Breakfast in Garden

Archive for the ‘Nature Tourism’ Category

Thoughts on Ice Caves

April 3rd, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

sandstone shoreline on Lake Superior in winter showing Ice formationsThe past few months in Bayfield have been incredible. The small communities of Bayfield and Cornucopia rose to the challenge (opportunity) to welcome over 120,000 visitors to explore the Mawikwi Ice Caves. A part of the Apostle Island National Lakeshore, these beautiful sandstone cave structures sculptured over thousands of years become an ice mecca in the winter. With the cold temperatures, the accessiblity for people to hike out went on for over 6 weeks. And they came.

Yes, it helped our business at Pinehurst Inn. We were as busy in February as we normally are in June – as were other lodgings and businesses. So the area gained financially for sure. But there was more happening than just financial success.

We met so many people who had never been to the area before. This was their first introduction to our great lady, Lake Superior. This was their first visit to the Apostle Island National Lakeshore – a treasure! This was their first opportunity to see first hand how Mother Nature presents amazing opportunities for humans to connect with true beauty — and awe. Standing looking at the wondrous ice formations, one can’t help but ponder that the coming warmer temperatures will once again change the landscape. These first timers hopefully caught the bug: the Lake Superior bug. It pulls you back, again and again.

Sandstone shoreline formations covered in iceJust as important as the visitors, we saw our communities rise to the challenge. Whether it was traffic control, pulling in volunteers to assist the NPS Rangers, providing a shuttle service, or creating accurate maps and information, it all came together. Weekly meetings involving law enforcement, EMS, tourism entities and others ensured that the visitors were provided what they needed to have a safe and enjoyable Ice Cave experience. We saw everyone working together for the common good.

Thank you to all the people who made this winter so special – visitors and locals. It has been a blast. And now we breathe a bit, go into our preparations for Spring and Summer.  May the energy and cooperation that made all of this work so well continue forward.

Hidden Treasure: Bayfield’s Nourse Sugarbush

February 4th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

NourseCabin

High in the hills south of Bayfield, there is a hidden treasure – Bayfield’s Nourse Sugarbush – the largest stand of old growth Sugar Maple in Wisconsin. The good news for all of us – it is accessible via the Mt. Ashwabay XC trail system.

In 2006, thanks to the work of the Bayfield Regional Conservancy and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resouces,  the Nourse Sugerbush was designated as a Wisconsin State Natural Area and will be protected in perpetuity.  As a State Natural Area motorized vehicles are not allowed. Access is limited to travel by foot, snowshoe and ski.

From the parking area near Mt. Ashwabay to the log cabin and “sugar shack” is about a 2 mile hike.  The trail into the Sugerbush follows the original access road that is now closed to motorized vehicles. The hike in is a gradual uphill incline. You will pass through an area that was selectively logged a few years ago that provides some amazing views of the Pikes Creek Valley.  As you hike along you will notice several distinct changes in forest type; moving from a mixed forest of aspen, oak and maple changing over to a more northern boreal forest of Balsam fir and birch.  As you get closer to the Sugerbush the forest changes to mix of Hemlock and White Pine.  When you reach the Sugerbush you enter an amazing stand of huge Sugar Maples that is truly awe-inspiring!

In additional to the amazing trees, the Log cabin and Sugar Shack are also hidden treasures.  Built in the 1920”s by Harvey Nourse Sr. (owned Pinehurst from 1905-1984), the log cabin has served as a family retreat and hunting camp for several generations.  The Sugar Shack is attached to the back of the cabin and is where the sap is boiled down to make Maple syrup. Other than some roof repair resulting from a tree falling on the shack little has changed since it was originally built. No matter what time of year that you choose to see the Sugarbush it is worth the trip. Our favorite time to visit is in the Fall of the year.  The colors are amazing! Winter provides equally as wonderful opportunity. There are ski trails from Mt. Ashwabay the cross the property or you can snowshoe in on the access road.

A wonderful way to experience different seasons in a magnificent forest as well as getting a taste of how people “tapped” into the gifts these trees provide. Enjoy!

Hiking Bayfield & Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

October 4th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

photos of red colored maples leaves

As we enter October, the on-the-water activity seems to slow down with sailboats beginning to come out of the water and fewer runs by the Madeline Island Ferry. There is a shift to fall activities including hiking around Bayfield and the Apostle Island National Lakeshore. The area is blessed with numerous trails of all levels and varying lengths, most framed by beautifully forested land loaded with fall colors. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area – located just up the hill from Pinehurst Inn, there are numerous XC Ski trails (over 50 km!) that provide incredible hiking in the fall. These trails are varied in difficulty with a few heading up to higher elevations that provide great views of Lake Superior and Madeline Island.

