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Posts Tagged ‘Apostle Islands’

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.

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!

Explore the Apostle Islands with Apostle Island Cruise Service

June 3rd, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Island Princess Apostle Island Cruise

Our “Get on the Water” series has featured a number of blog posts on sailing and kayaking – somewhat active ways to be on the water among the Apostle Islands. But not everyone is prepared or physically able to paddle for a few hours or physcially get onto a sail boat. The good news is that the Apostle Island Cruise Service is accessible, relaxing and informative.

The most popular cruise with Pinehurst Inn guests is the Grand Tour, a 3-1/4 hour tour traveling approximately 55 miles among the majority of the 22 Apostle Islands. Their description says it all:

Raspberry Island Lighthouse“Throughout this memorable cruise, you’ll pass extraordinary natural scenery, beautiful historic Raspberry and Devils Island Lighthouses, standing rocks, extensive sea caves and marine wildlife. Learn the rich history of centuries of human interaction with Wisconsin’s “Crown Jewels” on majestic Lake Superior.”

The Apostle Island Grand Tour will provide a superb overview of this amazing Apostle Island National Lakeshore. The Grand Tour runs daily through October 13. Starting June 28th a variety of other tours are offered including a shorter Evening Grand Tour, Glass Bottom Boat Tours, Raspberry Island Lighthouse Tours and more.

Sit back a relax and soak in the beauty, the history and the amazing expanse of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands.

Would you like more help planning your visit to Bayfield and the Apostle Island? Or get the most current specials and packages offered by Pinehurst Inn?


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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.

Enjoy Pinehurst Inn and Bayfield in Winter – Part II

December 6th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

Enjoy Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield Wi sauna

In Part II of our Top Ten Ways to Experience Pinehurst Inn and Bayfield in the Winter, the theme of rejuvenation and adventure continues. The earlier post provided our first 5 suggestions. Here we offer 5 more.

6. Ah, the Pinehurst Inn sauna. It is truly wonderful after a ski or snowshoe or dogsledding to come back to Pinehurst and relax in the sauna. Scoop that bucket of clean snow and dump on the stove for hot steam.

7. The Mainland Sea Caves are nothing short of amazing in the winter. This popular put in spot for kayaking in the summer months transforms into an icey wonderland. Always check with us or the Apostle Island National Lakeshore office to determine safety status.

8. Remember the rejuvenation part of our story? How about Enso Wellness Center and Day Spa. Enjoy a massage or facial right here on Pinehurst Inn property. Amazing services and truly relaxing.

9. How about Madeline Island? Traveling to the island can be the adventure in itself – ferry, “windsled” or drive the “ice road” – all depends on the weather. The town of LaPointe is pretty quiet (yup, the Beach Club is open!) – but head out to Big Bay State Park for more snow adventure. It’s beautiful!

10. Walk a beach! The shores of Lake Superior in the winter can be dramatic and magical. Bundle and take a stroll on one of the numerous public beaches in the area.

Have you visited during the winter? We’d love to hear your winter tales and adventures.

Enjoy Pinehurst Inn and Bayfield in Winter – Part I

November 29th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

Bayfield and the Apostle Islands are a favorite destination in the summer months. But have you considered Bayfield in winter?

As we approach December, the snow is coming down (LOVE the lake effect snow!) and we all shift to a different mind set: let’s enjoy winter! So we offer here Part I of the Top Ten Ways to Experience Pinehurst Inn & Bayfield in the Winter.

  1. Embrace the snow. Let’s start with XC Skiing. Grooming already started at Mt. Ashwabay Recreation area offering over 40KM of beautiful, groomed trails (just up the hill from Pinehurst Inn, BTW).
  2. Holiday shopping in Bayfield offers the same wonderful galleries and shops. A slower pace. Take the time to chat with the people, many of whom create the beautiful items you may be purchasing for your loved ones.
  3. Reading. Yeah, I know you can read anywhere. But can you go into a local bookstore, find regional authors who know and love Lake Superior and its coastal communities? Take that book back to your great space at Pinehurst Inn and relax by the fire or in the sauna!
  4. Performance. Uniquely local arts. Ranging from Wassail Dinners to Stagenorth – you will be amazed at the regional talent. Combine this with a good dinner and you’re set.
  5. Embrace the snow. Yes, I know. We already mentioned the skiing, but now we move up to dog sledding. The opportunity for adventure awaits with Wolfsong Adventures in Mushing. Of course, the Pinehurst Inn / Wolfsong Package is strongly recommended.

There is more. But we don’t want t overload. Stay tuned for Part II.

Pinehurst Inn wishes all a Happy Lake Superior Day!

July 15th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

Living on Lake Superior is an honor. This “inland sea” provides us with an amazing sense of awe. Today, Sunday, July 15th is Lake Superior Day. Lake Superior Day was started in the early 1990s to highlight the importance of this great water body to the basin’s environment and economy. This day of celebration is organized by the Lake Superior Binational Forum:

Clean water is a basic right and necessity for all life. If you live near Lake Superior, you are fortunate to be living near one of the world’s largest lakes. Every day, each of the 600,000 human residents of the Lake Superior basin use water from the lake for drinking, home use, industrial use, or recreation. The lake is also essential for countless fish, birds,animals, and plants.

In Bayfield we are even more cognizant of our efforts, as we are also protecting and impacting the Apostle Islands.

At Pinehurst Inn, we try very hard to recognize our good fortune every day in so many of our operational decision. Whether it is how we design and manage our gardens or our state-of-the art aerobic digester, we try to do what we can to minimize any negative impact on the water. Lots of examples can be listed. But it is just as important to spend time with our guests helping them to understand this grand lake. Certainly encouraging them to “get on the water” is part of our mantra. The other part is to be safe on the water – kayaking with our wonderful outfitters, sailing with experienced captains, and knowing our own limits.

Lake Superior Binational Forum provides wonderful information events and activities around Lake Superior Day. They also provide great information. I was particularly pleased to see this great piece on “10-Ways-to-Protect-the-Lake“. Enjoy!

 

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