Breakfast in Garden

Posts Tagged ‘adventure’

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!

Mainland Ice Caves Accessible – Winter Adventure!

January 16th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

Ice caves 2

Be sure to check out our Ice Caves Special!

The Apostle Islands National Lakeshore just announced that the Mainland Ice Caves are accessible. For the first time since 2009, the ice conditions allow for a trek along the shoreline and at the sea cave area. While weather conditions can change, the recent cold weather appears to have set solid ice conditions.

For those who have kayaked the Sea Caves in the summer, you will be especially excited to see this winter display. The beautiful ice formations are created as waves crash onto the cave surfaces, eventually freezing, along with a number of springs that flow through the winter also adding to the display. We highly recommend that anyone considering going to the Ice Caves call the NPS Ice Cave hotline: 715-779-3397, ext 3.

From the National Park Service:

“Mawikwe Bay near Meyers Beach in Apostle Islands National Lakeshore’s mainland unit may be covered with ice for some or all of the period from mid-January to late March.  When frigid temperatures turn the surface of Lake Superior into a frozen white expanse, lakeshore cliffs form a crimson border to this arctic landscape.  Pillars of ice extend to cliff tops where waterfalls have hardened in place.  Frozen lake water encrusts the base of the cliffs while inside the caves is a fairyland of needle-like icicles.  Ice formations change constantly with the weather.”

The trek is approximately 2 miles from Meyer’s Beach (about 18 miles NW of Bayfield). Snowshoes or heavy boots are recommended along with poles.

This is truly a wonderful experience! As always, please know that conditions can change and it is always best to check with the Ice Cave hotline: 715-779-3397, ext 3 for up to date conditions or Pinehurst Inn Innkeepers can provide up to date information as well.

Bayfield Winter Events for Adventurous Souls

January 16th, 2014 by Nancy Sandstrom

Bayfield Wisconsin is known for the Apostle Islands, an amazing destination in the warmer times of year. But winter has settled in as the near shore of Lake Superior freezes over, snow falls regularly with great lake effect snow. The good news is that we have some great winter events coming up that provide great opportunity for the more adventurous souls out there.

Apostle Island Sled Dog Race, Bayfield, Wisconsin

The Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race (Jan 31 & Feb 1) brings in over 75 teams to participate in the two days of races. This event provides opportunities. Attend as a spectator. You are provided maps of a number of points on the race courses where you will have great views of teams at the start or on the course racing (along with bonfires and hot food!). Or get more involved as a vounteer! Check out the Voluntourism opportunity where there are a number  of areas you can be directly involved.

The weekend of February 14 & 15 offers a magnificent XC ski event, Book Across the Bay. This event brings in over 3300 XC skiers (and snowshoers, walkers and more) to trek across the frozen Chequamegon Bay from Ashland to Wasbhurn at night with the trails lit by hundreds of ice luminaries. It’s not only great fun, but also gloriously beautiful. The race is Saturday evening with a great celebratory tent set up in Washburn following the race.

And finally the weekend of February 28, March 1 & 2, the Bayfield Recreation Center offers the Bayfield Winter Festival. This weekend includes a wide range of events: Ice Golf, WinterDash at Mt. Ashwabay (5K run and obstacle course), Polar Beat Plunge, and the Run on Water (fun run from Bayfield to Madeline Island).

We don’t really experience Cabin Fever up here. We find ways to celebrate our winter, giggle a bit, and enjoy the glorious winter beauty. Pinehurst Innkeepers are very happy provide more information for our guests on any of these events as well as other Bayfield activities (skiing, dog sledding snow shoeing). Whatever your choice, know that you will still experience the wonderful Bayfield welcome.

Pinehurst & Living Adventure Partner for Lake Superior Kayaking

May 30th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Lake  Superior Kayaking among Apostle Islands

One of the most common questions we hear is “What should we try to do while we are visiting Bayfield and the Apostle Islands?” During the spring-summer-fall season, I typically will say, “Get out on the water.” Lake Superior has it’s own story. Walking the beaches, gazing out at Madeline Island or Basswood Island (the most visible from Bayfield) is wonderful. But being ON the water takes you to a new level of appreciation. So over the next few blog posts, we will explore the various ways to put yourself on the water.

We’ve already mentioned the Pinehurst Dreamcatcher Sailing Package in an earlier post. We love sailing and it can be both exhilarating and relaxing.

For the more adventurous folks out there, the Apostle Islands offers magnificent Lake Superior kayaking. Sitting in a this cozy vessel, peacefully paddling in these amazingly clear waters of Lake Superior, floating among the the wooded shorelines or water-ice-carved cave formations – all these experiences and more make this opportunity one not to be missed.

