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.
Welcome back spring deals
In 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?
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.
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.
NEW Fall Activity – Fall Color Tour!
September is here and it’s officially time to get excited about the upcoming fall color show along the North Shore! At the same time, we want to enjoy the late summer as long as possible. We will NOT be breaking out the pumpkin spice quite yet. But, we do want to announce a new complimentary activity starting on September 21st:
All things Fall! Hop into one of our vans as we take you on a backroads driving tour of the Lutsen-Tofte area blanketed in fall colors.
This fun tour starts with a drive up the beautiful Temperance River road. First, a stop at the upper falls to enjoy a short walk to the perfect photo op – a river view with a beautiful colored hill in the backdrop. Then, it’s back to the van to head to the Six Hundred Road and eventually a stop at “Heartbreak Hill”. Another photo op of the canopy of leaves along this picturesque road. Our trip continues down the Six Hundred Road leading us to the famous Honeymoon Trail via the Sawbill Trail. Enjoy a scenic stopping point at White Pine Lake with a fishing dock perfect for viewing the colors around this serene remote lake. Our next stop will be Wild Country Maple Syrup! While here, we’ll tour the facility to see where they tap the trees, learn how the system works to transfer sap to the boiling room, and visit where they bottle the final product. In addition, enjoy a self-service store with a variety of products to sample and purchase!
On our final stretch, we’ll head down the Caribou Trail back to highway 61. A quick stop at the Poplar River Falls (another short walk) will give us one last waterfall and scenic view of the leaves.
This new activity will be available 4 days a week starting September 21st through October 12th. This will be a popular activity – you may sign up online ahead of time.
Lake Superior Magazine: Best of the Lake 2019!
It’s that time of year! The Lake Superior Magazine has posted results from their annual Best of the Lake contest. Votes came in from 23 U.S. States and 3 Canadian provinces! Thank you to the loyal readers who voted for Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Because of these votes, we are thrilled to have won in three Minnesota categories:
In addition, our favorite trail – the Superior Hiking Trail – won for Minnesota’s Best Accessible Trail! We are also excited that Grand Marais’ Lake Superior Trading Post and Drury Lane Books won for Best Gift Shop/Bookstore. Two great places to visit on your day trip into Grand Marais. Check out the entire Best Of awards for a complete list of winners and categories from Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin. We guarantee you’ll be inspired to plan your next Lake Superior getaway!
More Summer. More Fun. More Packages & Offers!
Make the most of the last days of summer with a visit to the North Shore. During the late summer months, the possibilities are endless for fun and adventure on and off the resort properties. Lake Superior kayaking, inland lake kayaking, biking, canoeing, hiking, golfing, fishing, complimentary guided activities and events, distinct onsite dining options, ultimate relaxation at Waves of Superior Spa, and enough resort amenities to satisfy every traveler. Let the summer fun continue!
Enjoy special savings and added amenities with these current packages and offers:
BED & BREAKFAST PACKAGE: Our popular breakfast package is back! Our Bed & Breakfast Package combines your choice of lodging with a discounted delicious breakfast buffet at the Bluefin Grille. This package is perfect for guests who want the convenience and savings of combining bed & breakfast.
EXTENDED STAY SPECIAL: With this progressive savings deal, the longer you stay at any of our Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts, the more you save!
THE ROMANTIC RETREAT: Combine the ultimate in relaxation and romance with this package! The Romantic Retreat is our most popular romance package and includes lodging and dining at any of our Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts — Bluefin Bay, Surfside, or Temperance Landing — all on Lake Superior. You can also personalize your package with any of our romantic add-ons.
LAST MINUTE VACANCY:Flexible travel dates? Visit the Offers page for sweet deals on last-minute vacancy opportunities and save big on your North Shore vacation!
New and Easy Activity Sign-Up!
The complimentary resort activities always top our guests ‘favorite things’ list at Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts. Lake Superior kayaking, wilderness canoeing, inland kayaking (New this year!), bike trips, a large variety of guided hikes, kids activities, North Shore Winery shuttles, and morning yoga are all available during your stay.
Sign-up Online with Eventbrite!
We have now made it even easier to sign-up for your favorite activities! The Eventbrite platform is a simple way to sign up for activities using your computer or mobile device. You can also use devices that are conveniently located right in the resort lobby. When searching for activities on the Resort Activities & Events calendar you will find the sign-up link located at the bottom of the activity description. This link will take you to the activity on the Eventbrite site. From there, search for the correct date/time, enter your name, contact info, and lodging confirmation number to hold your spot. We hope this will make it easier and faster to plan and sign-up for activities during your North Shore vacation.
In addition, we also have activities that do not require you to sign-up ahead of time. Evening North Shore Naturalist programs, evening Wolf Ridge Raptor program, campfire music by the beach, and the Friday afternoon ‘Meet Hunter The Owl’ visits are available to join without signing up.