Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

The projects, chores, and life of a family-owned, Northern Wisconsin resort.


Splitting wood at the wood shed with the splitter Troy has discovered a new friend.  This Thrush hung out all day eating grubs from the wood Troy has breaking apart.  The bird is as bad as Mack at begging.  It is nagging him to split more

It lost its fear of people and was definitely a fan of Troy

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Every picture has the Thrush in it can you pick it out in all the pictures?
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Til tomorrow when he splits some more

We drove past an hour later and the bird was still hanging out on the woodpile


Leaves are starting to get going in the Northwoods.  We are full right now Friday and Saturday but have openings mid week if anyone wants to come up and enjoy the color.  It is going to be spectacular in the next week or more



You can just feel it is ready to explode


Right now just peaks at what is coming



If you like color I have been busy working on some thinner headbands.  They are 10 dollars a piece and have a lot of stretch in them.  Great stocking stuffers if you are looking for something.


It has been a peaceful week at the resort.  Leaves are just starting to change


Cool beautiful nights to enjoy dinning out with the furry locals


This is as relaxing as it gets


Some though don’t relax and find projects to do.  The front landscaping of Muskie has been on the to do list for a few years.  We had a no show this week and a few days open on Muskie so the guys got to work


Thinking and getting a plan together.


More thinking and discussing…..  think we should consult the paving stone expert?


In comes the paving stone expert.  Craig has laid hundreds and possibly thousands of paving stones in his projects and has a system he loves to share


His system involves some specially made measuring wood you see laying on the pavers.  He did not share his secrets with me so I can’t tell you what it is but Steve knows and that is a good thing.  All the pavers went in level and uniform


Thumbs up to a project done. Less sand will be tracked into Muskie now.  Some perennials and a drainage mound are yet to be finished but the hard part is done for now.  Those who love Muskie I think will like this new improvement.  Those in Holiday know that is next on the list.  May take til spring but there is discussion of what to do down there to help the drainage.  Just happy this one got done for now


Back to pretty lake pictures



We do have cabins open this week starting on Saturday the 24th.  One cabin left open for next weekend


Fall is in the air and leaves are slowly starting to change.  Nothing dramatic yet.  By this time next week there will be a big difference


This last weekend was The Fall Ride in Tomahawk and the Northwoods rumbled for 3 days with the Harleys.  We had 1/2 of the resort full of Harleys


My favorite bike.  I think I could tour the northwoods on one of these some year


Harleys… harleys and more




A good time was had by all.  See you guys next year


We have one cabin left for this weekend and it is Beef A Rama weekend!  The biggest party Minocqua throws will be in the streets this weekend.  Give a call.  Cabins are open mid week as well


We had a beautiful afternoon and nobody checking in at the resort so we pulled the old ski boat out of Lower Kaubashine and headed down the road to Lake Katherine right in Hazelhurst.  Lake Katherine is the lake you see when you come in to Hazelhurst on Hwy 51 with the islands.  It is a beautiful lake and easy to launch at.  We had not been out on the lake in over 10 years


Launched and ready to head off on a lake adventure.  Lake Katherine is much bigger than Lower Kaubashine.  Over half of the lake is not developed.  It is still owned by the family that is descended from the logging company from the turn of the century, the Yawkee’s.  There are many beautiful homes and boat houses on the lake along with miles of unbuilt shoreline and islands.  We were off to explore in the old boat


This is one of my favorite things on the lake.  The Hagge’s diving platform and slide.  I wish our insurance company would allow this but I know better than to ask.  Always looks like fun


Fun to see all the boat houses around the lake


Spotted a loon on the lake.  It is starting to get its boring gray winter colors


Boat houses and more boat houses


My favorite


This glass A Frame looks like a ton of fun to hang out at


It was rough in the main part of the lake with the wind going across.  When you are in a small 16 foot 1956 half wood boat you feel every wave hit and have a healthy respect for white caps


We found our way over to the channel that leads to Lake Tomahawk.  We were not taking the old boat into uncertain water depths.  Next time in a canoe we would give it a try


The shoreline along the lake was beautiful


Lots of islands and coves to explore


We found our way over to Hwy 51 bridge


Under the bridge we go.  Weird to travel under a bridge we usually drive over


The small part of Lake Katherince on the other side of the bridge is amazing.  Besides a noisy highway behind you it is remote with only one house in this area.  The sides of the lake here are very steep and it backs up to the Bearskin Trail.


This picture does not do the dense pine and cedar trees justice that line this part of the lake.  Absolutely beautiful


Our cellphone goes off at this point and it is time to get back to the resort.  We are hoping to visit a few other lakes in the next couple of weeks in the old red boat

We still have cabins open starting Sunday Sept 18th and one cabin left next weekend.

