Dear Stokely Family;
We have important news to share with you, Stokely Creek Lodge is in the process of welcoming new owners, the third in its 44-year history. Gaylen and I of course have mixed feelings about selling. We love Stokely and have loved our time as its stewards. But we are also thrilled to welcome Bruce and Treena Clement from Sault Ste Marie Ontario. We believe they fully understand and embrace the Stokely ethos. Over the coming months, they will be sharing some exciting news as they work hard to continue building on the Peterson and Byker family's legacies through the expansion of Stokely from a seasonal to a year-round operation. Guests can look forward to a planned makeover and further improvements to the trail network. Stay tuned for the launch of Stokely's new website in the new year where everyone will be able to keep up with the latest news and announcements.
Stokely Creek Lodge, which opened in 1978 was the vision of Chuck Peterson, an avid xc-skier. He scoured the Algoma Highlands region in search of the perfect mix of snow and terrain. "You need a tremendous variety of terrain and very skillfully designed trails to bring Nordic skiing into its own” he said. He provided that and so much more during the nearly 30 years he and his family owned the lodge. We were among Stokely’s biggest fans during those first two decades, coming every year with our family. So, when it looked as if the Lodge would close after being sold to a logging company, Gaylen and I – along Ian and Tanya Byker Phair, purchased the lodge and negotiated with the logging company to allow continued use of trails that otherwise would have been lost. We have also worked closely with the Algoma Highlands Conservancy, the conservation group that has done such wonderful work protecting the land around King Mountain and the Robertson Cliffs.
We have loved every minute of our time at Stokely. (Okay, maybe not a few of the minutes – like, say, when the well froze up, or a grooming machine got stuck on an outer trail.) We have worked hard to make things even better, adding warming huts to the trail system, updating décor and creating new trails (including Bas’ Bypass, Eva’s Way, Hannes’ Way and Cora’s Crossing, all named after our grandchildren). But we felt it was time to pass the lodge on to a new generation.
Bruce and Treena will be thrilled to greet you all this coming winter – and after this transitional year, Gaylen and I plan to come back every year as guests staying in the Byker Chalet (the newly renamed Peter Kalm Chalet).
We are excited about Stokely’s future and hope you will be as well. After all, as CNN, USA Today, Forbes and so many other media outlets have discovered, there’s just no better place for lovers of x-country skiing and snowshoeing. With great affection, Susan and Gaylen Byker