In winter, when snow covers the Bayfield Peninsula, attention turns from Lake Superior to the hills. That's where there are miles of trails for skiing, snowshoeing, mushing and sledding.
And when the famous ice caves are open, Bayfield becomes the hub for hordes of visitors.
Events to catch: March 6-8, Winter Festival.
Details: For more, see Bayfield in winter.
Past fast plans: Gunflint prime time, Weekend in Chicago, Madison with kids, North Shore fun, Fun around Ely
Winter Festival in Bayfield, Wis. The Lake Superior festival features the Run on Water to Madeline Island, poker run, ice golf, polar plunge (pictured) and obstacle course. March 68.
International Festival of Owls in Houston, Minn. This southeast Minnesota town offers owl prowls, hooting contests, pellet dissection, live-owl programs and children's activities. March 68.
Soar With Eagles in Wabasha, Minn. The National Eagle Center holds a flying bird show and programs on raptors, wolves and eagles of the world, plus eagle-spotting on the river. March 78.
Klondike Days in Eagle River, Wis.
There's a lot to see: a fur-trade encampment, Ojibwe dancing, dog
weight pull, lumberjack show and chainsaw-carving contest, plus snowshoe
races and sleigh rides. March 7.
For more events, see our Events Calendar.
Even if it looks like winter outside, you can count on maple trees to know otherwise.
In late February, their sap starts to run, and that's "the sweet good-bye of winter,'' writes naturalist John Burroughs.
Indigenous people were first to tap trees, inserting hollow reeds, letting the sap drip into troughs and boiling it down over a wood fire. The process isn't much different today, except most people use metal taps, plastic tubing and buckets to catch the sap.
It's still a lot of work; it takes 40 gallons of sap to make one gallon of syrup. But most people think real maple syrup is worth the effort.
March can be a cruel month. We're tired of the cold, and it's tempting to sit tight and wait for spring.
But don't do it. This is the best time of the year for a lot of things, including eagle-watching, expos, ice-exploring and, of course, St. Patrick's Day parties.
We offer you three options for March getaways: outdoors, indoors and outdoors/indoors. Enjoy!
Along the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, everyone waits for a big freeze.
Only when temperatures stay low for a long time will the edges of Lake Superior freeze enough for people to walk out to the mainland ice caves, whose beauty is renowned.
Even when ice is sufficiently solid, wind may suddenly split it, and snow may block the access drive. So when park rangers say its okay to go well, then youd better go.
In 2015, word came on Feb. 25: The ice caves would open on Saturday, Feb. 28.
Why do we love St. Patrick? Because when the landscape still is icy and white, he makes everything else turn green clothes, beer, even rivers.
For that, the Irish priest deserves sainthood. Here are some good ways to celebrate his day. And if you miss the parties, four Irish inns are green year-round.
In 2015, St. Patrick's Day falls on a Tuesday, so events will be spread out over a long weekend.
In the northeast Iowa town of Decorah, a pair of nesting bald eagles have become an international phenomenon.
This winter, the pair have laid three eggs, and fans are eagerly awaiting the hatch.
Not only do they have a constant stream of live video, but avid watchers are snatching the best episodes and posting them on YouTube. This year, an attempted nest takeover by an amazingly aggressive owl drew rapt attention.
Get our weekly stories, tips and updates delivered a day early directly to your Inbox. Wondering what you'll get? Take a look at our newsletter archive.