Featured opening:  Birchwood is open October 25 – 30th at 145/night mid week 2 night minimum







Time to clean out the sheds.  Ever wonder what is hidden in the sheds…. we wonder too sometimes.  Craig has spent a week out at the wood shed cleaning and organizing the back end of the storage shed


Lots of old ski boat parts.  If you happen to have a 1950’s boat that is red we happen to have lots of parts for its steering


Ever wonder about where to get water if the apocalypse happens?  We still have several working hand water pumps.  These were spread in a couple of places through the resort for guests to get their water from before indoor plumbing.  I think this one was at the top of the beach steps.  We still have one of these by Wildflower and it pumped water 25 years ago when we lost electric for 3 days.  Does it still work…. not sure


Old pot belli stoves from years gone by….  This one may be resurrected as a maple syrup cooker this winter


Craig’s favorite treasure in the shed is this old folk art piece.  We are not sure who built it or why.  It is a scale model of the old Shamrock.  Someone took a lot of time to make this copy of Shamrock.  Was it an old bird house?  We don’t think so, too big.  Was it a chipmunk house?  Who knows…  Craig is taking it to Arizona with him this winter to do a little TLC work on it to bring it back to what it was and we will find a spot somewhere for it.  Maybe out by the office…  It is a neat piece if you have ever seen it

The interesting things you find in the storage sheds of old resorts


Birchwood just canceled Sept 23 – 30th 950/week, 170/night Fri and Sat and 145/night mid week

Sept 17th weekend we have Wildflower open at 160/night Fri and Sat and 125/night Sunday night 3 night minimum

Norway Pines is open up to Saturday and we will do a special of 145/night mid week and 170/night for Friday for up to 4 people.  Otherwise it is the 3 bdr rate of 185/night mid week and 235/night for Saturday up to 7

Several cabins open up for the week starting on Sunday18th if you want some nice quiet mid week days starting at 125/night



Bob and Kathy Morrell shared these great pictures they caught of the double rainbow over Lower Kaubashine.  Enjoy!

We have our first openings starting tonight for the fall season.  If you need an escape to Lower Kaubashine give a call 715 356 3018 or email  Fall is booking up fast but you can still get in on openings starting this evening.  Norway and Eagles Nest also open starting Saturday.  Eagles Nest is open for 4 days and Norway is open for the week.  They can be booked daily with a 2 night minimum
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We had a very nice visit with Mark and Kathy Lammers.  Lots of memories shared and stories retold.  Mark and Kathy started coming to the resort with their grandparents back in the 60’s staying in Birchwood

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Here they are with their Katherine Taylor their grandma and friend, Eleanor Tungett.  Summers on Lower Kaubashine have been a part of their lives.  They have traveled through out the world but always return to Birchwood to reconnect with the Northwoods and our family


Something about diving into Lower Kaubashine

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Makes you feel like you are 10 again


Or taking off in the old red boat.  Mark worked for us for many summers taking skiers with me.  He and I would then at the end of the day would take each other skiing.  We both had the one ski beach start perfected back in the day and could whip each other in close enough to shore for drop offs that we never got wet skiing.  Times have changed and all three of us were happy with a boat ride instead of skiing around the lake.  The thought of the sore muscles and trips to the chiropractor after a ski were not what we wanted to experience


That is the smile of someone who has not driven the old boat in 30 years and is enjoying himself and feeling like a teenager again


Birchwood is always the place for the Taylor family


Two nights to enjoy the swinging bed.  Right away there was a sibling agreement that Mark got it one night and Kathi got it the other night.  Mark lucked out and got it for the thunderstorm night.  There is nothing like sleeping in a swinging bed at night and listening to a thunderstorm.


Time spent remembering lots of hours spent looking at the same view on the old white dock with grandma, grandpa, mom and dad…… and enjoying memories of my grandparents and parents and time spent with our family.  Trudy’s flying food show was mentioned… and time spent at the wood shed….


Good times.  Where does time fly?


A canoe ride out on Lower Kaubashine at sunset was a must.  Only thing missing was a yellow canoe named the Mad River Mama, which is at Steve’s house


Many miles of rivers have perfected their paddling skills over the years


A wonderful dinner at sunset at the Thirsty Whale on Lake Minocqua


One pesky bird who wanted to join in on dinner


Thanks for coming it was a great visit!

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Katie took this amazing picture up on the Raven Trail in Woodruff.  Had to share it.  We have some wonderful trails in the area to explore.  I have maps to them just ask when you are at the resort

Beef A Rama…. what is it…  I get asked that all the time.  It is the biggest festival in Minocqua, even bigger than the 4th of July.  The locals cook up beefs and dress in costume usually to a theme.  Everyone else comes to look at the craziness of Beef A Rama and have a beer or two and a beef sandwich or 2.  Downtown is closed off to cars and it is a street party.  Smart to close it off as I think cars have come close to hitting a few people dressed up as cows in the past.  This all happens the last Saturday in September.  I have a couple of openings if you would like to check it out for yourself

Restawhile 2bdr just had a cancelation and is open Sept 23 to October 1st.  This opening will not last long.  It is 125/night mid week, 160/night Fri and Sat or 895/week.  We have a 3 night minimum on the weekend

Kaubashine 3bdr is open starting on the 23rd til the 30th at 185/night mid week and 235/night Fri and Sat or 1200/week.

Norway 3bdr is open starting on Saturday the 24th at the same rate as Kaubashine

Grab these openings while they last.  We have openings at the resort now starting September 9th through out the fall but we are booking up fast.  Fall is one of the best times to be in the Northwoods


The sock machine has been busy.  I just got in some Christmas yarn and I am taking orders.  This stuff is warm and soft with wool but you would never know it as soft as it is

Socks are 27 – 30 depending on size, Fingerless gloves are 25 and headbands are 18

Get your orders in, I only have 2 cones of this yarn and already have orders for it.  email to make an order