Brownstone Trail – comes out of Bayfield south along with old railroad grade. Brownstone is a pretty gentle trail, with a few brief passes along private properties, however all with legal easements. Managed by Bayfield Regional Conservancy, this trail is maintained by a wonderful group of volunteers from the area.

Houghton Falls – this is a glorious hike taking you from the parking area to Houghton Point – wander through old-growth pines and hemlocks to reach the shevled and rocky shoreline of Lake Superior. You’ll see Houghton Falls along the way with times of the year when it’s dramatic in its journey to the lake.

There are more! Check out the attached Hiking Trails in Bayfield County!

Dreamcatcher Sailing & Pinehurst Inn – Apostle Islands Sailing Package

April 27th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Apostle Islands Sailing Package

Bayfield and the Apostle Islands provide opportunity for so many wonderful on-the-water activities. Pinehurst Inn guests are drawn to the area for these adventures. Pinehurst Inn and Dreamcatcher Sailing have once again partnered to provide a wonderful lodging and sailing package. As you will see on the Deamcatcher website, “The secrets of the Apostle Islands expose themselves to those who slowly, quietly explore.”

The Pinehurst Apostle Islands Sailing Package provides a mix of two nights lodging along with the Afternoon Sail with Dreamcatcher Sailing. This 2+ hour trip leaves from Bayfield, one of the most popular sailing ports in the Great Lakes. The amazing number of sailboats reinforces that the presence of the islands sets the stage for this great experience.

Dreamcatcher’s captains are the best! Seasoned sailors, they provide a safe and informational experience. Take the wheel, help with the lines or simply relax – your choice! Let them provide the setting and you determine how involved you want to be.

Two hours not enough? Consider some of their other trips: Island Landing Excursion (goes from 9:30-2:00) or the Sea Caves by Sail out of Cornucopia. Pinehurst Inn is happy to arrange special discounted package pricing on any of these Dreamcatcher opportunities.

Plan ahead. Be sure you can get the Pinehurst guest room you prefer along with the Dreamcatcher Sailing Adventure you want. We can help you make it happen. Be sure to book online or call 877-499-7651 with any questions.

"Heavenly Adventure. Wisconsin's Apostle Islands"

August 7th, 2011 by Nancy Sandstrom

We are thrilled and thankful to see another wonderful article on the Apostle Islands and the kayaking adventure. Kim Schneider has done a great job providing both the adventure and the caution.

Think kayaking in September! It is absolutely a perfect time of year to enjoy the paddling experience without the intensities of the summer months. Pinehurst Inn is thrilled to partner with Living Adventure on our “By Sea Kayaking Package.”

Kayaking with Living Adventure Popular with Pinehurst Inn Guests

July 7th, 2011 by Nancy Sandstrom

The tagline for Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield Wisconsin is “Connecting Adventure, Environment and Personal Rejuvenation“. The adventure part of this equation is an important one for many Pinehurst Inn guests. With this in mind, we work to create packages that provide adventure in a safe and inspirational way. One of our most popular packages is our kayaking package with Living Adventure.

Living Adventure is one of our favorite partners. Living Adventure home is located just north of Bayfield. Sitting on the shore of Lake Superior and the southern most Apostle Islands, they provide magnificent kayaking trips for visitors. Ranging from 2 hours to multiple days, their trips provide all equipment, instruction, guidance and fun. The instructors are prepared to work with first time paddlers. Education on the area, the natural history and more is woven in. Safety is key.

The most popular trip our guests take is the Sea Caves trip, a 5 hour paddle. A hallmark of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore is the ancient geology noted by red sandstone cliffs and sea caves. Centuries of wave action, freezing and thawing have sculpted artful caves considered to be the most spectacular in the Great Lakes. Kayakers have the unique opportunity to paddle under arches, into vaulted chambers and into the cavern’s deepest recesses. This is truly a breathtaking experience not to be missed. The trip includes a great lunch along the way, and is provided in a safe environment with experienced guides.

Our guests return from these kayaking outings with a smile on their face. They’ve had an adventure – an important component of a Pinehurst Inn stay. Now we can help them shape the “personal rejuvenation” component of their stay… how about an Enso Day Spa massage to round out the day?

