or we’ll provide them.
Biking: We’ll be starting guided biking tours on area trails in June. In addition, we’ll offer our popular Temperance River Bike and Hike — a 2.1-mile ride along the Gitchi Gami State Trail, combined with a short hike along the Temperance River, and back to the resort. Check our Activities Calendar for specific bike excursions, dates and times. Social distancing protocols are in effect.
Again this year, we’ll be offering both inland kayaking and Lake Superior kayaking adventures. We’ll also be offering our popular Wilderness Canoeing activity on the Poplar River. Since our canoes and inland kayaks are two-person tandems, we’ll require that you tandem only with another person from your family group. We’ll also observe the more than 6 feet — or one moose apart — social distancing rule both while getting fitted and while out on the water.
Yoga: Who couldn’t use a little yoga these days for stress release? We’ll be offering more yoga classes than usual this spring and summer, and we’ve moved them to the Surfside ballroom to allow for more social distancing between participants. Check our Activities Calendar for more details.
Kid’s Adventure Club: Our planned kids’ adventures encourage curiosity, exploration and fun. This program offers a variety of activities from nature walks, to field games, to agate hunting on the beach. We invite parents to join in on the fun. Social distancing will be practiced during these activities. Parents are encouraged to join the fun.
Not comfortable in a group just yet – adventure on your own!
Our staff will be available to recommend areas to explore on your own and to supply maps and directions should you prefer to go solo. Bikes and tennis racquets will be available for checkout with our safety protocol in effect.
We look forward to helping you get out and enjoy the Lake and the North Shore this spring and summer.
Ready For Spring?
The 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:
April 10-12: Easter Weekend activities at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts: Golden Egg Hunt, Saturday Egg Hunt, and Coloring Contest
March is almost here! The North Shore is seeing the most snow in the state, longer days, and higher temps. It’s time to get outside! With this in mind, here’s an update on the area trail conditions and resources for planning your late-winter getaway:
The local Sugarbush Trails have a nice deep base of snow. As a result, all 65 kilometers are groomed and open! With direct access to Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior, you can easily explore this beautiful area.
Our Activities Department also plans guided trips on the Norpine Trails. This beautiful system is located in the Lusten area and winds through pine and hardwood forests. The Norpine Trail groomers are reporting all trails are open and in good condition!
Cook County has 400 kilometers of cross-country ski trails making it the largest network of trails in North America. The overall trail base ranges from 12-27 inches creating some of the greatest groomed trails we’ve had in years. Check out the Visit Cook County website to discover all the wonderful trail systems to be explored in our area.
A long and snowy season has made for some epic ski and snowboard days. Because of this, Lutsen Mountains has a snow base of 30-72 inches on all primary runs. With 4 mountains and 95 runs, everyone will enjoy skiing or snowboarding at the Midwest’s only mountain ski area.
We provide free shuttles to the base of the mountain and you’ll love the Ski and Stay Packages for the best deals.
HIKING & SNOWSHOEING:
Winter hiking is a favorite activity here on the North Shore and trails are in great condition right now. Just after a snowfall, strap on a pair of snowshoes (complimentary rentals to resort guests) to trek through the deeper snow. Many trails that you enjoy in the summer are packed and accessible during the winter! A pair of winter boots or ice grips are all you need to experience a walk through the snowy woods. Let our activities staff show you the way on a guided hike or snowshoe adventure! Visit our Resort Activities & Events page for details on our guided adventures.
Explore the Lake Superior shoreline plus inland woods and lakes on the endless miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Local snowmobile clubs are reporting good conditions on the trails. The Cook County Snowmobile Club has updated trail conditions and maps for the local trails. Or, visit the North Shore Visitor website for info on snowmobile trails all along Highway 61.
At Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, our complimentary rental equipment, knowledgeable Guest Services team, and area attractions create the perfect trifecta to help you enjoy a customized winter adventure. Here’s an overview of our most popular winter activities.
Cross-countryskiing: With more than 400 km of Nordic ski trails in Cook County, you’ll never run out of places to explore. Check out complimentary cross-country ski equipment and explore the area trails at your leisure or join one of our free guided ski excursions.
Snowshoeing: Winter hiking is at its best up here. Explore the great North Woods with our complimentary snowshoes. Ask for a trail map at Guest Services or join one of our free guided snowshoe hikes.
Downhill Skiing & Snowboarding: Bluefin Bay offers complimentary shuttles to Lutsen Mountains Lutsen Mountains is the biggest & best ski resort in the Midwest. Check out our Ski & Stay Packages to get the best deal on ski and snowboard vacations.
Ice skating rinks at Bluefin Bay and Surfside are a hit with families and friends alike. Check out a pair of complimentary ice skates at Guest Services. We also offer hockey nets, sticks and pucks to sign out. End your skating time at one of our evening bonfires complete with s’mores…of course!
Nightly campfire and s’mores at Bluefin Bay and Pick up your complimentary s’mores packet at Guest Services.
Creative Kids Club– Join us as we get crafty building birdhouses and decorating them with a variety of craft supplies! Parents are encouraged to join in on the fun!
NEW! Craft Mini-Courses: We are excited to offer new mini-courses onsite as part of our resort winter Activities program! The courses are completely free and will introduce guests to the element of Northern craft. In February and March, we’ll be offering an Intro to Alcohol Ink Painting Class.
