The days are getting longer, and that means that Summer in the Northwoods will be here soon (relatively speaking). I love summertime and this got me thinking. What are my favorite things about summer at Birch Forest Lodge. After much thought I’ve come up with my top 10 favorite things to do


10. Visit the Bear Sanctuary

The Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary is truly a one-of-a-kind place. We love going there and seeing all the bears. We especially enjoy going in July when the cubs are a bit older and the momma bears bring them when they feed. And while this technically doesn’t happen at Birch Forest Lodge, it is close enough to count.

9. Barbecues

I love to barbecue. And I love that we have a weekly barbecue with all the guests during the summer. Each Monday night people come up to the lodge and hang out on the deck enjoying burgers and hot dogs with us. When I’m not barbecuing burgers and dogs for the weekly cookout I also enjoy grilling shish-kabobs, chicken, steaks, and ribs of course! Good thing all the cabins have a barbecue grill! And if you are wondering I much prefer cooking over charcoal to gas…

8. Berry Picking

Berry Picking-Raspberries

In July and August we enjoy berry picking. Blueberries, raspberries, strawberries and sometimes we can find blackberries. We have both blueberry and raspberry on the resort property for easy picking. Strawberries are usually found along the roadside. We love making milkshakes, pies and jams with the berries! As you can see from the picture our family doesn’t just pick along the edges of the bushes, nope, we get in there where they are thickest.

7. Water Sports

Waterskiing, wakeboarding, and tubing on a hot July or August day out in the middle of the lake are favorites for our family. One of the nice things about Pelican Lake is while there are over 50 islands, the middle of the lake is fairly open which is ideal for boaters and fishermen don’t have to deal with unwanted wakes since they prefer the islands.

6. Summer Sunsets

Few things are as relaxing as watching the sun set after a good long day at the lake. This photo shows Brock and Ady watching the sunset one evening with me. We love that we have a nice west facing view on our beach. And I’m very fortunate to have people who enjoy sunsets around to watch them with me.

5. 4th of July

Little known fact: The city of Orr has its 4th of July celebration on July 3rd. For us this is perfect. We like to get on a boat and find a spot in Orr bay to watch a great fireworks show and then we spend the 4th as a family at the resort. I love fireworks shows that are over water!

4. Evening Campfires

In the summer there is no better way to end an evening than sitting around a camp fire regaling the stories of the day. I find it very relaxing to sit there and watch the flames of a fire dance while the stars slowly come out. My kids think that marshmallows are mandatory at any good camp fire but I disagree. Don’t get me wrong, it never hurts to roast a marshmallow or three, but they don’t make or break a good camp fire.

3. Fishing

Of course a summer day is best spent on the water fishing. While most of can agree that fishing isn’t the only reason to go to the lake, it is one of the top reasons to go to the lake. I love the excitement felt as you leave the dock and head to a special “hole”. No matter how many times I go fishing, I always believe the next cast will catch the big one! My personal favorite fish to catch is a Smallmouth Bass. I love the way they fight and break water trying to shake the hook. I also enjoy fishing for Largemouth Bass, a big Pike, tasty Crappie and the occasional Walleye. Reality is, if something is biting, I won’t complain.

2. Stargazing

I love sitting out on warm summer nights looking at the stars. I like to find the darkest place with a clear view of the sky. Often I find myself laying on our sandy beach or on a dock staring straight up at the twinkling sky. I especially love stargazing during a meteor shower such as the Perseid meteor shower in mid August. That particular shower will peak with up to 100 meteors an hour and is well known for it’s orange “fireball” meteors!

1. Northern Lights

Of all the things I love most about summer I especially enjoy watching the Northern Lights or Aurora Borealis. It isn’t like summer is the only time you can see the Northern Lights, in fact the fall seems to be the best time for predicting the lights. But it is much more comfortable to watch the sky dance when it is 60 or 70 degrees outside. I’ve never seen two shows be the same and rarely disappointed by the display.