Sugarloaf Cove: Guided Hike

Join us as we travel to the beautiful Sugarloaf Cove Nature Center. The North Shore Stewardship Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and restoration of Minnesota’s North Shore of Lake Superior. The Cove is renowned for its 1.1 billion-year-old lava flows and its beautiful cobblestone beach. The Center offers a breadth of nature-oriented activities and learning opportunities for families and individuals.

The trail we will travel winds through woods and along rock ledge to Sugarloaf Beach. Follow along a marked interpretive route through a Red Pine Plantation that showcases the logging history and geological history of the North Shore.

Sign up ahead of time. Meet in the Guest Services building at Bluefin Bay Resort.

Difficulty: easy/moderate

Distance: 1.5 miles

Sign Up Here

Stay Safe 2020 Update: We are recommending all participants drive separately, if it is an offsite activity. If requested, there will be space for  a family group up to four in our vehicle to the offsite location. Reservations are not take prior. All participants are required to wear a mask if they choose to ride in a Bluefin vehicle. We will also encourage you to stay back if you have been experiencing any symptoms of Covid-19 in the last 14 days. Masks are required indoors, at the trail head, and in areas where physical distancing is not possible. Masks will be given prior to the trip departing. Please participate in helping to protect staff, community members, and other participants.



Fall Color Report: Autumn Beauty at Sugarloaf Cove

Sugarloaf Cove TRail October 2018Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts Fall Color Report:

1+ miles inland: 75% – Peak Color!  50-65% Fall Colors along Lake Superior. 

We didn’t let a little rain stop us from heading down the coast along Highway 61 to Sugarloaf Cove today to check out the fall colors. The mist in the air actually made the golden colors more vibrant and the lake was putting on a great show as the waves crashed in. The birch and aspen along the shores of Lake Superior are changing to their beautiful yellow and orange colors with pops of red sumac. The dark green evergreens provided a stunning contrast. We trekked along the easy one-mile interpretive trail that took us through forests, along the shores of Lake Superior, over a beach filled with smooth round rocks, and to the remnants left from the boom of the logging era. Grab a map or check it out online for information on the 17 marked interpretive areas you’ll come across on the trail.

If you haven’t been to Sugarloaf Cove yet we recommend a stop here or you can join one of our complimentary guided resort hikes to this wonderful place. Sugarloaf is The North Shore Stewardship Association and was founded in 1993 to protect and restore Sugarloaf Cove and the entire North Shore. It provides educational programs to become better stewards of our lands and you’ll love their interpretive nature center with exhibits on the unique history and ecosystem of Sugarloaf. Visit their Calendar of Events to discover their weekly programs like bird banding, North Shore Geology, and Fall Migration. They will also be having an open house on October 20th from 10am-2pm complete with speakers and family activities.

Our fall photo gallery from Sugarloaf Cove…





Discover Sugarloaf Cove

Sugarloaf Cove Nature Area on Minnesota's North ShoreWe are really fortunate to be located just a short drive from a beautiful and very special place dedicated to the preservation and restoration of the entire North Shore of Minnesota: Sugarloaf Cove. Here you’ll find one of the most beautiful protected coves on the lake, interpretive nature trails, a nature center, and year-round programs on geology and wildlife. Sugarloaf Cove is the North Shore Stewardship Association and their mission is to “inspire the preservation and restoration of the North Shore’s unique environment through education and exemplary stewardship, especially at Sugarloaf Cove.”

Sign-up for one of our complimentary resort guided hiking trips to Sugarloaf Cove where our guides will lead you on a marked interpretive route through a Red Pine Plantation that showcases the logging history and geological history of the North Shore. This 1.5-mile round trip hike is easy and perfect for the whole family.

Or, head out on your own Sugarloaf Cove adventure. To get there it is just a short 5 – 10-minute drive from the Bluefin Bay Family of Resorts properties and located just off Highway 61. Grab a trail guide from the nature center and enjoy a walk along the interpretive trail, visit the picturesque cove surrounded with 1.1 billion-year-old rocks, visit the interpretive center to talk with the staff about this incredible area, or participate in one of their nature programs. Here are a few of their other on-going weekly programs:

  • Bird Banding on Thursdays: Sugarloaf Cove is participating in bird research to learn their migratory patterns, how long they live, and where they nest. Get up close to a wild bird (and maybe even hold one!) during their bird banding sessions to see what’s happening with our Minnesota birds.
  • Stories in Stone on Sundays: The Sugarloaf beach has many different kinds of rocks and you can find out how they got there, how to spot an agate or Thompsonite, and how this area was formed on this casual walk with a Sugarloaf guide.
  • Friday and Saturday programs change weekly and include topics like Small Life in Big Lakes, The Story of Sugarloaf Cove, The world at Dusk, and Moose Stories.

Fall Color Report: A Trip to Sugarloaf Cove

The fall colors are at their peak and just past peak colors this week on the North Shore of Lake Superior. There are still plenty of leaves hanging on the trees but the forest floor is slowly starting to gather the colorful gifts from the maple, birch, and aspens. For this week’s fall color report, we traveled southwest out of Bluefin Bay and took a quick ten-minute drive along Highway 61 for a visit to Sugarloaf Cove in Schroeder.

Sugarloaf Cove is a beautiful place full of history and outdoor recreation opportunities. The trails, beach and nature center is managed by The North Shore Stewardship Association: A non-profit organization committed to preserving and restoring the North Shore of Lake Superior.

During the migration season, running through October, they hold Bird Banding demonstrations every Saturday from 7am-Noon. You can get an up close and personal look at the songbirds that nest and travel through the area! This awesome family activity helps you learn about the banding process and its importance in understanding the life and productivity of songbirds. This is a free event with donations gladly accepted.

Visit our Photo Gallery for more photos from our fall hike and bird banding experience.

On Sundays through October they host Geology Walks from 10-11am. Learn about the formation of the Sawtooth Mountains and Lake Superior, discover the coves 1.1 billion-year-old lava flows, learn to recognize common rocks, and visit the beautiful cobblestone beach. The cost of this program is $2 per person or $5 per family.

As a guest at Bluefin Bay, you can also sign up for one of our guided hikes to Sugarloaf Cove. On this 1.5 mile hike, we’ll trek through woods and along rock ledge to Sugarloaf Beach. We’ll then follow along a marked interpretive route through a Red Pine Plantation that showcases the logging history and geological history of the North Shore.

This amazing place relies on membership, donations, and grants for their funding. For those of you who live in and near the Twin Cities area, you may want to check out their biggest fundraiser event that is coming up: A North Shore Evening in Minneapolis on November 5th at the Pillsbury A-Mill Artists Lofts.