Escape To Northland Ski Areas

By KBJR Manager

March 4, 2011 Updated Mar 4, 2011 at 12:43 PM CDT

Late winter seems to be a common time for Northlanders to take time off with a vacation. You can't blame the ones who head to warm places. But many more decide to stay and enjoy the fun here in the Northland. Dave Anderson puts us in touch with great winter get aways here at home.

When the cold and snow come calling in the Northland, some of us run to warmer climes.

Some embrace the season and urge others to do so as well.

"You should embrace the winter. We're Minnesotans for heaven's sake. We're from the Upper Midwest. I think it's a great season to embrace. We have a lot of good skiing, boarding and Nordic skiing."

People looking for a quick and affordable winter vacation in their own backyard have several ski hills and resorts to choose from.

There's Spirit Mountain in Duluth, Giant's Ridge between Biwabik and Aurora, Lutsen on the North Shore, Mount Ashawabay in Bayfield and Big Powderhorn near Bessemer and Ironwood.

They may have lost a lodge to fire in January but they still have plenty of room.

Another winter vacation option is snowmobiling and places like Briar Lake Lodge north of Duluth has plenty of room, too, plus access to miles of trails.

A quieter, more rugged vacation can be spent winter camping.
Glen Sorenson runs Wilderness Snow Journeys.

"Once you're out in the snow and ready and acclimated, it's beautiful. People that are afraid of the winter sit in their houses and look out the window and if that's how you look at winter, you're never going to join it."

Those who join Sorenson on camping trips to places like the Boundary Waters experience nature in a unique way.

"There's tracks to see that you don't see in summer. I know we're going to run into some wolf tracks down here so it's an amazing season."

It's a long season around here, too, so there is still time to take a winter themed Northland vacation.

"The winter is by no means done. March skiing is fabulous and it's a good time to be in the outdoors."

Renee Mattson of Spirit Mountain, a native of Bayfield, has lived her whole life with snow as have many of us.

She thinks winter is the best time of year for vacations and life.

"I don't know why anyone would not enjoy winter. There's so much to do. We can dress appropriately for it. Things have changed over the years. There's outdoor gear that keeps us comfortable. Between snow shoeing, hiking, skiing, boarding and Nordic skiing, you'd be foolish if you didn't enjoy the outdoors."

Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.

Many of our region's ski hills, like Spirit Mountain and Mont du lac, have lodging on the grounds or have deals and discounts with nearby hotels and motels.