Pincushion Trails Inn Views
Pincushion Trails Inn is a silent-sports destination and retreat set in a hilltop of forested trails above Grand Marais. Twenty-five km of well-groomed ski and hiking trails loop around the Inn and down through pine and birch forests along the Devil Track River.  Mountain biking trailheads are just below.  The town of Grand Marais is 2.7 miles downhill along the Gunflint Trail, with quick access to great restaurants, engaging shops, art studios, craft classes and the historic harbor.
 
For thirty years, the Innkeepers have provided guests with forest trail access and bed and breakfast service.  We offer restful lodgings with quiet nights, a seated breakfast, and the amenities that skiers and other trail users expect - doorstep parking, trailside access, a waxing/gear area, private sauna, views of the forest and of Lake Superior, and fireside comforts.  Four-season sunrises over Lake Superior are stunning  as seen from your room, the Commons, the porches or the trails.  We value basic creature comforts but also authentic works of art; pieces are signed originals or historic posters, with themes of the region and chosen to be unique to each room.   
 

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The Pine Suite

is our largest and most private lodging; four windows provide wide views of the lake, sunrise, and boreal forest, with a comfortable queen bed, private bath, morning-writing desk and relaxation couch -- plenty of space for two persons, papers, books and gear.

 

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The Aspen Room

is our most secluded and quiet space, with views of the winter sunset and also due west.  Queen bed, private bath, cozy, subdued decor, a room preferred by late-sleepers.  



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The Birch Room

offers broad views of the sunrise and the big lake to rival the Pine Suite, but also three windows toward the southern forest.  Queen bed, private bath, space for gear, and quiet reading, situated in the southeast corner of the building.  Tends to be a favorite - cozy, sunny, perhaps not for late risers.



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The Maple Room

has twin beds, separate bath across the hall, lake and sunrise views like its Pine & Birch neighbors.  Ideal for a pair who want a touch of independence. 



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Green Statement
Green Statement
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Trails ~ Green & Sustainable


* Green-Drying socks on Horseshoe Ridge,
Crosby-Manitou State Park, Superior Hiking Trail

 
As a ski-in ski-out B&B, Pincushion Trails Inn is at the very top rise of the Pincushion Mountain trails systems.  Living responsibly green in our exposed setting presents challenges, opportunities for the wise use of energy, and also some travel efficiencies. 
 
Heating and Cooling:   The lodge is well insulated. All windows are double pane, with the uppers triple glazed in winter. Rising heat is actively recirculated. Doors are double glazed plus storms.  Exhaust fans are switched independently of lights and guest baths have operable windows. The Commons collects passive solar heat in winter sun, with interior roller shades to reduce summer warming. The Commons area has a sealed LP fireplace. The main entry serves as weather-lock, double glazed with exterior south roof skylights for passive transom lighting.  Our well-serviced boiler is est. to be >80% efficient, supplying hot-water baseboards across six independent zones, three in guest rooms.  Thermostats are set by hand due daily changes in occupancy.  A wood-fired Morso airtight stove in the owners' quarters eases that zone demand. We avoid refrigerant air conditioning, relying on hilltop breeze, attic ventilation, generous roof soffits and the many operable windows, with floor fans available for (rare) cooling needs.
 
Water Resources:   We are within the Little Devil Track River watershed. Eighty acres east is under DNR aquatic management and adjoining terrain to the south dips to small flowages toward the lake.  Our tap water comes from a 160-foot  drilled well, tested regularly, including an inline continuous UV filter system for added security in this rhyolite-rocky region. Effluent is managed by an approved well-maintained septic system. Daily linen or towel changes are discouraged, only by request.  All laundry is done on-site using eco-friendly products in cold water, air-dried outdoors as conditions permit. Hot water is provided by off-peak electric storage with inline LP-fired demand peaking. We encourage guests’ care and conservation of hot water use.  Sink and shower soap is on dispenser. Bathroom supplies are septic-friendly.
 
Electric conservation:   Power comes from Arrowhead Electric Coop. via standard and off-peak underground service lines. We review active solar options each year, with no plans to go off-grid just yet but a possibility of substantial capacity, including storage.   Our washer and dryer are energy-efficient, with settings as cool as practicable.  Linens are sun-dried outdoors, not heat-pressed except on request.  Of several refrigerators and freezers, only two are in routine use — others only on demand. Day lighting is through generous windows with hilltop exposure.  Interior lighting is matched to need. Passage and night lights are LEDs or photo-controlled, including power-outage hall exit lighting.  Bulbs are regularly replaced with energy efficient LEDs in all suitable fixtures.  Lights that remain on for signage and safety are LED.  No timed or excessive yard lighting. Path lighting is 100% solar, as is driveway signage.  Owner office electronics are on switched power strips; the Wi-Fi router remains on 24/7 for guests. The cedar sauna is electric fired and we encourage planful private use to avoid re-heating.  Sauna heat is dispersed within the building due its central location.  Sauna guests who stand out or roll in the snow present the only brief exceptions of clearly intentional heat loss.
 
Recycling:   All food is purchased as locally as possible and many herbs and vegetables are grown here. Disposal bags are of reused or compostable materials. Food waste is composted entirely on-site, with non-compostable waste processed through the Cook County transfer station. Signed containers for co-mingled recycling are in all guest and public rooms. Recyclables go to Cook County Recycle just downhill, with no special trek required. Glasses are just that, glass — no styrofoam on the loose on this campus! 
 
Lawn and Garden:  We plant a variety of gardens on the Pincushion hilltop.  Tree plantings are a 60-plus-year family tradition and in time will provide wind block and selective shading. No herbicides or pesticides are used on lawn or gardens. Flowers are planted for ambience but also attract bees and butterflies.  On-site herbs and vegetables to supplement local foods are grown in our composted gardens and above-grade straw bale garden project, visible on webcam. Mowing is infrequent, although done by fossil fuel cutters. Grass is not disingenuously over-encouraged to grow by seductive chemistries.  Our 1/3 mile drive is commercially plowed, with snow throwing only if necessary and walks and paths hand-shoveled.  Snowshoes are available  24/7/365  at the entry.
   
Travel and Gettings-around:  We maintain one vehicle, modestly efficient and try to combine all errands to minimize trips.  We use public transportation for travels to the metro area -- Arrowhead transit, commercial shuttles, LRT, bus and by bike and on foot. Parking is free here at our trailhead. Dinner, retail and the harbor are all within 3 miles, short and easy — mileage downhill is great, biking and hiking downhill also effortless.  Getting back up here without some kind of fossil-fuel assist is something else, so if we can combine your travels with errands or a lift, let us know.  We've skied, hiked, biked the mountain rise and fully appreciate the hilltop gravitas of our otherwise-scenic location.
 
 
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