When is the best time to visit Timber Wolf Lodge in Ely? Good Question.
We get that inquiry fairly often. Guests who have been coming here for years feel strongly about the “best” week, but every month of the summer has something special to offer. And we can’t forget our guests in the RV sites who stay all summer.
So when IS the best time to visit? You decide.
We open in mid-May, and love to see the first guests of the year. The buds are usually coming out on the trees, fishing season is open and the smell of spring is in the air. The lake is still pretty chilly, and the kids are still in school, but warm days and cool evenings make it feel right to be at the cabin.
Ely is still quiet for much of May. The businesses and attractions are open, but the crowds of mid-summer haven’t arrived. Local residents are happy the sun is out and the weather is warming. May guests often see a side of town that others don’t, almost a behind the scenes experience.
School’s out and so is the sun, and the lake begins to warm. People who make their way here in June are often celebrating the end of another school year. (We’ve had guests tell us that they’ve picked their kids up from their last day of school and headed straight here!) A lot of our angling guests head north in June, not wanting to wait too long to wet a line in the Bear Island Lake. And, the longest day of the year takes place late in the month with first light being before 5 AM, and darkness closing in well after 10 PM.
Ely really comes alive in June. Tuesday Night Live starts in June. Every Tuesday night throughout the summer, there are special events and live music around town. It’s so much fun to walk the streets and hear different types of music from all directions. Many of our guests love to head to the Farmer’s Market in Whiteside Park before the music begins to stock up on fresh fruits, vegetables and baked goods.
The Great American Canoe Festival is an excellent new addition to the month of June, celebrating its second year this year. Canoe races, boat demos and presentations make this a paddler’s event not to be missed.
Summer is in full swing in Ely in July. Most stores and attractions have extended hours, and there is an energy about town that people enjoy. At Timber Wolf Lodge, life is still relaxed and moves at cabin pace. July guests seem to spend most of their time at the beach or on the water, and who can blame them? By the end of the month, wild blueberries abound. We’ll be happy to tell you where to find some, but we may ask you to share your bounty.
Along with the on-going events in town, July plays host to a number of special events. The Blueberry Art Festival, is probably the most well known and draws thousands of people to town each year at the end of the month. Visitors can shop at the booths featuring arts, crafts and homemade food. They can also listen to live music and watch demonstrations by artisans and performers. The Northern Lights Music Festival brings an international roster of performers in opera, chamber music and orchestra concerts throughout the month.
One last chance at vacation before the school year begins. This is a excellent time to head north and recharge. The days are still warm, but signs of the coming fall are starting to emerge. The greens in the trees are more subdued, and some colors are even changing. There is a sense of calm that takes place at Timber Wolf Lodge in August that many guests comment on.
This year, August will feature the world premier of Root Beer Lady, The Musical. This original production will tell the story of the last legal resident of the Boundary Waters, Dorothy Molter. Her life has been celebrated in numerous stories and books and one of Ely’s favorite attractions is the Dorothy Molter Museum.
September is a spectacular time to be in the Ely area. The days are warm, but noticeably shorter and the nights can have the chill of fall. Things have begun to slow down in Ely and our guests seem to move a little slower this time of year as well. Conversations last a bit longer as people linger of their cup of coffee, and fish stories are a tad more embellished. Hint: September is a great time for a family vacation in a town like Ely.
The events don’t stop yet in Ely, either. The Harvest Moon Festival, is another opportunity to shop arts and craft booths in Whiteside park. Many locals like this event because of its low-key feel and friendly vibe. Fall colors generally start to appear near the end of the month, creating the perfect excuse to head north one more time.
Things start to wind down before we close for the season in mid-October. The leaves often reach their peak color the first week or so of the month. Sunny days are warm and comfortable and nights are perfect for hanging out by the fire. Days on the water fishing can be chilly, but are often rewarded with good fishing. People who know what they are doing can find their way to large very large northern pike this time of year.