Your InnkeepersMarlys Johnson and Bob Nesheim are longtime seasonal and now permanent residents of Minnesota's North Shore, following childhood treks to Hovland and Minnesota's great North Shore parks. Skills in camping, canoeing and backpacking grew over many years of service at Minnesota's Camp Courage, working a variety of recreational, camper hospitality and group management positions. Their sheep farm venture at Rochester finally yielded to a lakeside residence in Duluth, seeking deeper snow for the dog teams and quick access to North Shore boreal wilderness. Now in First Retirement, they've turned full attention to providing this same great location, easy access and comfortable amenities to their guests - who also want to be up north and up the shore.
Our Pincushion Trails Inn then is our sequel to a lifetime of outdoor recreation - skiing, camping, canoe and kayak, dog mushing -- blended with our family traditions of big-house hospitality and a welcome for visitors. The unique location of the Inn within the Pincushion ski-and-trails system is the ticket - the land is gently criss-crossed by public ski and hiking trails, ski or hike right from the door. A trout stream runs through it and the Superior Hiking Trail passes a kilometer to the south, with an old spur-trail to the back door - hikers know this and crash on the lawn. Our North Shore easy-access destination guarantees quiet, dark nights and white snowy woods, all just a few miles above "...the Coolest Small Town in North America."
History of the Inn (1986 - )Pincushion Mountain Bed/Breakfast and XC Ski Center was founded by Scott and Mary Beattie in 1986, coming down from Bearskin Lodge up the trail, to build a home and take advantage of trails development on Pincushion Mountain. Many guests lodged here and much good skiing, hiking and hospitality prevailed over twenty years. Innkeeper Lynn Parish carried on that tradition through 2013. The Inn has recently been closed for remodeling of the entry and Commons areas, while preserving trails access and other amenities. We are once again open and seek to carry on the historic hospitality of former owners, welcoming old friends and new guests - those who value an effortless return to the comfy lodge after a day's outing or quick trip to town. The trails begin at the door. Grand Marais is just down the hill. The historic Gunflint Trail itself extends 55 miles north and west into the boreal wilderness.
The Inn is just minutes up the hill on that historic Gunflint Trail, the 100-year old path used by Native Americans, trappers, prospectors, loggers and canoeists to get on up toward the border, for travel and trade with Grand Marais. The trail has steadily improved over the century and spawned dozens of legendary and historic resorts, catering to all sports and now many with creature-comfort amenities. Our unique site offers XC skiing in winter, trail hiking in summer, access to biking in all seasons, but also provides respite and retreat, quiet reading, good conversation and fireside contemplation throughout the year.