All posts by From The Heart of the North Shore

Top Ten Reasons to Visit Silver Bay this Winter….or this Weekend!

Suppose it’s Wednesday and you’ve got the weekend off. The kids are complaining they’re bored, the wife has got the winter blues, and husbands across the land need to escape the stress of work. What should you do? Create a Top Ten Winter Activity List and visit the Silver Bay Area:

1) See the aqua-blue ice sheets layering the rugged shoreline. Some of those sheets are more than 7′ tall and look like shards of glass!
2) Rent some snowshoes and experience your favorite hiking trail during the tranquility of winter.
3) Let the kids play on a waterslide while you and your spouse soak up some warmth in a bubbling hot tub or deliciously warm sauna.
4) Experience winter waterfalls. They are twice as beautiful in winter, with their frozen layers and hidden streams shooting out from inside ice.
5) Load up the snowmobiles — we’ll show you another use for snow besides shoveling!
6) Book a dog-sledding adventure. Yes, even those moody teenagers will think you’re cool for a day!
7) Crack that book you’ve been longing to read. Better yet, do it in front of a crackling fireplace in one of our fantastic resorts or hotels.
8) Go sledding….yes, even YOU are still young at heart. It comes back quickly and you’ll wonder why you ever decided to “grow-up”.
9) Go shopping. Women, get the car keys no questions asked and take off. We’ve got dozens of unique little shops you won’t find in the cities!
10) Do nothing! Hey, it’s your vacation….ENJOY IT! There’s something to be said for room service.

Winter Escape

The holidays are upon us and whether we are spending time with family and friends, or planning our next summer vacation, Minnesota’s scenic North Shore should be at the top of your wish list. The Silver Bay Area is brimming with winter activities for young and old (of spirit) alike.  There are miles of cross country ski trails, snowmobile trails, snowshoeing trails, ice skating and dog sledding opportunities.


For those who are dreaming of a more peaceful get-a-way, enjoy the bubbling warmth of hot tubs and steamy saunas at area hotels and resorts. The many stone and river rock fireplaces that warm the night at area resorts are also a travel favorite.  Enjoy an evening by the fire and crack that long-awaited best seller you wanted for Christmas, go out for drinks with your special someone while watching the sun set on Lake Superior or listen to the waves, smell the pines, and feel the tingle of a crisp breath of air while taking a quick stroll at Tettegouche or Split Rock State Parks. If wave watching is of particular interest, bundle up and find a picturesque beach and watch the hearty waves crash upon the rugged shoreline. Don’t forget to get some great pictures of our famous ice-covered waterfalls! If shopping is more your style, there are plenty of stops along Highway 61’s scenic north shore communities of Beaver Bay, Little Marais, and Silver Bay. Stop in and enjoy the dozens of quaint shops, gifts stores, and environmental learning centers along the way. Stay for the weekend or bring the kids up for Christmas break.  The Silver Bay Area is a community for every season. Come on….we’re waiting for you!

Gales of November

The Gales of November are upon us. Angry waves grow to exceptional proportions, the rugged shore line takes its brutal beating and the definitive bite of a bitter north shore wind scurries fallen leaves. Yet, this is the season of wonder as well. Much has been written regarding the Gales of November and its fabled storms. The shipping season on the great lake becomes one of struggle and survival for these mammoths of the seas. Taconite ships on Lake Superior experience extremes of nature as their steel hulls flex with the rise and fall of behemoth lake swells. Gone are the gentle “rollers” that were encountered by boat captains all summer long.

  Go to fullsize imageBut the extreme weather of November, in all its mighty glory, is the time to visit the north shore and experience waves, achieve great photographs, and stare in wonder at Mother Nature.

This is also the time when hotels and resorts stoke the fire on many of the massive stone and brick fireplaces found in their establishments, beckoning a “come hither…relax awhile” ambience. Nothing is so enjoyed as the smell of smoke in the air and the crackle of logs on the hearth. When you visit the Silver Bay Area, bring your camera and your sense of adventure because the Gales of November are a sight to be seen and a tale to be told.

Past Peak or Peak-a-Boo?

Traditional phenology calendars put peak fall colors on the north shore around September 18th of each year. Depending on summer rainfall conditions and air temperature, our beautiful fall colors can vary in intensity and/or length of season.  This year, fall colors were –as always- beautiful, but not necessarily in the top 10 for clarity and contrast. Rainfall on the north shore was well above average for the month of June, raining 26 out of 30 days; however, July, August and September saw below normal precipitation which greatly affected our fall color showing. Although leaves lasted a bit longer into the season, thru October 4th to be exact, we did not see the vibrant contrast in colors between the maples, quaking aspen and paper birch trees that we have in recent years.

