Northwind Lodge Fun

Last Minute Memorial Weekend Specials



Jasper Creek Falls at Ely, MN

You need to come up to Ely this weekend to be hide among the trees and listen to the sound of Jasper Creek soothing sounds. You need to come here and decompress.

Cabin #3 $79.95 a night for 2 people.  Boat & motor Included RENTED

Cabin #5 $79.95 a night for 2 people.  Boat & Motor included. RENTED

Cabin #8 $89.95 for the 2- 4 people and $10.00 extra for each person up to 8.  Boat & motor included.

Treetop Haus $72.95 for 2 people and $10.00 extra a nite for up to 4 people.  Boat & Motor Included

Guest Haus $72.95 for 2 people and $10.00 extra a nite for up to 4 people.  Boat & Motor Included

*sales tax and lodging tax extra.

Call us at 1-218-365-5489 to make a reservation.

These rates are for new reservations 5/23/17 until 5/29/17





Fall Adventure Getaway Specials


Come embrace the great outdoors of northeastern Minnesota!  Let autumn’s crisp air and bright colors inspire you!  Cooler weather makes this an ideal time to take a road trip to admire the fall foliage that lines the shores of our beautiful Jasper Lake.  Of course, the boreal woods in the heart of the Boundary Waters is beautiful ANY time of year, but it is especially so in the fall.

You may be well aware that Fall is not only about the colors of the changing leaves.  But don’t forget that there are so many other things that to do here as well.  Fishing is great – nice bass, big perch and lunker northern pikes cruise the depths here.  Fall wildflowers are blooming – just walk the gravel roads.  The fall birds are migrating in the deep blue skies above – look up and listen.  Watch the resident loons get the young ones ready for leaving the lake for winter and keep an eye open for the otter family playing off our docks.  Top it all off with a look to the heavens and you’ll see our stars and Milky Way shining so brightly you can almost touch them as we have very little light pollution in the northwoods.  Don’t forget the added bonus of the northern lights dancing across the northern treeline of Jasper Lake for you – should you have that particularly good fortune here at Northwind Lodge.

So what are you waiting for? Grab your favorite travel companions and set out to enjoy your best fall experiences with us at Northwind Lodge!  Come up to stay – leave feeling relaxed and refreshed.

Fall Special Rates Starting at $89.95 -$99.95* a night for the first 2 people and $10.00 a night for anyone extra depending on the cabin size.  This Northwind Lodge Special will run until the end of September.  Free boat is included with the special, motor rentals are extra.  (*tax is not included)

Call us to book your Fall Adventure Getaway at 1-800-280-1078,  218-365-4512 or 218-365-5489 to book your fall vacation now!


Current Bug Report – July 4, 2016

One of our guests came in yesterday and asked “where the bugs were?”   Another guest came in later and said he got a mosquito bite and looked a little rattled by it.   I replied to him that if one can count a single mosquito bite and know exactly where it occurred on one’s torso, then the bugs are completely gone.  He didn’t appear very comforted by that statement, I think because he expected me to jump up and down about his single, solitary, mosquito bite.

In summary, regarding the bugs in Ely, Minnesota:  What bugs?  Mosquitos are few in numbers, and if you can count them that is like no bugs at all.  Deer flies and horse flies are out and they are infuriating little buggers.  Killing them brings me great satisfaction.  But, they come and go depending on the temps and humidity levels its seems.  Black flies have been gone for about 2 weeks and with the exception of a few really active days, they made a modest impression on the world up here.  Noseeums are out from time to time and if you wonder why you suddenly developed and itch on the back of your hand or arm, it was probably one of those. They were out yesterday while I worked on a trailer for the 4th of July parade to haul The Painted Canoe of Ely to Ely which will be happening in about 1.5 hours.  Gotta get there at 10, wait in line until 1 PM and then drive really slowly through town following the guy in front of me.  Noseeums look like super tiny black flies are are hard to see.  They make me itch for about 30 minutes which is irritating but not debilitating.  To date for this summer, I have seen three ticks.  Two on me and one on Delilah.  All of them are dead – the ticks.

So, I expect the bugs to become even less in the next few weeks until they are all but gone for the entire month of August and all of September.  If you were to come to Ely right now, unless you are a “safe-space-seeking” Millennial ( or whatever group that is – I can’t keep track), the bugs amount to a hill of beans.  Swat ’em in a blind rage and move on with your day.  Enjoy the satisfaction that only killing a mosquito, deer/horse fly, noseeum, and the occasional jackpine beetle can bring.  Dang jackpine beetles don’t seek out humans and bite really slowly when they do.  We don’t know why they bite because they eat pine trees not mammals.  If you are not paying attention, you’ll feel a building intense pressure wherever they bite.  But, again, that is a really infrequent occurrence even when you live here like me but you don’t forget it, however.   They have a squeezing bite that will make you sit up and take notice.  You swat those with your cap and grind them into the dirt with your foot when one lands on someone you like.  If you don’t like that person, don’t tell him and sit back to watch.

Bugs – I wouldn’t worry about them.  I haven’t used bug dope since early June and that was for two whole days.  Don’t be a wimp and worry about dumb stuff.  There is an entire wilderness up here needing visitors to come see it.