Pinehurst Inn is pleased to partner with Living Adventure, a terrific outfitter ready to create a magnificent paddling experience. LA is once again the recipient of Sea Kayaker Magazine’s prestigious Readers Choice Award for ‘Best Tour Company/Central Division’; an area that encompasses the Great Lakes and Midwest. In other words, they know what they are doing. The variety of trips offered can be enjoyed by the majority of visitors regardless of experience. The guides will provide training and expertise in a relaxed atmosphere.

Lake Superior Kayaking among Apostle IslandsThe Pinehurst Apostle Island Kayaking Package is a perfect way to start building your Bayfield adventure. Combining eco-elegant lodging with the Living Adventures Sea Caves trip has proven to be a winner with our guests. If you’re looking for a unique opportunity in a beautiful place, this is it. A great way to actively “get out on the water.”

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.

Transition Time at Pinehurst Inn – Is it Winter or is it Spring?

March 18th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

DogSled2Seasonal transitions are difficult. As I look out my window here at Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield is getting snow. Again. It’s been a great winter for those of us who love to XC Ski, Snowshoe or simply play in the snow. We’ve seen lots of Pinehurst guests donning their winter gear to head up to Mt Ashwabay Ski and Recreation Area – coming back with huge smiles. Other guests have taken it up a step to try dog sledding with Wolfsong Adventures in Dog Sledding, having the opportunity to create a brand new adventure running their own team of dogs. More smiles. And often, these folks come back to Pinehurst Inn prepared to enjoy the sauna.

The opportunities for these adventures will continue through March. This is great news, as we are continuing to offer some wonderful midweek special rates. And we continue to shovel, plow and make sure we are prepared to help our guests make the most of their Bayfield visit in winter, as long as it lasts. But trust us….it will change soon!

When the sun shines, we are feeling warmth. The snow and ice will soon be gone, making way for the gardens, spring cleaning and a different sort of outdoor activities. So it is transition time. Over the next few days, we will be posting our Spring-Summer Specials & Packages on the Pinehurst Inn website. Sailing, kayaking, and other on-the-water activities. On the land, there is golf, hiking, museums, great shopping and eating….well, you get the idea. We can keep you busy.

DSC_0040Our blog posts will certainly be there for you to get the most current information. But don’t forget our Pinehurst Facebook Page – we are actively encouraging our Facebook-friendly guests to “like” our page where we share snippets and announcements. And you have the opportunity to share your thoughts and comments as well. Let’s have some conversations!

We look forward to chatting about making your visit to Bayfield, the Apostle Islands and Pinehurst Inn the best it can be.

Oh, and thank you!

 

Pinehurst Inn Top 5 Winter Adventures In and Around Bayfield

March 5th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

The Winter Season in the Bayfield, WI area can be magical. It also can be long. We will typically have in excess of 150 inches of snow in the higher elevations – often around 120 inches here at Pinehurst Inn. The active snow season at our Bayfield B&B can start in December and go through the end of March. Survival of this fairly long season is so much easier if we embrace the outdoor opportunities!

Here are the Pinehurst Inn Top 5 Winter Outdoor Activities:

1. Simply snowshoe the trails behind Pinehurst Inn. Trails can take you up and around numerous ravines and valleys created eons ago. Pikes Creek meanders and weaves it’s way through this rugged landscape. A number of sitting spots are great for simple contemplation or rest.

Photo credit: Hired Lens Photography

Photo credit: Hired Lens Photography

2. XC Ski the groomed trails at Mt. Ashwabay Recreation and Ski Area – just a few miles up the hill from Bayfield’s Pinehurst Inn. There are over 40 KM of trails, some groomed for classis and some groomed for skate. This is incredibly beautiful terrain, somewhat challenging on some trails, but worth every minute.

3. Hike or Snowshoe the trail above the Mainland Sea Caves. In the winter the caves have periodically been accessible by ice. This is often NOT safe, so be prepared to take the trail on the land adjacent to the shoreline – you will be trekking some rugged terrain for approximately 2 miles out to get just above the most well know cave structures. Incredible sounds of ice shifting or water swirling within the cave areas can be eerie. We always recommend caution in this trek – be sure to read the information contained in the above link. This is part of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore.

4. For a bit more relaxed time, hike or snowshoe the Brownstone Trail. This goes along the old railroad grade coming south out of Bayfield for a few miles. This out and back is a relatively simple trek, also good for a quick run. This trail is managed by the Bayfield Regional Conservancy. Please be respectful of the adjacent property owners by staying on the trail.

