Stokely Creek Lodge is the result of a dream. Chuck Peterson the founder scoured the Algoma Highlands region over forty years ago in search of the perfect mix of snow and terrain to pursue the sport he loved. "You need a tremendous variety of terrain and very skillfully designed trials to bring Nordic skiing into its own" said Peterson. He always had a passion for conservation, and eventually purchased over 8,000 acres, which seemed like the perfect way to ensure that this land would be properly cared for and preserved.
The dramatic region along Lake Superior's eastern shore is edged by rugged cliffs of the Canadian Shield that rise almost 1200 feet above the lake. During the winter months, prevailing northwest winds collect moisture over the lake and dump over 17 feet of fresh powder snow near the highland cliffs creating what was in effect a "natural snow machine." The first Stokely Creek ski trail was opened during the winter of 1976-77.
Chuck asked a Norwegian geologist and cross-country skier named Hakon Lein to guide him through the highlands. Together they laid out much of the Stokely Creek trail system. Hakon Lein became the first president of the Stokely Creek Ski Club. Over the years club members and others volunteered thousands of hours designing, cutting and maintaining trails.
David Osler, an award-winning architect from Ann Arbor, designed a modern back-country lodge near the tumbling waterfalls on Stokely Creek. Under the Peterson family the Lodge added six chalets and was developed into one of the most expansive trail systems in North America.
Chuck's death in 2000 caused some uncertainty about the future of Stokely Creek Lodge. As Chuck's estate was settled, the property was bought by the Astina Establishment. The dream was continued in 2007 when Astina sold the Lodge to Gaylen and Susan Byker and Ian and Tanya Byker Phair. They are long time guests of Stokely and cross country enthusiasts. They have been bringing their family for over thirty years, and their love of this place and the memories they've made were the guiding force behind their purchase of Stokely. Astina granted them and the Algoma Highlands Conservancy the exclusive right to maintain and use the Stokely trail system. Stokely remains a skier's paradise and a wonderful place to bring family and friends.