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New year, new look

Hallway1We started out the year working diligently to complete the residing of the hallway outside our Pub. It has a livening effect on me in the morning as I walk through that area to clock in and grab a cup of Joe. The fresh, new wood really does wonders brightening up the hallway, as the natural light from the courtyard and the lobby windows illuminates the light brown hues on the walls.

IMG_2375April is a month to celebrate and emphasize acts of environmental sustainability with Earth Day right around the corner. In that regard, the most exciting part of the renovation is the addition to our “boatwood” tables and chairs, which add more seating space outside our Poplar River Pub. These chairs are made of recycled Balinese fishing boats. The rustic splash of color complements the new wood walls quite well.

Bali Boat.4

Courtney & Leigh Interiors of Superior, WI turn the journey of retired fishing boats re-imagined into designer furniture.  Every piece is authentic and unique, built with boatwood from the exotic island of bali and crafted with original wood and paint from retired boats.

The hallway improvements also included a new quieter space for our computer station; new coffee station and a built-in bookshelf, which opens up a whole shelf for more reads.

Improvements in the resort will continue as we plan to replace all the windows on the West side of the Lodge this spring and a major portion of the Lodge exterior will be painted. Changes like these will give you something to look forward to seeing during your next stay while also enjoying the original Lutsen Resort tradition.

An evening excursion around Temperance River

I took a group of guests out on an evening excursion along Temperance River on a recent clear and crisp Friday night. This spot along the Superior Hiking Trail is ideal right now because the snow has melted off the frozen falls revealing the intricate ice formations.

Bird's eye view of the hidden falls

Bird’s eye view of the hidden falls

I did not make it to Temperance at all this winter, so it feels good to be back leading tours there because it is such a beautiful area. I enjoy looking at the variety of lichen, moss, and fungus that grow on the rocks. The combination of the green, orange, and brown hues with the bit of white snow left over juxtaposed with the dark rock creates a natural masterpiece of art.

Frozen cascade

Frozen cascade

The running water underneath the frozen cascades is visible as well, producing a flitting effect. Hearing the river flow again is very refreshing after the winter; sure sign of spring. The sun light shining through the trees as it goes down for the evening illuminates all of the different colors of the forest and produces a glistening effect on the ice, snow and water.

Upstream

Upstream

I shared this experience with seven other guests of Lutsen Resort. One couple had been to Temperance before, last winter, but said this time was a “totally different experience.” I have noticed that myself; no matter how many times I have walked the same path, each hike renders a unique perspective or observation. The way the sun is shining, the time of day, the company, whatever it may be makes every tour memorable in a different way.

My enthusiastic group of hikers

Our enthusiastic group of hikers

One of my favorite aspects of the Temperance River hike is that the trail goes on both the inland side and the lake side, so guests get to see a little bit of both worlds. The sunset colors over the lake offer a mesmerizing sight, and one can only look forward to the stargazing that is guaranteed with the nightfall of these clear skies.

Sunset over the lake

Sunset over the lake

Throughout my time here, I have lead morning, afternoon, evening, and night tours and I tell you, every hour of the day offers unforgettable views that you just won’t find anywhere else. A breath of fresh air and a picture of new scenery feeds and rejuvenates the soul- always worth your while.

Enjoying the remnants of snow

Believe it or not, we still have snow along certain sections of the Superior Hiking Trail. I took our guests on a guided hike to Lake Agnes, a pristine lake located about five miles inland up the Caribou Trail. The photo (below to the left) is of the surrounding maple forest, which is fitting because this time of year the trees are tapped to make syrup.

When the temperature drops below freezing during the night then rises to well above freezing during the day, the sap flows through the tree and therefore can be best extracted by placing a “tap” into the tree allowing the sap to drip out. Caribou Cream and Wild Country, our two local maple syrup facilities, are busy at work this time of year tapping and boiling the sap into delicious maple syrup concentrate.

Maple forest, Superior Hiking Trail

Maple forest along the Superior Hiking Trail

There is still about a foot of snow up over the ridge line, so we brought snowshoes along for the hike. Once we made our way closer to the lake, the trail along the shoreline was pretty bare due to its direct exposure to the sunlight.

