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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Explore the North Shore by foot, kayak & more

New safety protocols to help keep you safe & healthy

Bluefin Bay Family of ResortsSpring 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.

Bluefin Bay Family of ResortsGuests 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.

 

Relax and Recharge With a Hike!

Guided Hiking at Leveaux on superior hiking trail

Have you heard about the Japanese practice called Forest Bathing? Basically, it’s the act of being in nature with an awareness of the sights, sounds, and smells that are all around us in order to benefit our well-being. In other words, we allow ourselves the time to unplug, relax, and recharge in nature. Interested in learning more about this ancient practice? This article is a nice starting point.

Here among the forests of Minnesota’s North Shore we have almost unlimited opportunities to immerse ourselves in nature. Hiking is the #1 favorite activity of our guests! Because of this, the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts activities department strives to make access to our incredible surrounding forests easy, inspiring, and fun. We offer many complimentary guided hiking opportunities year-round.  In addition, all of our hikes include a shuttle to and from the hiking destination and are led by an experienced guide.

We’ve listed just a few of our favorite late-summer hikes:

  • OBERG MOUNTAIN HIKE: If we had a signature hike this would probably be it! There is something about this beautiful little mountain that keeps people coming back time and time again. This gorgeous trail travels in a loop atop the mountain and follows the ridgeline offering panoramic views and several overlooks of Lake Superior, Oberg Lake, and The Sawtooth Mountains.
  • LOWER FALLS: New this year, this hike takes place in the heart of the beautiful George H Crosby Manitou State Park. Once on the hike, you’ll quickly realize that this is a hidden gem here on the North Shore. Most of the hike is on the Superior Hiking Trail where we’ll make a stop at a trail shelter to talk about the natural history of this wilderness paradise.
  • LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN: Enjoy the incredible views of Lake Superior and the eastern view of the Sawtooth Mountain range from Lookout Mountain in Cascade State Park! 
  • CARIBOU FALLS: A pleasant walk along the Caribou River leads to one of the most breath-taking waterfalls on the North Shore! The Caribou Falls hike begins at one of our favorite Minnesota State Waysides and also provides access to the Superior Hiking Trail.

Visit the resort activity schedule for more hikes and other fun outdoor adventures to enjoy during your getaway.

Remember… ‘Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.’ ~John Muir

Summer At Its Best!

kayaking by Bluefin Bay on Lake SuperiorJuly has almost come and gone but don’t panic yet! We still have oodles of summer left to enjoy warm weather adventures on Minnesota’s North Shore. In case you need a few more reasons to plan one last blast of summertime fun…

  • Outdoor Adventures: Our August Activity Calendar is full of complimentary adventures and events for the whole family.  Kayak Lake Superior, Inland kayak on Caribou Lake, canoe the Poplar River, explore the local trails with a guided hike or take a bike ride on the Gitchi-Gami Trail. You’ll also find Kids Activities, Yoga, Winery Tours & Shuttles, plus campfires with s’mores.
  • Stay cool with nature’s best air conditioning – Lake Superior! Has it been hot and humid where you live? The breeze blowing off the big lake keeps all of that away. Imagine sleeping with the windows open, listening to the waves and enjoying a cool breeze right off the lake. Aahhh! Looking for a little more heat? You’re in luck! Head inland 1+ miles for shorts and tank top weather. We really do have it all on the North Shore!
  • Offers and Packages: Visit our Offers page for great last-minute vacancies at Bluefin Bay, Surfside and Temperance Landing. Plus, you’ll always save with the Internet Savings and the Extended Stay Specials. In addition, there are packages to fit everyone’s vacation needs – Stay & Play Golf Package, Senior Weeks Special, Military Veterans Special, Honeymoon Packages, and Spa Packages.
  • 90th Annual Fisherman’s Picnic: Grand Marais is the place to be August 1st-4th! Minnow races, a lumberjack show, log rolling, live music, artisan vendors, store sales, pickled herring eating contest and so much more wacky and wild fun! Set along the beautiful harbor in downtown Grand Marais, this is the place to be the first weekend in August!
  • Area Events: Cook County and the entire North Shore is in full swing in August and the variety of arts, entertainment, and adventure opportunities are abundant. Check out the Visit Cook County August calendar for a full list of events.

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.

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…

 

Activity Spotlight: Caribou Falls!

Caribou Falls Guided HikeOur Caribou Falls guided hike begins with a short shuttle drive to a favorite Minnesota State Wayside.  A pleasant walk along the Caribou River leads to one of the most breath-taking waterfalls on the North Shore! We’ll descend four flights of stairs to the base of the stunning 35-foot waterfall and then hike back up to the top…remember to count the number of steps for bragging rights later on! We’ll spend plenty of time at the base of this incredible waterfall just taking in the sights and sounds of this pretty river gorge. Once we start our climb back up and reach the top of the stairs, we’ll continue north on the trail for a short distance where you’ll enjoy a large observation platform with an amazing view of Lake Superior and the falls below.

The Caribou Falls hike is a great family activity because of its shorter distance and relatively gradual incline. Those who do not want to tackle the long set of stairs to the base of the falls can choose to head straight to the observation deck where you’ll enjoy a longer pit stop for enjoying the view. This hike is wonderful in all seasons but especially in the spring when the waterfalls are really rushing and in the fall as the leaves are popping with color!

Why locals and guests love this hike:

  • A short drive (10 miles) from Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts
  • The trailhead has a large paved parking lot located right off Highway 61 complete with a restroom facility.
  • This is one of the more gentle and accessible trail hikes with a round trip distance of 1.5 miles.
  • It provides access to the main Superior Hiking Trail
  • The feeling of standing at the base of the 35-foot waterfall!
  • The large overlook platform with Lake Superior views and the Caribou River gorge far below. This spot is perfect for family photos or a romantic proposal!

Superior Hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail!

Oberg Hike Summer SummitHiking really is ‘superior’ in our area. Considered one of the finest trails in the United States, the 310-mile Superior Hiking Trail passes through the Lutsen-Tofte area and provides many opportunities to explore trail sections within close proximity of Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. We offer guided hiking excursions year-round with a variety of distances and degrees of difficulty. Many of our resort guided hikes take advantage of the epic hiking on the Superior Hiking Trail or the spur trails that lead to incredible overlooks, rushing waterfalls and dense forest areas.

Hiking is a favorite activity of our guests and the Bluefin Bay Activities Director is always busy adding new hikes and adventures for all skill levels to the weekly activities line-up. Visit our Activities & Events calendar to browse through the different guided hiking trips we offer. These trips are included as part of your stay and a great way to experience our area trails with an experienced guide. We are passionate about sharing the incredible views and the incredible joy that come with time spent on the trails.

The Superior Hiking Trail has been in the spotlight this summer with the release of a Star Tribune 6-part series about a hiker/writer and her incredible journey hiking the entire distance of the trail. From the start just south of Duluth to the end at the Canadian Border, she captures the immense beauty, varied terrain, and obstacles this awe-inspiring trail provides. Follow along at the Star Tribune – Feeling Superior page.

Visit the Superior Hiking Trail Association website to learn more about the trail, its history and how this Minnesota non-profit relies on dedicated volunteers. This fall they will be part of a Leave No Trace national campaign to help users learn how to lessen our impact and decrease the damage that can happen to trails with increased usage.

‘Of all the paths you take in life, make sure a few of them are dirt.’ ~John Muir

Fabulous February!

Winter Couple by Lake SuperiorFebruary 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.