Black's Cliff Resort's Birch Bark Blog

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


Late winter the wood pile gets smaller and smaller


But the sun feels warmer and warm each day


Imagining a dock and raft floating out from shore


But for a little while longer this is where the raft shall be. 

Openings up to June 12th and starting August 20th.  

Come up for spring break and watch the lake melt with us


Woody, Duchess and Lucy want everyone to know it is cold outside!  They were enjoying a quick romp in the snow at -10 before their humans go snowmobiling

For a week and a half we have been busy but barely seen any guests as everyone has been staying pretty close to the cabins and enjoying fires.  Taking pictures outside at minus whatever degree was not on my to do list.  Thankfully it is warming up every day this week to soon be in the lower 30’s.  A heat wave!


Mack came 1/2 way down the beach steps but was going no farther.  He has gotten slower this winter with his bad back leg.  Steps are not at his top list of favorite things.  His back leg with ACL problem he only still puts some weight on.  He now throughly enjoys his bed by the fire.  The cold does not effect him, just more naps by the fire


Ice skating rink is still open for now.  It is getting late winter and it becomes like a bowl.  It is higher in the middle than it is on the sides from the weight of the snow on the edges.  

We are offering a special on Muskie this weekend for smaller groups due to the fact we are out of 2 and 3 bdrs.  We have Muskie, Holiday and Red Pine open.  So the first one to go on special is the one closest to the house where I do not have to go far to clean.  Check out Muskie if you need an escape for the weekend.  It should be a beautiful weekend to enjoy being outside.  Time to play in the snow

We currently have summer openings up to June 12 and starting August 20th.  Spring rates start March 1st at 140/night.  Get booked in for an escape before we get too booked up.  With the pandemic still going on the cabins have been busier and we expect that to keep going into the spring


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Beautiful new snow in the pines followed by cold!  Burr we have been staying inside but it sure is pretty outside

One trip to Save More’s cold parking lot with wind off of Lake Minocqua was enough.  It was a time that you enjoy having a mask on to keep your face warm



The guys are going to continue working inside on floors this week.  They have all of Norway’s bedrooms done.  Holiday king bedroom was next. They may take a break from Holiday and do a bedroom or two in Restawhile while it is open this week.  Our 2 bdrs are very busy during the pandemic and hard to find down time in to work on things.  



Summer is not far off when these chairs will be filled.  Til then we will be enjoying some nice fires.  

I am still waiting on some of the summer deposits.  There may be a cancelation or two popping up as I make a few phone calls this week.  Stay tuned and keep an eye on our Facebook page if you are looking.  The last openings I posted lasted 2 min and the other 6 hours


Until it warms up I will be happily making socks and staying warm by the fire.  


Its been a beautiful winter week at the resort.  The snowmobile trails opened jump and the highway in the bay has been busy with sleds passing by.  5-8 more inches of snow expected today


I caught some others crossing the lake at sunset


There were about 10 deer running around the lake.  There were ice shacks with fisherman on the lake.  This herd went running between them.  I asked the fishermen if they saw the deer.  They said no because they had no window on the shack.  They missed quite a site charging between their shacks


You can see one of the shacks on the right side of pic.  


Up the hill they came looking for any left over acorns.


Norway had a few days open on it and Steve and Troy escaped helping on the cleaning crew to do some updating. The carpets in the bedrooms got nixed


New flooring in the bedroom.  Steve also just ordered all new beds for Norway.  When they have time this spring we may get the rest of the floor done through the whole cabin and I am hearing new kitchen counter tops for Norway.  They are on Steve’s wish list


Foxing the old door handle.  He is working on the limits of his building expense account and loving every minute of it


Flash back from how far we have come…  An old swinging bed from the 20’s.  Wondering how comfortable the sleep was on that thin mattress.  

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Sunset on Lower Kaubashine.  It has been cold this week and a little fresh snow

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Lots of skiing and skating at the lake

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Muskie in the fresh snow

We just had a cancelation on Shamrock for the February 4th weekend and are are offering a special on it for smaller groups if you want to get away

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Wildflower was open for a few days this week and that is all it took for Troy and Steve to get the bedroom carpets out of the cabin

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This is what happens when they hear they can have a cabin for a few days.  The fix it list comes out

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Carpet out and new floors going in.  We are very excited to get rid of any and all carpet in the cabins.  By summer we hope to have most of it gone.  Steve just ordered new floor for all of Norway next and rumors of new beds including possibly a King for Norway is being discussed…  Muskie is also being mentioned for a King in the middle bedroom.  As long as the cabins stay busy this winter we will be able to do most if not all of these things. 

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New beds are always a good thing!

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Sock machine continues to be busy.  I have added lots of new socks to my website

Need a valentine gift or birthday or just have cold feet check out the shop.  Socks are easy to ship

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Grant and his girlfriend, Bex, have been working on an Etsy shop selling vinyl stickers.  Grant and Bex can make a sticker out of any photograph to put on computers or water bottles or any other surface.  They have made a few Black’s Cliff stickers that you can order or send them your own picture.  They have had fun creating the shop.  Their biggest selling sticker is of Aaron Rodgers.   


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The cedar swings look cold right now but summer is around the corner.  We do have Kaubashine and Holiday open June 5 -12th.  Would be a great escape for a family.  After that our first opening is August 27th

March 1st our spring rates start.  We have already had reservations booking in to March and April for spring break.  We will continue through April 1st having 24 hours between reservations open. It has worked very well this winter to have that break between reservations  



Beautiful weekend in the 20’s it was perfect for ice skating.  These kids were headed to the rink for a day of skating with their family


So much different than summer with beach towels.  It was a great January day at the lake


Some of the McGrath family had beaten them to the lake.  They helped us get it shoveled off from the light snow fall Saturday morning.  By the end of the day they were all better skaters and no screen time!  The ice is still in good shape.  We will keep the rink open as long as mother nature cooperates.  


