Your Online Trail and Travel Guide for Snowmobiling the U.S. & Canada

Ely, Minnesota

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Reporter:Ely Chamber of Commerce/Explore MN Visitor Center
Trail Conditions: Excellent
Snow Cover: 23-26 in
Date of Report: February 16, 2022
Area Report:

Ely Area Trail Conditions

February 16, 2022

The new snow we got late last week improved our trail bases quite a bit, and there is more snow in the forecast for the next few days.  Expect some slushy areas on lakes, so please follow the staked trails when traveling on the lakes.

Taconite State Trail: SLOW DOWN in the ten-mile segment from Ely to Purvis Lake, the trail is narrow here. The entire trail from Ely to Hwy 73/Side Lake is groomed and in very good condition. Watch for exposed rocks in a few of the big hills going west from Hwy 53. And be aware on the Taconite just east of Hwy 169, there is some slush on either side of the junction with the trail north to the Y-Store. 7-26 inches of snow with a 1-6 inch base.

Arrowhead State Trail: The trail is groomed and in very good condition. There is active logging on and around the trail north and south of the Hwy 115 crossing, so use caution in that segment. Also be aware of ice flows on the grade going north toward the Melgeorge’s spur from the Elephant Lake Rd. 8-29 inches of snow with a base 1-7 inches

Putnam-Fishing Lakes Trail: The trail is groomed and in very good condition. Watch for occasional rocks throughout the trail, mainly on the hills.

Soudan Underground Mine Lake Vermilion State Park Trails: These trails are groomed and in good condition. Watch for occasional rocks on the hills.

The Ely Area trails have all been groomed and in excellent shape. The Tomahawk trail is also in good shape. Riders should follow the stakes.

Bear Head Lake State Park  There has been significant drifting in areas near the lake.    Snow depth is 17-19 inches.    Snowmobiling conditions are excellent, trails are groomed with a 2-4 inch base. 

Snowmobiling Information

The Ely area is northern Minnesota’s premier snowmobile hub with numerous on-trail facilities, accommodations for both large and small groups, and with plenty of food, entertainment and service centers. The Taconite Trail is the main thoroughfare in and out of Ely in the winter. Stretching 170 miles between Ely and Grand Rapids to the southwest, many spur routes will take you just about anywhere you want to go. The Tomahawk Trail, heading to the east, has 86 miles of varied terrain which the avid snowmobiler can use to connect up with hundreds of miles more of groomed trails.

If good snowmobiling gets you excited about winter, then try out the 170 mile long Taconite Trail and the 80 mile Tomahawk Trail. The Taconite Trail, or the “Mighty Taconite” as the locals call it, runs from Ely to Grand Rapids. It stretches across three state forests and the Superior National Forest. Smooth rides along this famous route are loaded with history and the Taconite’s many spurs and loops make for some quality modern day pioneering.

The Tomahawk Trail runs from Ely to the North Shore and Yukon Trails. The trail works closely with natural terrain and is one of the most scenic trails in the state. The tree cover that surrounds the trail edges, the lack of traffic and development allows you to have an uninhabited experience.

Many riders return to the Ely area each winter to enjoy its sheer beauty and varied terrain. It’s a region where people clearly love snowmobiling and they know how to make you feel welcome. Find out for yourself!