SNOWSHOE MAGAZINE FEATURED ARTICLE:

Escape to the Backwoods at Stokely Creek Lodge

Located in the Algoma Highlands in Ontario, north of Sault Ste. Marie and along the eastern shore of Lake Superior, Stokely Creek Lodge combines both a natural setting and full-service amenities.

Created as a Scandinavian-style backcountry ski lodge and located on the Algoma Highlands Conservancy lands, no vehicle traffic is permitted in the area. A visit here begins with a half kilometer trek through the woods to arrive at your destination, while your luggage is delivered by a special snow machine.

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Snowshoeing

Located on more than 8,000 acres of wilderness, Stokely offers something for snowshoers, skiiers and hikers.  Even during the busiest weekends, the vastness means you can often be out for hours without seeing anyone else.

Stokely’s website describes the snowshoe landscape as “peaceful wilderness trails around pristine lakes, along babbling creeks, and beneath majestic frozen waterfalls. Go quietly and you might share the trail with moose, otters, peregrine falcons, pileated woodpeckers, and white tail deer.”

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Trails range from 1km to 25km round-trip and range from fun and easy forest walks to routes with more challenging up and down slopes. Other trails have the added attractions of waterfalls, active beaver ponds, ice cliffs and look-out points. Back country options from further along the trails include an optional 1,800-foot climb.

The popular Voyageur Trail – a trail running 1,100km Sault Ste. Marie to Thunder Bay – runs right through Stokely.

Equipment rentals are available for both snowshoes and skis as is private instruction for participants of all skill levels.

Events and Other Activities

Stokely is also located a short distance from the downhill ski resort of Searchmont and just 25 minutes from Sault Ste. Marie with its museums, shopping and attractions. Many guests will come and stay at Stokely as a starting point for taking in both.

Stokely also hosts a variety of special events throughout the winter including three snowshoe activities. This past January’s snowshoe fest drew 174 participants and included lunch and prizes.

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Two hut to hut events have participants ski to one hut where tea and cookies are served, then they switch to snowshoes and proceed to the next hut where lunch is waiting. After lunch the participants will get back on their skis and ski back to the lodge. Equipment is transported from location to location.

Accommodation

Guests at Stokely Creek Lodge have the option of staying at the main lodge’s five guest rooms with beautiful views of the outdoors, and shared bathrooms and showers. Or, they can select more private accommodations including the Little Log Hut with its wood burning stove, twin bed and bunk beds. The Dayskiers’ Cabin has a single queen bed and a large living space with a wood burning stove.

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The Clubhouse features three rooms, each with a private bath and shower and a large picture window connecting guests to their surroundings.

The Ottawa Chalet, with its tall ceilings and loft features five rooms and the Chippewa Chalet features three rooms, all with private baths.

The Hillside Chalet features three rooms, each with a private bath and finally, the Peter Kalm features four guest rooms and a common living area and dinette.

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All in all Stokely Creek can accommodate up to 70 guests, making it ideal for large groups or special events.

Families

Stokley encourages families to come in and enjoy the trails. Rentals are available in both children and adult sizes and many of the trails are easily manageable for children.

The lodge grounds have small hills that are great for sledding and there are open areas to play games or build snowmen. Families who come here have plenty of room to play and enjoy the snow far from the dangers of traffic and big cities.

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Amenities

Inside the main lodge there are a variety of spaces to suit small gatherings, quiet time or special events.

The Lodge Library provides a cozy and quiet fireside retreat while the recreation room with its comfy couches, television and piano makes it a great gathering place. The lodge also has a large living room space and a dining room large enough to accommodate up to 110 guests.

Dining

From the dining room, fresh, homemade meals are served daily beginning with a breakfast buffet and ending perhaps with hors d’oeuvres by the fire and a candlelit dinner. There is a great family atmosphere at Stokely which creates a very relaxing and fun environment for all guests, mealtime included.

Breakfast may include blueberry pancakes, fresh cornmeal muffins, eggs or cereal.

The lunch buffet always includes fresh bread and wonderful homemade soups, a salad bar, sandwiches and pizza or packed lunches for the trails can be arranged and enjoyed at one of the lodge’s six warming huts located throughout the trails.

At dinner fresh bread is a must again and served alongside creative and delicious meals with all of the trimmings. Homemade pies, squares or cookies will top off any meal wonderfully.

For a beautifully scenic and wonderfully secluded getaway with all of the comforts of a resort, check out http://www.stokelycreek.com.

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