Current Bug Reports – June 2016

Today’s Bug Report

While working in and out for much of the day, I killed one sand fly (black fly is the proper term) and saw 4 mosquitos of which I killed two.  That means that there are two mosquitos most likely lying in wait preparing to ambush tomorrow’s guests when the arrive.

What should you the visitor to Ely, MN   take away from this current bug report?  If you can count the bugs, they’re not much of a threat.  Now, a few days ago, there were 552,347 sand flies out when I was working on my lawn tractor and shooting the bull with guest and friend Mike Perlich from Indiana.  Of those we killed 63 and they in turn drew a short pint of Mike’s    blood.  On me,  not so much because I had a very specific and effective bug spray on that is designed for repelling biting flies.  It’s not N-n-diethlymetatoulimide (DEET) which serves as a masking agent for mosquitoes specifically.  The stuff we sell has two fly repellents that actually repel flies.  Do you know how we confirm that bugs are low?  We’re not selling this specific bug dope by the wheel barrow load .  We are the only place in Ely selling it and we do have an army of regulars who buy a bunch when the bugs a biting .  Now, either everyone is selling it (not) or the bugs aren’t really wicked.  The dope sales tell a lot.    Bug dope.

Noseeums- nah…mosquitos- couple…black flies (sand flies)-few and variable.   On the water-no bugs.  Ankle biting flies and deer flies aren’t here yet. That’s in July.

Don’t worry about the bugs.  Not that big of a deal right now.  Maybe tomorrow they’ll help us walk, but I doubt it.

The fish are biting out on Jasper, loons are calling, the birds are signing.  Come up an visit us.

Come Stay, Come See – Pack it all in?

I have to laugh a little.  The world, under digital “assault” and influence has become a bit silly in how it seeks recreation these days.  I’m referencing the “need everything/do everything that-can-be-fit-into-a-day” crowd who kindly call to find out more about making a reservation to stay here at Northwind Lodge.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining about anything but I am marveling at what appears to me to be either a really high set of vacation expectations or a complete lack of common sense or a little of both.

We get calls from new guests who want to stay here at the lodge.  Many times, they are only willing to commit for two nights.  That’s fine – we are very happy to get them here to see what they’ve been missing for all this time.  But, in the reservation process, with knowing that Check In is usually 3:00 PM or later and Check-Out is 9 AM, two nights and about two days is not a lot of time.  Heck, you just get here and it’s time to go already.  (We hear that all the time.)

The interesting part is the initial phase of making the reservation.  Now everything is laid out in the website as to available activities here.  Nonetheless, I think they just need to hear a human say the activities roster on the phone.  As a result, they want to know what species of fish are in Jasper Lake (Large/smallmouth bass, sunfish, northerns, perch and some walleyes) plus they want to know what they are biting on (three weeks into the future – OK, we’ll guess), and if they will be catching fish (another guess – Most Certainly, Sir! – 6 to 10 hours).

Then, many need to know what the hiking options are (Blackstone/Secret Trail – 3 hours, Kawishiwi Falls Trail 1 -hour, Bass Lake Trail 3-hours) and how difficult/easy they are.  Then, they want to know what there is to do in Ely (Wolf Center – 3 hours, Bear Center- 3 hours, shopping in Ely – 3 hours).  Then they need to know what dining options there are in town (Italian – Sir G’s, Nouveau – Insula, Chocolate Moose,  American-Evergreen Restaurant, Rockwood, Steak House Gators Cheese Emporium,  Fast – Dairy Queen, Subway, and a few others I’m forgetting here.  Each restaurant will burn up about 2-3 hours of time.

After that, they need to know if they can fit in a Boundary Waters Day Canoe trip to an area that will have few people (Sure, how fast can you paddle?).  That’s another 6 hours minimum.  Many times, they will need us to rattle off all the entry points (Moose Lake, Snowbank Lake, Lake One, Ojibway Lake, Fall Lake, Wood Lake) that surround us for their consideration before deciding to pull the trigger on a two-night stay here at the lodge.

OK, at this point, knowing that it is two whole nights and about the equivalent of two daylight days, you may want to do the math and add up some of the hours.   Usually after that barrage of questions in making time-management decisions, we see people checking in, going to town to have dinner, and oversleeping the following morning by about 2 hours.  At about 11 AM, they are up and around saying they “usually don’t oversleep like this at home”.   Then, some head down to the lake and sit in the Adirondack chairs and look out across the water.  Others head out in a kayak and enjoy the day.  Then, they come in for a sandwich and later, check out our store and then take a nap.  Then, maybe a hike on the gravel road to Ojibway Lake and it’s time to grill a steak and have a beer or glass of wine.  Then a nap before bedtime.  Maybe sit by a fire at the beach.

After that, they wake up the next morning and have to check out at 9 AM.

I grew up right here and for 48 years have observed this going on for all these years.  In my opinion, two nights at a region like this is  great, but doesn’t quite hit the mark for the vast majority of vacationers.  In pre-trip decision making,  one needs to realize that in fresh air surrounded by the incredibly beautiful area called “Ely” and particularly at Northwind Lodge, the activity list usually gets chucked and time speeds up, even in a week long stay.

So, in making plans to run all over the state in a week-long whirlwind tour, give that some thought.  It’s not Wally World and Youtube and in reality,  you most likely won’t be getting a heck of a lot done in just two nights.

Stay a bit longer, plan on wasting a few of  your days snoring.  Then go paddle and hike and fish and shop and explore.