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While Staying At The Blue Heron Bed & Breakfast

Experience the great outdoors and all the fun that comes along with it. Make the most of your vacation with things to do near Ely, MN.

Lutsen Mountains
Lutsen Mountains
We know Lutsen Mountains as Minnesota's Mountain Vacation. Summer fun includes hiking trails, canoe tours, alpine slide, and many summer activity packages. During the winter you can ski or snowboard the slopes, including lift tickets and equipment rentals. Get your family to these mountains and enjoy both winter and summer activities.
North American Bear Center
North American Bear Center
Receiving 2017 Travellers' Choice from TripAdvisor, The North American Bear Center is an incredible black bear educational wildlife facility. Go to their website to schedule your next visit to help you better understand the world of black bears. Don't forget to visit the Bare Necessities gift shop at your stop.
Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche State Park
Tettegouche State Park is a ninety-three hundred-acre park on the shore of Lake Superior. It offers twenty-three miles of hiking trails, along twelve miles of ski trails, and twelve miles of snow machine trails. It offers six inland lakes and two and half shoreline to enjoy Lake Superior.
The International Wolf Center
The International Wolf Center
Learn all about wolves. There are multiple species of wolves and The International Wolf Center teaches kids and families all about these intriguing mammals. The center provides in-depth research and resources to educate guests of the wolves of the world. The International Wolf Center also has magazines available. This is a must-see! 1-800-ELY-WOLF
The Rootbeer Lady
The Rootbeer Lady
The Dorothy Molter Museum was dedicated to the legendary, Dorothy Molter, featuring her root beer making equipment. This included an extensive collection of photographs, documents, personal items, and memorabilia throughout her three cabins. The museum is now a platform to educate visitors on how the Boundary Waters was designated federal wilderness. Exhibits and tours are available with your visit.
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Lots To Do Throughout The Year

The ice is usually out by early May – but it is not terribly unusual for mid-May canoe trips to be held up because the lakes aren't open yet. As the snow softens cars often slide off roads so we keep tow ropes handy. Hearing the final hour of ice-out is enchanting: the candled ice sings like fair bells. Spring is a wonderful time here if a) you are willing to tolerate mud – we switch from mukluks and pack boots to knee-high rubber barn boots- and b) love to walk. Because all the grass is beaten down and there are no leaves to obstruct the view one can see the ‘bones' of the land. The Spring birds start in April, the trees look like easter egg trees with all their bright mating colors. There is such joy in finding the first sprig of green, and soon the first blossom. When the trees first leaf out the noise is horrendous – we are used to the silence of winter and all those trees make a mighty roar in the spring winds.

Just five canoe lengths from our dock you cross the line to the fabled BWCAW.
Paddle about 100 yards and around the corner into South Farm Lake and the silence goes from quiet to awesome!
Blue Heron is ideal for easy-to-access experiences of the incredible beauty and silence of the BWCAW. You can paddle 2 hrs around South Farm Lake or head up the Kawishiwi (both in BWCAW) for a day trip and maybe even keep going till you reach the Gunflint Trail! There are several easy portages within a day that take you deep into the canoe wilderness.
Try stopping at a wonderful rocky ledge to view the omnipresent eagles who take their prey to a rocky island just offshore. Spy on the loons who "own " that territory, observe the beaver at their houses and keep an eye out for the occasional moose noshing along the shore.
Blue Heron includes the use of a canoe in your room rate and supplies life jackets and paddles as well as maps and permits -and refreshers in paddling if you wish. And you'll be urged to take a map (free) and keep checking it! Oh yes, and we'll remind you to take drinking water. Don't forget your hat!
There are something like 4-day trips in the contiguous lakes–enough to keep you busy for a while. But we'll also be glad to arrange for an experienced guide to take you out to other lakes, visit the Indian pictographs, see historic waters. Or a fishing guide. The more time you give us to make these arrangements, the more likely you are to get the day/person you'd like. Many guides are fully booked soon after the beginning of the season.
You can combine canoeing and fishing as well–The wild rice patch just off our shore is a haven for bass, northern pike & bluegills. You can get some action right off the dock – great for kids of all sizes.
And of course swimming: Many islands offer inviting shallows to stop for a quick dip or laze away the afternoon. You just might share those shallows with a playful otter.
Our area abounds in unique hiking trails. Blue Heron supplies trail maps and experienced advice. We will also tell you what's in bloom each month and what birds are about. Here too, bring a water bottle and a hat!
Bird watching is a favorite occupation at Blue Heron. No matter the season there's always action at our feeders – and lots of books to help you identify what you see. Right on Blue Heron's 10 acres, there are two nests of pileated woodpeckers and 2 active wood duck houses. The blue heron frequently puts in appearances in the early morning and late afternoon as he/she makes its rounds. The Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker may wake you in the morning proclaiming his territory on the metal roof of the woodshed. Warblers, Finches, Grosbeaks, Jays, White-Throated Sparrow, Red-Winged Blackbird, Chickadees, Nuthatches, Woodpeckers, Veery, Thrushes, Verio, I lose track of them all.
Don't forget berry picking.. wild strawberries in early July, raspberries later and blueberries in August. Just stroll down the driveway and you'll come back with a cupful. While you are out pick a bouquet of wildflowers.
Be sure to leave time for sitting on the deck at Blue Heron, or by the beach, delve into our collection of books about the North Country. Plan to spend an evening around the campfire here – we usually have marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars on hand.

We are blessed with lots of maple trees right on the property here so it is an incredible sight. The birds are flocking and their seasonal exchange goes on.

You can experience the "other" BWCA... no portages & no mosquitoes by dog sled, snowshoe or cross country ski

Cross Country Skiing
Cross Country Ski into the wilderness on un-groomed trails & lakes, user groomed trails & of course, miles of machined groomed trails just outside the wilderness of the BWCA

Snow Shoeing
Or if you want to use alternate transportation how about Snow Shoeing into the wilderness right outside our door. By using our complimentary snowshoes or your own "shoes" on our wilderness trails & lakes you will see & hear a different BWCA wilderness.
We will help you set up a day of great snowshoeing! Just ask!

Dog Sledding
Each winter Blue Heron joins forces with several dogsled outfitters to put you in the driver's seat of your own dog sled.

Imagine... A Winter White World where only the words you really need are "mush" and "whoa" and fuel economy is measured in Milk-Bones per mile.

Here's how we work together each doing what we do best. The outfitter provides dogs, sleds and a guide. You experience the thrill of mushing each day and Blue Heron provides relaxing, at-ease evenings, excellent food and comfortable lodging.

Downhill Skiing
We're less than an hour away from Giant's Ridge downhill ski center, only two hours from Spirit Mountain in Duluth & less than three hours away from Lutsen Ski Resort.