Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


When the weather starts to get a little colder like it is today, Birchwood always looks like the place you want to be.  Warm and inviting with the lights on.  Everyone needs a few days in Birchwood


Nothing like a late summer slalom around the lake.


We have been busy working at the woodshed.  All this wood looked like…..


This a couple of days ago

and soon to look like….


Look like this.  There is always something going on at the woodshed this time of year and lots of piles of wood being made and chopped.  If you like chopping wood on vacation we never turn away help and it makes….


Working at the woodshed makes times like this feel even better


I know many lakes in the south get very green this time of year from run off.  Not up North.  The late summer is some of the clearest waters.  It is fun to spot the fish through the clear water


Blue gills swimming in the shoreline


Just waiting for someone to drop a worm in for them to steal off a hook


Or a golden retriever to jump in the water and they swim between his legs and drive him nuts


Yep it really is that clear this time of year.



We are quickly filling up for fall.  Right now the resort is booked out til  September 9th.  That is the most bookings solid we have ever had.  If you are thinking of coming up this fall don’t not wait give a call before we fill up.  The fall is truly one of the best times to be in the Northwoods


On a completely unrelated topic I had to share the pic of this mushroom by Shamrock.  Steve calls it a puff mushroom and I can see why.  Supposedly it is eatable but I will leave that to someone else to be the first to taste.  August is mushroom season you never know where they will pop up



The Walsh Family enjoyed their 30th summer at the resort this week.  Lots of bluegill fishing was done


There is nothing better than bluegill fishing with grandpa putting on worms…. taking off fish…..


Repeat as needed… put on worm…. take off fish…  This picture is what it is all about.  The magic of a dock, a grandpa, a floppy hat, simple pole with a bobber and a green rocking chair

I try to tell lots of new guests at the resort that you really don’t have to load the kids up in the boats and listen to them squirm as they have to pee or are bored.  It is all about sitting on the dock and putting on a worm….. taking off fish….


The next generation of Walsh’s waiting to meet little John  when he arrives next month he has his stocking waiting.

Congrats to the Walsh’s on 30 great years at Black’s Cliff and many more


We had a new restaurant open 2 minutes from the resort that is open Wed – Sunday 11 to 6.


This is the little old house it is located in.  On the way to Charilie’s Cheese, turn left and this is the first house on Church street.  You park on the lawn and get ready for a treat


The inside has been done wonderfully with Northwoods charm


I tried the Asian Rice with chicken.  Loved it and topped it off with a sweet tea and a peanut butter cake that was to die for


Here is the menu as it stands right now.


They have coffee, not espresso but really good coffee


And more important beer and sake! and yes wine!

Stop by and see Vince for a unique experience


We have had  busy last week and a half that has involved a lot of things.  Two of them being two craft fairs with the sock machines.  So if you have noticed a lack of blog entries that is the reason.  We also had the Wisconsin Department of Tourism at the resort filming some commercials for next year for the state


Here is the film crew getting ready to film the raft


It was quite a production and it took over the resort a bit, but next year it will be fun to see the footage in commercials seen through out the midwest on TV


We had a celebrity stop in with the filming.  Stephanie Klett the head of the Department of tourism and host of Discover Wisconsin stopped in to see the filming


I took Stephanie on a boat ride in the 1956 boat she will not soon forget.  I promise to slow down next time she goes


We also had some of my favorite girls of summer stop in.  The Chu girls who always bring a spark and happiness where they go.  They collect the pop tabs I collect all year for Ronald McDonald House


Here is Marin with the pop tabs that are going home with them this year.  Thanks to all who drop them off through out the year.  Keep saving them and bring them with you when you come to the resort for next July when the girls come again


I had to share one more picture of the girls.  The rainy day they had became manicure and pedicure day in Eagles Nest.  Nothing slows these girls down from having fun and smiling


I even got deliveries in the mail last week for the girls from a family that could not make it this year but wanted the girls to have their pop tops.  Big thanks to the Darling Family for sending them to the girls


