Breakfast in Garden

Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

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.

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.

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!

 

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.

Winter Rejuvenation at Pinehurst Inn

November 25th, 2012 by Nancy Sandstrom

Looking for some new energy, time away from the daily stresses? Bayfield’s Pinehurst Inn offers a wonderful setting as we partner with Enso Day Spa & Wellness Center to create popular lodging / spa packages. These are our most popular packages, offered all year, with pricing varying by the season.

Pinehurst Pampering Package is the most popular – a variety of Enso Spa services combined with lodging and some complimentary goodies

Pinehurst Girls Getaway is the opporutnity for sisters, mother-daughers, friends and family to come as a group to enjoy the Garden House lodging along with a range of Enso Spa services.

For more information or to book these and other packages, simply email or call 877-499-7651.

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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