5. Snowshoe or XC ski at Big Bay State Park. One of our favorite outings, this trek requires the right conditions: a safe ice road. If the ice becomes safe between Bayfield and Madeline Island, an ice road is plowed that we are able to drive on. Here’s the opportunity to drive on Lake Superior to Madeline Island. Head out to Big Bay State Park – the trails await you! Always check on the conditions of ice road!

For any of these outings, we recommend checking on accessibility, conditions and appropriate preparations.

Let’s make winter a great adventure! Enjoy a pdf version of this Pinehurst Inn’s Top 5 Winter Outdoor Activities.

February Starts in Bayfield with Apostle Island Sled Dog Race

February 1st, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Photo:Bayfield Chamber & Visitor Bureau

February has become the month of play in Bayfield. I am constantly amazed at the ability for the folks who live here to find ways to play and find adventure in the winter. We see a series of events happening through the month, starting with the Apostle Island Sled Dog Race organized by the Bayfield Chamber and Visitor Bureau.

The 18th Annual Apostle Islands Sled Dog Race will be held on Saturday and Sunday, February 2nd and 3rd, 2013. Races begin at 10:00 am on both days, with half of the total race distance completed each day. There are two main races: an 8-dog, 80-mile race and a 6 dog, 60-mile race. There’s also a 40-mile Sportsmen’s Race, a 6 to 8-mile Family Race and a 6 to 8-mile Youth Race (16 and under). Multiple spectator locations are available with amenities including a warming tent, concessions and bonfires.

Many Pinehurst Inn guests enjoy this event as spectators, volunteers and even racers. Watching these dogs as they make their way into the chute is amazing. The cacophony of yelping and barking and eagerness to take off followed by silence with only the sound of the sled runners making their way along the trail. Such great winter adventure is simply part of our brand.

Of course, so same guests head back to their eco-elegant lodging accommodations at Pinehurst to enjoy the sauna or their whirlpool tub to warm up, sip some cocoa or wine and simply relax.

What else is coming up? Check it out!

Blue Moon Ball – Feb 9th – Kick up your heels at this winter prom for us “older folks”

Book Across the Bay – Feb 16 – XC ski from Ashland to Washburn on luminary lit trail on ice!

Bayfield Winter Festival – March 1-3 – Winter fun for all!

 

 

Snow! Glorious Snow! XC Skiing at its Best!

January 27th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Photo credit: Hired Lens Photography

Yes, Bayfield has had its share of cold temperatures in recent days, however along with it we’ve received about 18+ inches of new snow – beautiful, white, sparkling snow. So what better time to think about some XC Skiing. For those who aren’t aware of our location, Pinehurst Inn is located about 1.5 miles from Mt. Ashwabay Ski & Recreation Area.

The Mt. Ashwabay/Jerry Jolly Cross-Country trail system covers 40 km of classic and skate trails with ratings from beginner to expert. All trails inspected daily and are groomed and tracked as needed. The beginner’s trail is the picturesque Sugar Bush Trail. Intermediate terrain can be enjoyed on Anchor, Seagull and Raven trails. Advanced skiers can venture out on the longer 15 km loop, which combines Sugar Bush, Deer Path and Raven trails, returning to the Mt. Ashwabay chalet.

If winter adventure in a picturesque setting is your goal, Pinehurst Inn and Mt. Ashwabay are prepared to meet your needs. Our Pinehurst – Ashwabay XC Ski Package is designed to provide discounted opportunity to enjoy Pinehurst Inn eco-elegant accommodations and a great XC Ski experience. Winter is clearly with us. Let us help you enjoy it!

 

Winter Adventure Among Apostle Islands Mainland

November 25th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

Bayfield, among the Apostle Island during the winter – an opportunity for winter adventure. Whether XC skiing, snowshoeing or dog sledding, the area is ready to welcome you and provide the setting for that snow-filling outing.

Dog Sledding is becoming a primary activity in the area as well. Wolfsong Adventure in Mushing is a partner business offering premier dog sledding since 1997. Their outings provide folks the opportunity to run their own team (training provided!) or simply ride along. Check out our terrific Dog Sledding Package with Wolfsong that includes two nights lodging with breakfasts, Wolfsong Morning Adventure for two, plus more. Nicely discounted when packaged.

Mt Ashwabay Ski Area offers downhill and over 40 KM of beautifully groomed XC Ski trails – just up the hill from Pinehurst Inn. This area is also wonderful for snowshoeing as are the trails immediately behind Pinehurst. Snowshoeing or skiing over on Madeline Island creates its own adventure – getting to the island may mean a ferry, a wind sled or driving your car on the on ice road —all dependant on the weather!

Just as we can provide the setting for your adventure, we can also follow it up with great relaxation (think Enso Day Spa!) and wonderful eating opportunities. Check out all the specials and packages for the winter months!

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