Past peak or peak-a-boo? Most travelers rarely get to experience the new visual world and landscape that comes into view once the north shore is past peak colors. For the first time since May, hikers, bikers, and motorized recreational enthusiasts can now see the topography of our beautiful Sawtooth Mountains. A hiking excursion during this time of year can be extremely rewarding as you can now see for miles – whether it be distant wave caps on the big lake or the numerous peaks and valleys of the Superior Hiking Trail. The sheer number of hidden overlooks and peak-a-boo landscapes that come into view are nothing short of picturesque. Traveling on the land during October and November is an odyssey of experiences that should not be missed by those whom love the great outdoors. No longer are there the bugs of summer, the humidity of thick inland trails, or the dense leaf pack of our north wood forests. Exchange that for gentle trail breezes, glimpses of Lake Superior and rocky outcroppings high above the shore line, as well as the smell of leaves on the air.

Make the scenic Silver Bay Area communities of Silver Bay, Beaver Bay, Finland, Isabella and Little Marais a must see destination year-round and discover why we truly are…

Your Heart of the North Shore!

“Fall” in love with your senses!

Fall.  What a beautiful time of year on the north shore. If you’ve never experienced it, let us share what’s waiting for you.  The Silver Bay Area is reknowned for its breathtaking and rugged shoreline, but it is the stellar fall colors that bring leaf lookers pouring into our area year after year….and for good reason!

The fall colors and smells reach deep into your soul during autumn. Peace. Serenity. Calm. Experience a hike, where the autumn moon rises over the trail and the sounds of your childrens laughter echo amongst the leaves. FEEL the crispness of a cool autumn night as you enjoy a bonfire on our stellar beaches while listening to the quieting caress of waves nearby.  HEAR the solitude of a leisurely walk with your loved one while peering at the beauty of Split Rock Lighthouse along the rugged and rocky shoreline. SEE leaves dance around you as you enjoy an ATV (All Terrain Vehichle) ride through pristine forests and winding trails, encompassed with falling leaves that lead to a yellow brick road of enjoyment around the next bend.  Experience the fall foliage from a distant peak such as Palisade Head where you can enjoy a 180° panoramic view of Lake Superior and the Superior National Forest.  And don’t forget the simple enjoyment of a good book and a cozy sweater while curled up in front of a crackling hearth fire back at the lodge, where luxury accommodations await you.

Yes, the Silver Bay Area has it all. But don’t take our word for it—EXPERIENCE IT.

Spring is for waterfalls on the North Shore

Spring is waterfall season along the North Shore.  In the Silver Bay area, the Beaver River is viewable from the Highway 61 bridge that crosses it.  North Shore WaterfallThere are several waterfalls on the Baptism River, including Illgen Falls, accessible from Highway One.  You can also  view the High Falls on the Baptism – the highest Minnesota waterfall completely in the state – by hiking in from various routes.  The shortest hike is from the Tettegouche State Park trailhead.  There’s even a book titled Waterfalls of Minnesota’s North Shore, by Eve and Gary Wallinga.  It’s an excellent guide with many pictures.  Waterfall Season is typically between the 20th and 30th of April, but I think the rivers are about as big as they’re going to get right now.  Just saw two carloads of kayakers heading up Highway 1 toward Finland this afternoon.  Come up and see our thundering waterfalls!  Visit to locate accomodations just right for you.

The Heart of North Shore Lodging

This is what it’s all about.  When you spend the night here, the next morning the entire Lake Superior North Shore awaits outside your door (or tent flap).  You will find accommodations that fit both your budget and vacation style.  An hour to Duluth, an hour to Grand Marais and an hour to Ely.  Or just maybe you’ll discover so many amazing adventures and sights so close by that you’ll never spend more than 15 minutes at a time in your car.

Take a look at the local attractions on our website and you’ll see why that’s not as far fetched as it might first sound.  There are so many things to do right here in our own beautiful back yard.  Check into one of our many fine local lodging establishments and check out some of the most spectacular sites on the North Shore!

Welcome to the Heart of the North Shore Blog

The Lake Superior North Shore communities of Beaver Bay, East Beaver Bay, Finland, Isabella, Little Marais and Silver Bay would like to welcome you to our new website.  We feel fortunate to live and work in an area so full of nature’s wonderful bounty.  We would like to think that some of the most remarkable natural landmarks of the North Shore are right outside our back doors.  We’re inviting you to explore our unique area and be our guests.

Hopefully you will soon find postings here from a local perspective, letting you in on some of the stuff going on in these parts.  From time to time you might come across a special offer from one of our friendly local businesses.  Maybe you too will be inspired to share a favorite place or memory with others.

Please take a look around our website and you might just get a feel for why we believe we live in the Heart of the North Shore.