Great views


Meanwhile out on the playground we had to do a bit of a rescue.  Our old BBQ looked like a great place to hide from grandma, until he got stuck. Troy to the rescue.  


Who knew extracting kids out of a chimney would be part of the job requirement of running a resort.  


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The sock machine has been working overtime on scrap socks. I have put a bunch of new ones on the website  They are fun and unique.  

We had a couple of Summer 2021 cancelations

Kaubashine and Holiday June 5 – 12, Red Pine June 25 – July 2nd and Bear Den August 20th to 27th

Keep an eye on the Facebook page for the resort I announce them there as well

Winter Specials:  I put Kaubashine on special for next weekend January 23rd at 180/night Fri and Sat and 165/night mid week.  Our 2 bdrs are booking up fast this winter but larger groups are harder to find so you will notice specials throughout the winter


Winter in the woods


The boats sleeping green giants slumbering away dreaming of warm July days floating in Lower Kaubashine


Time to not sleep but do a few projects while we have time between guests.  Bayview was next on the list for new bedrooms floors


Look good Steve!  Nobody will miss carpet


Jake, Ben and Grant helped Steve and Troy make their way through the pile of wood in front of the shed.  This will sit til Spring when we pile it in the shed for summer and fall use


January is crazy sock month for me.  I start the year out with the resolution of emptying out my yarn bins…..  it works for awhile…. but each year the yarn issue gets bigger and bigger.  My yarn storage now looks like I might own a yarn store.  But I am determined to get the bin that says yarn left overs emptied by the end of January


I have a lot to work with as you can see.  Which is good as over Christmas every pair of my crazy socks headed out the door.  All will be fresh and new for 2021


With the lower snow totals, ice fisherman and skaters have been happy being able to get around the lake.  Jake was out skate skiing across the lake yesterday. He reported good lake skiing.  The ski trails in the area are in ok shape but definitely would do better with some snow.  We hope to have that in the forecast the next couple of days




It was a beautiful start to the new year with frost in the pines.  It was hard to take a bad picture today




We have had lots of guests out enjoying out ice skating rink  It has been a good holiday season for that.  Steve reports the ski trails are in good condition a little thin but enjoyable.  Jake was out on Madeline trail yesterday and had a great time


Hey Kim your house made the blog


Raft makes a great spot to put on your skates in the winter


As the sun came out the pictures just got better.  



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Please keep taking tree pictures and do not bother me please.  I will not perk up and look pretty when you say treat to get my attention and don’t have one


The first stocking of 2021 headed out the door this week.  I make dog and cat stockings along with the regular ones.  If you want one preordering is best as I only make a few a year.  

We have put a few January specials out on our availability chart on the website.  Check it out.

Summer 2021 confirmation letters are going out in the mail on Monday.  If you are holding a reservation for summer deposits are due by January 20th.  Anyone looking for Summer 2021 openings keep an eye on our Facebook page we will announce them there.  Currently we are booked June 5 – August 20th.  Bear Den is open August 20 – 27th


We had a Merry Christmas at the Cliff.  IT was different, we never thought we would make it outside in the cold but we did for over 2 hours.  Hot Toddies, warm fire and Kubb on ice were the high lights of a surprisingly nice Christmas outside



Kubb was the hit in more ways than one.  Troy was the master Kubb thrower but Grant above did his best to beat his dad


Just try to take down dad


King or Queen of the ice


Time to work off some Christmas cookies at the woodshed


Grant showing off his splitting skills


Jake happily using the wood splitter.  Where is Ben…..  dominating the world in a game of Argent Saga online.

I just added a special for New Years on the availability page for Bear Den and a few after New Years specials on other cabins.  With leaving a night open between reservations we have changed some of the nighty minimums during winter.  

Lets all ring in 2021 and say good bye to 2020


We had some beautiful snow come down last night.  We do not have a ton of snow but what we have is making it look more and more like Christmas

We do have Wildflower open during Christmas from now till the 26th and Kaubashine opened up for the nights of the 24, 25 and 26th with 2 night minimum.  Kaubashine I am running a hot deal on for smaller groups that book all 3 nights for up to 4 people.  Otherwise it can be booked at 3 bdr rate for 2 night minimum up to 7 people


View down the driveway this morning with no tracks yet in the driveway


We have had the Chu girls up enjoying some pre Christmas fun with their mom Jen

Ice skating was number one on their list.  They usually swim in the lake this was their first visit during the winter


Instead of doing cannon balls off the raft into the lake it becomes the spot to put skates on


Those are some big smiles enjoying time at the resort in the winter for the first time.  I have a feeling it won’t be their last time in the winter



Between Thanksgiving and Christmas we always take on a project.  This year it was Wigwam’s bedrooms.  Steve, Chris and Troy installed new windows and took out the carpet in the bedrooms.  We will be slowly taking the carpet out of our bedrooms all winter when they cabins have a little down time allowing us to do it.  The new windows really brightened up these bedrooms.  They also got new beds.  Done just in time as Wigwam is booked today until January 10th.  I have a special going on Wigwam starting January 11 if you would like to book in.

Wigwam will be off line from January 20th until May 1st for a very special guest.  More on that in other blog entries


What happens when the guys invade a cabin for a little remodeling


The summer reservation letters have started.  Having a little Baileys and writing out the letters takes a few days.  They will all be in the mail after the New Year

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View from our creek trail a couple of days ago