I spent an evening hearing stories from Mike Eberle who is 93 about his favorite memories of my grandfather Maynard.  Mikes favorite story is Maynard convincing a man that the best fishing lure for muskies was a cigar butt on the end of a hook.  Thanks to Mike for sharing his memories of Maynard, Bill and Mary Rindell and Orton Hixson.  Also thanks to him for his service he fought in the Battle of the Bulge in WWII


We also had a visit from my Uncle Dave who had to try out the new motor on the ski boat


The new motor got a thumbs up from Uncle Dave.  He agrees the boat is ready for the next 60 years with the new motor on the back


Uncle Dave giving Jake a ride.  Driving this boat takes 30+ years off anyone who drove it as a teenager.  All the old boat drivers who drove it from Me. Craig, Uncle Dave, Paul, Bunger, Kevin Kane and the Smith boys, when they drive it they get that gleam in their eye that scared Stephanie Klett but it sure is fun to drive.


Tim Ophus who stays at Hilltop Resort was nice enough to share these pictures with me that he took heading back to Hilltop before the storm rolled in. Awesome pictures Tim!


Looking over at our resort.  It was windy and temps dropped quickly

Thanks again Tim


We had a special anniversary at the resort.  Howard and Jean Berchtold celebrated their 60th anniversary with their kids, grandkids and great grand kids at the resort this week.  Howard and Jean have been with us since the mid 70’s spending a week or two with their family at the lake


This year they did something special and rented a bus to take them to Little Bohemia for dinner.  The family slowly gathering


Everyone ready to board the bus with Grandma and Grandpa.


Out the driveway they headed for a relaxing evening with everyone on board


Congrats to Howard and Jean who enjoyed a nice bottle of wine from us .


Here is the company that helped them out if you want to do the same thing.  Star Gazer has smaller vehicles to use as well give them a call if you have a special occasion and nobody wants to drive



After trying several new “used” motors the last couple of years on our old 1956 shell lake ski boat we finally bit the bullet and bought the old boat a new life with a Evinrude Etc motor from Ryden Marine in Minocqua.  Hands down this was one of the best decisions we have made in awhile.  The old motors chugged… did not have power to get kids up skiing and were basically frustrating

This boat pulled skiers at the resort since 1956 when Maynard bought it new until the mid 80’s when insurance companies made it impossible for us to offer skiing anymore in the afternoons.  The old boat went into storage for many years but we have tried the last couple of years to get it back in operation for our family to enjoy.  It is a part of the resort that should not be in storage but out flying across the lake

We made some modifications for the boat to put the new motor on.  It is a long shaft motor that we had to put an elevated transom on.  When the boat was built it was recommended for a 25 horse as that was the largest motor made at the time.  This new light 40 horse oil injected engine was just what the old boat needed


My friend Sue and I ready to put the boat through its paces.  We relived our teenage days flying around the lake with the new motor.  One of the nicest thing about the new motors is how quiet they are.  We could talk while I pulled the kids skiing


Jake starting out and getting up without a problem with a motor that finally had some umpfa to it


Happy boat driver with Jake slaloming behind the boat.  The old motor he could not get up without a struggle and if he dropped a ski he sunk without the power to keep him up


Hats off to new motors!  Ben agrees!


It is summer beach party week.  The crew is loving the new dock and bench.  There has been no missing the old white dock.  Everyone has slowly adjusted.  Only tradition break was to drag a few of the green rockers out on to the dock


The temporary Kings and Queens of the raft


For now it is all about floating and talking


Talking and floating and repeating with wine breaks.  No ice cubes needed for the wine!


Luca though is the break from tradition.  He has decided to become the worlds most amazing fisherman with his 10 dollar pole his very non fishing parents bought him.  Waiting to see Melanie help him take his fish off the hook.  Melanie is just happy with each fish he catches their is less of them nibbling on her toes and belly button


Little Lauren started out with her whole family on the raft


First went big sister Abigail and Uncle Mark


You are out of here dad!


Wahooooooo queen of the raft….  with big sister sneaking up from behind.  Enjoy your moment Lauren