Beaver tracings

Beaver tracings

Lake Agnes houses a large population of beavers. Along the trail by the lake, we found many trees that beavers had cut down for their food and homes. Beavers are the only mammals besides humans that restructure the environment around them to build their homes, by honing the ability to build both dams and lodges.

My adventurous snowshoe clan

Our group of snowshoers

Our hiking group made it all the way to our destination of Hunter’s Rock overlooking the entirety of the lake. From this spot, you can see the rolling hills in the distance, the looming white pine over the lake (right side of this shot) and a beaver lodge, which I could not get a close picture of. You will just have to go see for yourself!

Wild juniper

Wild juniper

One of my favorite parts of the Lake Agnes hike is the wild juniper plant at the top, a rarity, as far as I’ve noticed, along the trail. I discovered this time that the snow has melted off (for now) and we can enjoy its distinct and awakening smell again.

The smells, sights and sounds of spring are in the air, the season is young but one heavy snowfall can bring us right back into winter again. We can only wait and see what the weather will do, and from there find joy in whatever we get.

 

 

Welcoming the new season

Happy spring everybody! To kick off the new season, we are delighted to welcome you to our new blog. The purpose of this blog is to inform you of the latest and the greatest activities, events, and scenery in Lutsen and surrounding areas in a narrative form. Sharing pictures and stories will hopefully provide you with the feeling of a year round experience at Lutsen Resort from your home. Each season comes with different activities that you may not be aware of, and sharing these various opportunities may spark a visit that is out of the ordinary.

The spring weather came earlier than we had expected, especially after the long winter from last year, but there is still quite a bit of activity going on. At this point, we have the option to participate in both winter and spring activities. However, the weather patterns are unpredictable at this point; a heavy snowfall could be a game-changer. Keep an eye on the weather so you can plan accordingly.

As far as what we can do with the little bit of snow left,  the continuation of Onion River Road of the Sugarbush cross country ski trail system is still being groomed for skate skiing. I was actually out last night skate skiing and it was the best skate I’ve had all year. Outside of that, I would not recommend skiing due to open spots and dangerous conditions.

Onion River Road, Sugarbush Ski Trail

Onion River Road, Sugarbush Ski Trail

Thanks to the hard working snow makers up at Lutsen Mountains, the base at the ski hill is thick enough for the conditions to hold up for another few weeks. This makes for a legitimate spring ski vacation that is not too far away.

Moose Mountain

Moose Mountain

Border cross track on Mystery Mountain

Border cross track on Mystery Mountain

As for the upcoming forecast, we are expected to get a few inches of snow mid week, which could shape up the conditions and extend our winter activities.

On the flip side, if you are looking to switch gears and dive into the spring activities, sections of the Superior Hiking Trail closer to the lake are open for hiking, but be cautious of icy and or muddy spots. These trails take you along rivers, such as Cascade and Temperance, and offer mesmerizing views of frozen waterfalls and the refreshing sound of running water.

The paved Gitchi Gammi bike trail is open this time of year for biking and running, but again, be careful of snowy and icy sections. The trail section on our area starts in Lutsen and winds down along Lake Superior, through Tofte and Temperance River State Park and ends in Schroeder.

Gitchi Gammi Bike Trail

Gitchi Gammi Bike Trail

Our Frisbee golf course is free of snow and the grounds are surprisingly dry enough to play a round or two of disc golf; it is a bit early yet to start golfing. Seems like just yesterday we put the discs away for the season and now it’s already time to start pitching again!

Pitch and Putt Course at Lutsen Resort

Pitch and Putt Course at Lutsen Resort

Now that the ice has melted from the shoreline, people are starting to pick rocks again. This is the time to get down there and find those prize agates and other unique stones that were washed up during the winter. In the evening hours, you can sit down and keep warm by a campfire on the beach where you can also gaze at the beautiful starry sky.

Beach at Lutsen Resort

Beachfront at Lutsen Resort

The wonderful thing about recreating in the Midwest, is that we have the opportunity and gear to find or create a way to be active outside year round. On the North Shore, we are lucky to be surrounded by a diverse environment that offers endless activities, in all weather conditions.

Regardless of your personal interests, Lutsen can provide you with a memorable experience that caters to your preferences at anytime of day, during anytime of year.