NEW!Fiber by the Fireplace: Join us at the Bluefin Bay guest services lobby for a relaxed evening with like-minded fiber artists! Bring a project you are working on and gather around the fire with a local fiber artist to share stories, work on projects, and soak up creative inspiration from others. All levels and abilities are encouraged to bring your fiber projects like knitting, crochet, needlepoint, etc. If you do not have a project to bring you can still join and learn the art of Kumihimo – a Japanese form of braiding! Our visiting local artist will also bring needles and hooks to use, plus yarn for sale if needed.
Yoga: Offered on Wednesday and Saturday mornings and all levels encouraged to attend.
If you’re a lover of the Great Lakes, you may know that most are at near-record high water levels. Lake Superior entered this past summer 0.8 inches above the record high set in 1950 for that time of year, and 14 inches above its 100-year average. On January 1st of this new year, the Big Lake is 13 inches above its normal level. 4 inches higher than 1 year ago!
Due to these record high water levels in Lake Superior, and the increase in the frequency of major fall and winter storms (three of what are considered “500 year storms” in the past two years), Bluefin Bay decided to be proactive and add additional shoreline protective measures to the significant other work done over the past two years. This work was completed just in time for the Gales of November this past year.
Did you know?
Just a 1-inch rise in Lake Superior is equal to an additional 551 billion gallons of water. Wait, what!? Now, times that by 4 (the amount the lake is up right now compared to 1 year ago). That’s a lot of extra water!
One of our favorite fun facts? This mighty lake holds as much water as all Great Lakes combined plus 3 additional Lake Eries. Wow! Check out a list of other mind-boggling facts in this Lake Superior Magazine article.
For those who want to dig a little deeper into ‘Lake Stats’, you can visit the US Army Corps of Engineers Weekly Great Lakes Water Level Update. Here, they detail the past week’s weather and lake level conditions for all the Great Lakes. In addition, this report provides monthly forecasts, alerts, and a chart of all lakes with several interesting stats for comparison.
A recent article published by the Duluth News Tribune discusses storm warnings for 2020, potential impacts if the lake level continues to rise, and what is being done to understand and manage the current condition of the Great Lakes water levels.
The Winter Fishwrapper Newsletter is Here!
The snow is here to stay! We’re already out enjoying the outdoor adventures and festive events that make Minnesota’s North Shore the perfect winter and holiday destination. We like to wrap up the upcoming season’s favorite adventures, special events, and new resort activities in a semiannual newsletter called The Fishwrapper. It’s a great way to get inspired to plan your next Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts getaway.
The live music scene is strong on Minnesota’s North Shore. From Monday & Friday evenings at the Bluefin Grille to national acts taking the stage at Papa Charlie’s. You can find a live show any night of the week all along the North Shore. Enjoy music ranging from acoustic to bluegrass to jazz to Americana to rock n’ roll to country.
NEW activities! Learn about our new complimentary mini-craft classes in December and January. Taught by local professionals, learn the arts of basket making, pin-loom weaving, canvas stenciling, and linocut printmaking.
In addition, this newsletter is full of winter adventure ideas, new guided activities, great offers and packages, plus highlights of our wonderful staff that you will meet during your stay.
Grab a cup of coffee or a hot chocolate, snuggle up, and enjoy reading through this season’s Fishwrapper newsletter!
The Ski Season Has Begun!
It’s official! The Lutsen Mountains ski season has begun. This past weekend marked the beginning of the 2019-2020 season with continued weekend only hours through December 8th. After that, they will be open daily starting on December 13th. Up here in Cook County, we had some nice early season snow and ideal temps for snowmaking. It looks like it is going to be an excellent winter for skiing on Minnesota’s North Shore!
Stay up to date with conditions on the Lutsen Mountains website. Check out their live cam to see the current conditions. Not to mention it’s a great way to spend some time daydreaming about your next North Shore winter vacation! New this year, Lutsen Mountains has added a radio frequency RFID ticketing system which will offer greater convenience for skiers and new lodging packaging opportunities.
Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts is the perfect home base for your skiing and snowboarding adventure! Take advantage of our Ski and Stay Packages for the best deals. We offer FREE daily shuttles to and from the base of the mountain, frustration-free equipment rental at our neighboring Sawtooth Outfitters, and a variety of can’t-be-beat Ski & Stay Packages.
See you on the slopes!
November is Here. Save and Celebrate!
The days have gotten shorter, the temps have started to drop and the holiday season is almost upon us. It’s that time of year when we add those extra layers, snuggle in with loved ones and make plans to gather with friends and family.
November is a great month to witness the Gales of November on Lake Superior. When nature puts on a show, you want a front-row seat and there is no better place to watch the Gales roll in than from the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.
When you stay three nights or more during Quiet Time at any of our resorts — Bluefin Bay, Surfside or Temperance Landing — we offer a Gales Special with one night FREE — our treat! Offer is valid Now – Dec. 24, 2019 Stay four nights over Thanksgiving Weekend to receive one night FREE.
Thanksgiving at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts!
We invite you to spend the Thanksgiving Holiday with us! Cozy upscale accommodations, outdoor adventures (including skiing at Lutsen Mountains!), and plenty of time to relax and watch the gales roll in on Lake Superior.