Will you hit the Jackpot? Check out this new mountain bike trail in Lutsen

Jackpot flow mountain biking trail tofteThe North Shore is blessed with its biking trails — from the paved Gitchi Gami Bike Trail running parallel to all three Bluefin Bay Resorts and for 29 miles along the shoreline, to the adventure and thrill of off-road experiences ranging from white knuckled single track to winding backcountry roads. Oh, and fat tire biking in the winter!

But have you hit the Jackpot?

Last Fall, a new single-track bike trail in Lutsen called the Jackpot Connector Trail made its debut. The Jackpot Connector runs between Britton Peak trails in Tofte to Onion River Road and on to Lutsen Mountains. The 18-mile trail offers adventure and an outstanding ride for every skill level from beginners to advanced riders.

Riders will experience a variety of terrain as they climb over and around the Sawtooth Mountains. Entry level riders can ride certain sections of the trail, and expert riders will enjoy big climbs and some of the technical features. The ride includes several scenic overlooks and it’s a wilderness ride that’s not easily replicated anywhere in the Midwest.

Our recommendation is to know a bit about the sections of this trail in advance of venturing out. In that spirit, we’re sharing this great video where you can actually see and experience sections of the trail for yourself.

The Jackpot Connector Bike Trail was built thanks to the hard work of the Superior Cycling Association (SCA). In this video co-produced by SCA and Visit Cook County, Tim Kennedy, SCA President, provides a great overview of what to expect.  See video here.

In truth, you haven’t really experienced the North Shore until you’ve done it from atop two wheels. Powered by pedals, the rugged Lake Superior coastline and jagged mountaintops take on a whole new meaning. It’s an intimate experience and a trip unlike any other. And, it’s the perfect outdoor activity during these crazy and challenging times.

Road and mountain bike rentals are included as part of your stay at any of our Bluefin Bay Resorts, and the area offers bike trails for both that meet all skill and ambition levels. Read more here on our biking page, or join a guided bike tour as part of our complimentary resort activities. Visit Cook County also has trail maps and more biking information here.

If you venture out on the Jackpot, share your adventure with us. We’d love to see your photos or video.

Happy pedaling!

 

Cycling Adventures!

Temperance River Bike and HikeAt 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.

Happy pedalling!

Mountain Bike Through The Fall Colors: An Instagram-Worthy Adventure!

Bluefin Bay Fall Colors Report: 90% Summer, 10% Fall
*A few isolated pockets are seeing closer to 85% Summer & 15% Fall

Britton Peak Mountain Bike TrailsAre you looking for more Instagram-worthy adventures? For this week’s Fall Color Report, we headed up the Sawbill Trail to the Britton Peak trailhead and hopped on the single-track mountain bike trails. The Sawbill Trail heads north right out of Tofte, across from our Coho Café & Bakery, and after a quick 2-mile drive you’ll find the Britton Peak parking area.

The Britton Peak trails were built, and are maintained, by the Sugarbush Trail Association. They also maintain 65 kilometers of cross-country ski trails in the Lutsen-Tofte area.

On Sept. 10th we biked the Short Stacker and Crosscut loops – Both were sweet rides and definitely got our adrenaline going! These routes take you through thick forests full of Aspen, Birch, Pine and lots of Maple trees. While on these trails bikers do need to concentrate on the terrain that lies ahead as you roll over rocks, roots, and narrow boardwalks. When we stopped for a breather, and to take in the sights, we noticed most areas still look quite green. We did come upon a couple stands of maples that decided to turn much earlier than the others. Their pop of orange was a treat for the eyes.

Overall, we’re reporting 90% summer leaves and 10% fall colors with just a few small pockets showing 85% summer and 15% fall color. There is still enough green throughout the forests that your eyes light up with surprise when a flash of orange, yellow, or red appears. This link to our photo gallery shows the Fall colors on September 10, 2017.

A word of caution: The Britton Peak Mountain Bike Trails are fairly technical and we recommend that you have previous experience on single-track trails before heading out. The good news, if mountain biking is not your thing: this trailhead is also the access point for the Superior Hiking Trail routes to Britton Peak, Carlton Peak, and Tofte Peak. These hikes are spectacular any time of year and especially during the fall color season. Join one of our guided hikes to Carlton Peak during your stay this fall to experience this incredible wilderness area located just a short distance from the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts.

For avid mountain bikers, there are a couple other local single-track mountain bike trails to check out during your stay. This area along Lake Superior’s North Shore also provides miles and miles of back-country gravel roads and minimum-maintenance Forest Service roads to take your off-road bikes on. During your stay, stop at Bluefin Bay Guest Services or contact the Activities Department for directions and maps. For guests staying at any of the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, we also provide complimentary road and mountain bike rentals.

Check out the Department of Natural Resources Fall Color Finder to find the best color anywhere in the state. You can also find additional information on area biking at the Visit Cook County website.

We look forward to seeing you on the trails soon! Don’t forget your camera.

Britton Peak Mountain Bike TrailsBritton Peak Mountain Bike Trails

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