Breakfast in Garden

Posts Tagged ‘Bayfield’

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!

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.

Bayfield’s Pinehurst Inn Introduces “Field Trip”

November 19th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

photo of Field Trip app on iphone

Bayfield’s Pinehurst Inn is pleased to listed on “Field Trip“, a relatively new Google App. This app provides you the information and guidance helpful in getting all you can out of your travels. The app is slowly but surely being populated with travel related businesses ranging from historic markers to lodging to restaurants to attractions to entertainment. These are being added through a pretty broad network of associations, affiliations and other Google approved content sources — all for the purpose of helping you find the hidden gems in your travels.

Once downloaded, Field Trip will track your locations and provide alerts about the places you are near. From the Field Trip website description:

“The hyperlocal history experts of Arcadia and Historvius will unveil local lore in places you never expected. Trend-setting publications like TimeOut, Thrillist, Food Network, Zagat, and Eater will point out the best places to eat and drink. Experts at Sunset, Cool Hunting, WeHeart, Inhabitat, and Remodelista will guide you to the latest unique stores and products. Atlas Obscura, Dezeen and Spotted by Locals help you uncover hidden gems no matter where you are. Songkick and Flavorpill guide you to local music.”

Pinehurst Inn was recently added to Field Trip through our active association with a website called “Go Trippin‘” – this great project website was approved as a feeder to Field Trip a few months ago. They join other content sources such as Zagat and Thrillist. We will be working with Go Trippin’ to ensure that the gems found in Bayfield and Apostle Islands will gradually be populating Field Trip as well.

Check out this video for more info – somewhat fluffy, but still gets the message across. So think about this new tool for your next “Field Trip”!

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!

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.

Pinehurst Inn earns GreenLeader Platinum with Trip Advisor

April 23rd, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Solar Panels, Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield, Wisconsin

We are so pleased to see Trip Advisor kicking off their GreenLeaders program. This program will provide travelers with a transparent system to find eco-friendly lodging properties. Over 1000 properties have been “certified” earning one of four levels of certification.

Pinehurst Inn once again stands out as a leader in sustainability and eco-friendly practices. We are very proud to have been involved during the planning phases for this program as we assisted in the development of the survey. In the end, our practices have earned us a Platinum status, the highest available.

So why is this important? We are finding that our guests and the travelers coming to Bayfield are truly interested in finding eco-conscious places to stay, to eat and the recreate. This program, and others such as Travel Green Wisconsin, provide a mechanism to find and support such businesses. We applaud Trip Advisor for recognizing this need and stepping up to create an important travel tool.

 

Spring Equinox at Pinehurst Inn, Bayfield Wisconsin

March 20th, 2013 by Nancy Sandstrom

Snow Squalls over Lake Superior, Madeline Island Bayfield Wisconsin

From all of us at Pinehurst Inn we wish you a Happy Spring Equinox! I’m not sure what the weather is like elsewhere, but here, we are having a tough time believing it is spring! Two days of snow along with 30-40 MPH winds out of the NW….cold and lots of snow removal going on! The photo to the right was taken yesterday looking over to Madeline Island – notice the swirling snow squalls!

But we know this will change, allowing snows to melt and the signs of spring continuing to show themselves here in Bayfield, WI.

So I thought I share a bit about the Spring Equinox. Also known as the “Vernal Equinox”, the word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west. The diagram below provides a visual.

The bottom line? Increasingly longer days, warmer temperatures and the visible signs we all crave! Flowers, leaves, more green, more birds to name a few.

And in Bayfield, other signs of spring: Kurt, our UPS driver is driving the big truck with oh, so many more deliveries coming to all our businesses, flurry of activities in shops and restaurants as they prepare for the coming season. For Pinehurst Inn, the paint brushes come out, rooms torn apart, put back together. Kitchen testing of new recipes. Increased phone calls and inquiries. While we love the slower pace of winter, we thrive on the anticipation of busier days.

Of course, many see the equinox as a sign of new beginnings. Rightfully so. Each new season brings new hope – but none quite so much as spring.

What does the spring equinox mean for you?

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