New-Member Innkeepers Introduce Black River Crossing

Black River Crossing B&B is located in Bessemer, in Michigan’s western Upper Peninsula. 
Innkeepers Stan and Sue Carr built the log home in 1997 and opened the B&B in 2001.

In Their Own Words……

Q. What draws travelers to the Upper Peninsula in the summer?

A.  Many enjoy silent sports, such as kayaking on Lake Superior or on one of the flowages, mountain biking or road biking or swimming in Lake Superior. Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park — “the Porkies” to us — is less than 30 minutes away. People go there to see the many waterfalls, virgin old-growth forests and hike the trails. Bayfield, WI, gateway to the Apostle Islands, and the sea caves are a little over an hour away.

Q.  What if we just want to take a drive?

A.  Take a right out of our driveway and less than a block away, you’ll turn right onto county highway 513, also known as the Black River Harbor National Scenic Byway. It’s beautiful on its own, but breathtaking views of a series of waterfalls are available if you’re willing and able to take several hikes of up to a half-mile off the road.  The waterfalls are connected by one of the most beautiful sections of the North Country Trail, which, when completed will wander 4,600 miles from New York State to North Dakota.

Q.  What goes on in the cooler months?

A.  See fall colors from atop Copper Peak, the Northern Hemisphere’s only ski flying hill and one of the world’s six largest ski jumps. All winter sports are very, very good here.  Last year ours was one of the only areas that had ample snow.  We offer excellent cross-country skiing, four downhill ski resorts and snowshoeing everywhere, including trails right here on our own property. After a day of winter sports, our sauna hits the spot.

Q.  Anything else?

A.  Wildlife sightings are common, including black bear, deer, river otters, many species of birds and lots more. When there’s sun spot activity any time of year, the Northern Lights entertain us.

 Q.  What differentiates Black River Crossing Bed and Breakfast from other lodging options in the area?

A.  Most lodging here is for the ski hills that were built in the early ‘60s.  Many of the facilities are dated, some with cooking facilities. Guests familiar with the options often tell us that no lodging in this area surpasses, or is equal to, our quality. Our B&B is a contemporary log home with Danish leather, ultrasuede furniture and up-to-date, well-appointed rooms.  In the summer, our grounds resemble a park. Few other B&Bs exist in this area.

Q.  A misconception about the Ironwood area is…

A.  That it’s a working-class mining town.  It’s true that the U.S. 2 corridor, which most vacationers pass through, looks run down and sprawled out.  Vacationers need only to turn off U.S. 2 to discover the natural beauty of this area.  Even most skiers in the winter don’t know about the area’s many waterfalls and scenic byways.

Q.  When we’re not busy being innkeepers…

A.  Stan and I are self-employed management consultants.  We work mostly with manufacturing companies and their plants to make them more profitable.  It’s a rewarding occupation and very different from being innkeepers, which we also enjoy.

Q.  What did you learn from staying at other B&Bs?

A.  When we decided to open a bed and breakfast, we reviewed our past B&B experiences. We had had many good experiences and a few not-so-good ones.  Things we wanted to stay away from were: talking too much, cluttered public areas and hotel-like settings. Things we wanted to provide included; a self-service area where guests can get a beverage or microwave some popcorn; more than one public seating area with fireplaces so guests can spread out and find some privacy; a selection of games, movies and a workout area; a sauna in its own separate cabin, and, of course, memorable breakfasts.

Comments in our guest book tell us we’re on the right track:

  • “We’ve just experienced ‘heaven on earth.’”
  • “Our snowshoe trip to an area waterfall. Wow! What an awe-inspiring journey!”
  • (This is) “the most relaxed we have been in months. Your beautiful home and gracious hospitality are appreciated beyond words.”
  • “The whole setting is a wonderful and peaceful experience.”
  • “Thank you for your generous spirit, your warm and inviting nature.”
  • “Your B&B is absolutely beautiful – down to every detail.”
  • “Awesome house, awesome hosts, awesome chef, park-like surroundings. We could go on and on.”
  • “We had the most relaxing time here!  The food, sauna and the overall atmosphere was the best we’ve ever experienced!”
  • “From the moment we arrived it felt like we were staying with old friends instead of at a B&B.  You’ve made us feel so welcome in your beautiful home that it’s hard to leave!”

Bed and breakfast inns like Black River Crossing achieve membership in the Michigan Lake to Lake B&B Association by passing a Quality Insurance Inspection consisting of more than 100 standards of safety, professionalism, comfort and cleanliness. We welcome Black River Crossing as one of our newest members, upholding a long tradition of lodging excellence. You can rate your stay at any Lake to Lake member inn here.