April is my Happy Month!

When I first started working in the area, summer was what it was all about.   Sun, lush green woods, boating, tanning, canoeing, fishing and long sunny days on the lake.  Isn’t that what everyone comes for??  Once I became more of a permanent fixture on the trail and summers we’re too busy to really relax for any length of time I turned towards fall.  Wonderful sunny days, long hikes to explore the woods, no bugs, cool evenings, stupendous fall colors and wildlife!   What more could you ask for?  The busy rush of summer has relaxed and most of the families with school aged children were back in school so the pace slows down and we have time to breath again.  But with the end of summer usually comes the end of summer staff  so less chores, and less man hours to do them.

Over the past several years there has been a trend towards fall travel as guests find it’s a little more relaxed, and a little cheaper too.  So as a resort owner operating a year round resort; happily falls have gotten busier! (on the flip side it means I have to work harder to find some time to enjoy the woods and wilderness).

I have always had a love/hate relationship with winter.  I love winter – except when it hates me.  Winter is beautiful and bright, but can be a bit isolating.  Winter days are short, fresh snow is fabulous, and the still days can be a quiet bliss.  But when it’s -20 and the wind is howling, or your car won’t start or we got a fabulous 10 inch snowfall and 6 cabins with walkways and/or roofs to be shoveled I sometimes wonder what I saw in winter – until the next morning when all is calm again and I remember why I love the northwood winters.

I used to view spring as an ugly time.  The snowbanks are melting, there’s mud everywhere, the leaves left by the trees last fall look to be a dirty matted mess on the forest floor.  Until the first rain – when the dirt washes off the floor of leaves and they turn a chestnut shade of brown against the stark white of the birch and aspen trees and the vivid green of the evergreens.  Until the first sunny day –  when you think it’s 3pm because the day was feeling like late afternoon and realize it’s 6:30 already.  Until the birds begin to migrate, the bunnies change from white to brown, and the Ravens – yes the ravens begin their relentless 6am wakeup screams – caw, caw, caw.   And then you hear the first call of the loon, and have the first campfire down by the lakeshore and watch the ice melt or even move off the lake.  And you realize that you have long days, wonderful wildlife, no bugs, and that quiet northwoods all to yourself or if you’re lucky or a resorter – you have guests who come up to pitch in to make improvements around the resort in exchange for a quiet weekend away and a long wonderful spring day or two.

Of course – anyone that knows me, knows that there’s one other major reason I love spring (and late fall too) – It’s because it’s the time of year I can close the store and go out and work on improvement projects around camp.  (I’m still on property if you need anything – just don’t expect the place to be presentable).  The two major projects this spring are upgrading A-frame A2 – New carpet in the bedooms, some new light fixtures, new toilets and a revamp for the loft bathroom.  The other project is the renovation of the marina garage.  I’m sure many of you are saying – it’s about time!  It’s been long on the list but I just can’t do it all at once.   I’ve got a plan and a lot of you wonderful people have offered to have a hand in it!   I’ll take all the help I can get and want you all to feel ownership in your home away from home here at the Pines! –

To all who have helped over the years – friends, relatives, past guests, one and all – Thank you!

Remodeling the marina garage

Remodeling the marina garage

a2-remodel a2-remodel2




Trout are biting!!

miller-troutYou’re ice may be melting off the lakes “down south” but on Gunflint Lake ours is still a good solid 20+/- inches. The past week has been cold and we haven’t lost any ice yet.  Trout fishermen are having good luck with reports of trout averaging 18-20+ inches. We have one great spot right out front of the cabins too.

Guests that checked in earlier in the week were planning to head to the far end of the lake the next morning – but they gave a try just out front for the few hours of daylight they had left. They picked up 5, and started out the morning with another 3 before venturing down the lake. Another party reported 14 fish with one fish weighing in at 15lbs!!

There is still a good base on our ski trails and we got a fresh 1.5 inches of snow yesterday.   We’re headed out to groom as I write this blog so

Our ice is solid our ski trails are in good shape and we have cabins available, so pack up your gear and the guys or gals and come north for a day or two – heck stay a week if you want, we’d love to host you!

Fish, Snow, Rain and Ice

We constantly get calls asking about conditions. What’s the ice like on Gunflint? Is anyone snowmobiling into North Lake? How are the snowmobile trails? What are the ski trails like? Are the fish biting? What type of Fish are biting? What are they biting on?

I enjoy gathering as much information as I can and passing it along to you as I get it. About a year ago, I decided to try posting little facts on some Google Calendar Pages I created and embedded on my blog site. I have a Fishing Report page – on which I also report ice conditions as I hear them, Snowfall Report page, and a Ski Trail Report page. They are all located on a drop down menu under the Blog/news page of the Gunflint Pines Resort webpage. Once you bring up one of the report calendars, you can simply click any of the listings to see if there is more descriptive text to read.

It’s not quite a “fish wrapper” but we’re happy to post anything you may share, so send or call us with your info, regarding Gunflint Trail Lakes, Ice, or Trail conditions.

Summer reservations are coming in like crazy! Bookings are way up compared to this time last year so if you’re thinking you want to join us this summer, best start planning now. Rates have been updated on the website under Cabin rates and camping rates pages. Feel free to call us with questions!


2016 Trout opener, Saturday on Gunflint Lake

Winter within BWCA
Lake Trout 12/31/16 – 3/31/17 2
Winter outside/partly outside BWCA
Lake Trout 1/14/17 – 3/31/17 2
Stream Trout 4/30/16 – 9/30/16 5 with not more than 3 over 16″

Ice Fishing will be in full swing this weekend when the Trout season finally opens for the 2017 winter season.  Reports from the die-hard “Trouties” who ventured into BWCA lakes have found trout on Daniels and South Lakes with good Ice depths, but quite a bit of snow to go with it.  Fishing has been a bit slow as of yet.  The weather looks great for the weekend  – so head north!!

Sunny and cold, with a high near 3. Wind chill values between -30 and -40. Calm wind becoming south around 5 mph in the afternoon.
Friday Night
Mostly cloudy, with a temperature rising to around 2 by 2am. South wind around 5 mph.
Mostly sunny, with a high near 14. West wind around 5 mph.
Saturday Night
Mostly clear, with a low around -4. West wind around 5 mph becoming calm in the evening.
Sunny, with a high near 22.
Sunday Night
Partly cloudy, with a low around 7.
M.L.King Day
Mostly sunny, with a high near 25.

Lots of “News” in the New Year.

The Pines has been going through a lot of changes in the past year. The most current being the change to a website that is more easily managed in house. Please bear with us while we make changes, and activate the availability calendars. If you’ve been a guest with us in the past – feel free to send pictures of the property, activities, fishing, cabins, campsites and general fun times you’ve had here. Were going to try to update is all as quickly as possible. There’s even a possibility of trying to offer online booking?! More updates as we make changes. – Wish us luck! – Shari