The future is a mystery in 2020, but the Central Gunflint Trail System is moving ahead with optimistic hopes for another fantastic ski season. We will figure things out as we move forward, just like all of us are doing on a daily basis.
This is what we do know:
- Our partner on the ski trails, Golden Eagle Lodge, just purchased a brand new Pisten Bully groomer for next winter, very similar to the one that Bearskin owns. This means there will be more consistency between trails as you ski from section to section. We’ve always taken great pride in the quality of our grooming on the entire Central Gunflint Ski Trail, and now the trails will be even better.
- Bearskin will not have a restaurant during the 2020-2021 ski season. Our restaurant is so tiny that it’s not realistic for us to maintain appropriate spacing while people dine. Food service will return when the world resolves Covid. For cabin guests this should be no big thing, as all Bearskin cabins have complete kitchens with dining areas. Fine dining is an enjoyable extra perk on a long, dark winter evening, but it isn’t essential to your cozy cabin experience here.
- We will do our best to keep you safe and healthy. Our protocols are in place for Bearskin guests. Start with this page to learn details about everything we will be doing for guests who are staying at the resort. Our summer and fall protocols got us through some risky times, so we will continue them into winter unless the time comes that we don’t need them anymore. We think we have excellent protocols in place for maintaining safe cabin cleaning and transitions.
- Day skiing — big differences this year: Both resorts on the Central Gunflint Trail System are mulling over our options for serving day skiers. Skiers on our trails have little contact with each other, so it’s a safe, socially-distanced activity. The Main Lodge will be closed to Day Skiers. Unfortunately, that means: No inside service for day skiers, no inside restrooms, no food service, and no picnic options except outside. Porta-potties will be available for day visitors. We were sure hoping things would be better for winter, but just the opposite happened. There are many, many cross-country ski trail systems that offer outstanding skiing without indoor accommodations, so it’s doable. But we understand that it won’t be as nice here for day skiers as it usually is. Realistically, it’s going to be easier to be a skier here in winter 2021 if you are staying at Bearskin.
- Masks on the ski trails? No, you are outside and on our trails you are usually far away from people. But consider stashing a mask in your pocket when you go out to ski, in case of an emergency situation. If you have to help someone, or if you need help yourself, it will be more comfortable if you have a mask handy.
- Cabin 6 will not be rebuilt for winter season. Most people have heard that Cabin 6 burned down one night last March.The process of rebuilding Cabin 6 has been greatly slowed down by the Covid era; we imagined that we could get going much faster than the way it has gone. Permits and plans were finally approved, but now our contractor is unavailable until late fall. If you’re here this winter you should be able to see how cool the new Cabin 6 will be, but the interior work won’t be done until after winter season. We have contacted all winter guests in Cabin 6 to make a new plan for 2020.
- What happens if there’s a complete state shut-down or stay-at-home order? This happened last winter, and we will follow the same procedures if it happens again. Cabin reservation deposits will be refunded or, if you choose, moved forward to next year. Season pass holders can ski as usual. Sales of daily ski passes will depend on what the actual mandate is. Passes will still be required and checked on the trails.
Anything is possible this winter, as we all know. For now, you can assume that the winter ski season will happen this year as usual. Our beautiful trails have the potential to be better than ever for 2020-2021.
There are still lots of available options for a winter ski getaway at Bearskin, but given that most people probably won’t be traveling on flights to distant winter locations this year we anticipate being extremely busy. You might want to make a winter reservation early to get your perfect dates. If something dramatic happens with our virus situation and we end up closing (hoping not!), Bearskin will do exactly what we did after closing on March 18, 2020, and fully refund all deposits — so when you make your plans, don’t worry about that part. This is a perfect winter to plan a close-to-home winter ski getaway at USA Today’s #3 ranked cross-country ski destination in America.