Pinehurst Inn Guests Enjoy Spring Blossoms

June 2nd, 2010 by Nancy Sandstrom

Spring in Bayfield and the Apostle Islands is normally a beautiful time of year, but this year is even better! The early, warmer Spring has brought blossoms out about three weeks early and Pinehurst Inn guests have been out and about enjoying the beautiful blossoms.

The lilacs are in full bloom at Pinehurst Inn- ah, the smell of lilacs is incredible. We are just starting to see the iris and oriental poppies – flowering plants that have been in Pinehurst gardens for over 50 years. The lupines are just beginning their blooms, something to behold as you drive along Highway 13 adorned with the purples, lavenders, and other shades of beautiful spiked flowers. Then there are the apple blossoms, the wonderful reminders of all the fruit to be enjoyed during this summer and fall harvest season.

Our guests have been enjoying these spring blossoms and more. Whether wandering our gardens, laying in the hammock simply relaxing or biking the Bayfield Orchards, the setting brings a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation.

If you have a green thumb (or even if you don’t!) remember that the Bayfield in Bloom Garden Tours are this Saturday, June 5th from 10am – 3pm. This self guided Garden Tour takes you to some of the most beautiful gardens in Bayfield.

We always think of this incredible garden mecca as the icing on the cake to Lake Superior, the Apostle Islands, and the quaint community of Bayfield. Enjoy!

Dreamcatcher Sailing up and "sailing" for the season

May 21st, 2010 by Nancy Sandstrom

Pinehurst Inn guests come to Bayfield to enjoy many different activites. One of the most popular is sailing.

Sail Magazine lists Bayfield as one of the top ten places to sail in America and once you’re here, you’ll know why. Explore places that provide pristine sand beaches amidst crystal clear water of Lake Superior, hearing only the periodic luff of the sails and the swishing sounds as the boat cuts through the water.

Couple enjoying sailing with Dreamcatching Sailing, Bayfield, WisconsinDreamcatcher Sailing, Bayfield, Wisconsin just announced that their charter sailing is open for the 2010 season, offering sailing every day with two options. The Island Excursion runs from 9:30am – 2:30pm as they sail out to one of the Apostle Islands where they may anchor in the island’s protection to enjoy the fresh catered lunch or use their zodiac to explore the beaches or perhaps take a swim.

The second option is the Afternoon Sail running from 3:00pm – 5:30pm. This shorter sail provides a taste of sailing the Apostles. The option is there to either sit, relax as the captain manages the boat, or be active as you take the helm or trim the sails.

Captain John Thiel and his crew do a superb job of helping novice sailors learn about sailing, about Lake Superior, the islands and more as noted by their tagline: “Hands On Apostle Island Sailing Adventures.” Dreamcatcher is also Travel Green certified – John has done a great job of finding a variety of ways to operate his boats with an eye to energy conservation and more. Take some time to chat with him about this approach to running his sail charter business.

Have you sailed the Apostle Islands or with Dreamcatcher? Share your stories and photos.

photo credit: Dreamcatcher Sailing

Signs of Spring at Pinehurst Inn

May 13th, 2010 by Nancy Sandstrom

We know that spring has truly arrived in Bayfield simply by our wildlife viewing. As we worked in the Pinehurst Inn kitchen a few days ago, a familiar red fox was sitting on the driveway enjoying the sunshine. We’ve noticed this fox roaming the property regularly keeping the mouse population down! As we hiked the trail behind the Bayfield Fish Hatchery earlier this week, the “drumming” of the ruffed grouse resonated through the forest – this thumping is their mating call. Black bear wander these same trails as evidenced by the significant tracks in the muddy by Pikes Creek shoreline.

But more than anything, we are aware of the migrating birds. For the birders A view through the thicketout there, we are clearly in the midst of prime birding season with the Apostle Islands providing an ideal migratory route. The Warblers are evident – seemingly at their normal time in spite of the early spring we’ve had. Also seen and heard: hermit thrush, woodpeckers hammering out their mating calls, broad wing hawks and turkey vultures.

The wildlife viewing in the area can be amazing. But it does help to have someone like Steve to help you understand what we’re seeing and hearing!

Pinehurst Innkeepers are pleased to provide any of our guests with birding and hiking suggestions – a great way to enjoy the Bayfield peninsula. This is nature tourism at its best.

If you are a birder, what are some of your favorite birding spots? Please share!

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