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Trail Report: Ely, Minnesota – February 2, 2017

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Trail Conditions: Good
Snow Cover: 12
Date of Report: February 2, 2017
Area Report:

Ely Area Lakes & Trails: Several inches of fresh snow and colder temperatures have vastly improved trail conditions.  Most snowmobile trails are in good to very good condition.  Area Lakes do have some frozen ruts making travel by lake rough riding. 


Echo Trail: Fenske Lake and other short trails along the Echo Trail are staked and groomed. 


Taconite Trail: Snow – 14-22” depth  Base – 1-4”  Groomed – yes  Condition – good to very good  The entire Taconite from Ely to Hwy 73 is groomed.  There is a small section of open water between Big Aspen and Pfeiffer Lake.  There is also a five foot section of trail that is dropping out due to moving water 1 mile towards Ely from the Taconite Spur Grant-in-Aid trail.  Both sections are flagged, signed and passable.


 Arrowhead Trail: Snow – 14-24” depth  Base – 1-4”  Groomed – yes  Condition – very good  The entire Arrowhead is groomed.  Use caution when crossing the bridge in the Lost Lake swamp due to thin ice and open water.  This bridge is located two miles north on the Arrowhead from the Hwy 1 crossing.  Also, be aware of and slow down for logging activity on the Arrowhead north of Hwy 1, north of Hoodoo Lake, and north of Elephant Lake Rd.


Putnam-Fishing Lakes Trail: Trail base – 1-3” Groomed – yes  Condition – fair to good


Lake Vermilion State Park and Soudan Underground Mine State Park: Trail base – 3-5”  Groomed – yes  Condition – fair to good


Taconite Spur Trails and Stony Spur Trails: Base – 1-3”  Groomed – yes  Condition – good   The HIDDEN BAY portion the trail linking up to Stony Spur has been closed due to logging and will reopen by this weekend. 


Tomahawk Trail & Local Trails: Base – 1-4”  Everything is groomed and trails are being groomed twice a week.  Hidden Bay is reopened and signage should be removed by late this week.  Lakes are rutted causing some rough riding due to the previous thaw and refreeze last week.  There are some moguls on trails.

News and Reports:

Ely Winter Fest  February 2, 2017 – February 12, 2017 | All Day  Ten days of winter fun in Ely.  Snow carvings in the park, art in merchant windows, food, music, winter sports and many other events.  Fun for the entire family.  Don’t miss out on this spectacular annual event.  Fees: Most events are free – see website for details on specific events and fees.

Ely Art Walk  February 2, 2017 – February 12, 2017 | All Day  Tour Ely and view breath-taking artwork created by local artisans.  Map of locations available at Ely Greenstone website.   Free

Ely Northwoods Medallion Hunt  – February 2, 2017 – February 12, 2017 | All Day  As part of the 2017 Ely Winter Festival, the Ely Chamber of Commerce Merchant Committee will host the first annual Ely Northwoods Medallion Hunt.  This will become an annual event with a different, Northwoods theme each year.  There will be a total of ten clues released at 10:00 a.m. each day (starting February 2, with the final clue posted February 11) to lead hunters to the medallion.  The clues will be posted at the Chamber of Commerce building at 1600 E. Sheridan St., on our website page (, on the Ely MN Events Facebook page and at participating Ely merchants.

 The first one to find the medallion will win $250 in Chamber Bucks!!  But there are more chances to win!  Each participating Ely merchant will also have Northwoods Medallion Hunt commemorative wooden nickels.  For every ten wooden nickels turned in at the Chamber of Commerce, you will receive an entry form for a drawing for four prizes:  first place – $100 Chamber Bucks, second place – $75 Chamber Bucks, third place – $50 Chamber Bucks and fourth place – $25 Chamber Bucks.  No purchase necessary.  Visit participating merchants often to collect a coin – one coin per person at each store per day.  There is no limit to the amount of days you visit each store, so you can collect wooden nickels galore to turn in for an entry form for the drawings (just remember it takes ten wooden nickels to get an entry for the drawing).  2017 is The Year of the Wolf!  The first medallion and commemorative wooden nickels will be etched with the likeness of our furry wilderness neighbors.  Why not collect eleven wooden nickels, keep one for the start of your collection and turn in the other ten for an entry into the drawing?  For more information about this event, please visit  Fees: FREE

Ely Community Resource Spaghetti Dinner February 3, 2017 | 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm  Join us for the kick off to the Ely Winter Festival.  Serving dinner from 4 to 7 pm at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church.  Vegetarian and gluten free options available.  Buy your tickets in advance from ECR Board members, at the ECR Office (Frandsen Bank Building), or show (or buy) your pin at the door and get $1.00 off!  Adults: $9.00 ($8.00 in advance)  $1.00 off with Festival pin  Children 4-12: $6.00 ($5.00 in advance)  Children under 4: Free  St. Anthony’s Church Hall Camp St., Ely, MN, 55731

WolfTrack Classic Vet Check & Meet the Dogs & Mushers  February 25, 2017 | 11:00 am – 3:00 pm  The vet check runs from 11 am – 3 pm at Vermilion Community College.  Meet the dogs and mushers.  Wilderness Club Concessions Fund Raiser during Vet Check

WolfTrack Classic Pre-Race Dinner  February 25, 2017 | 4:00 pm – 7:30 pm  Our pre-race lasagna dinner runs from 4 pm to 7 pm.  Social hour 4-5 pm, dinner 5-6:30 pm, musher meeting from 6:30-7 pm and presentation of the bibs at 7 pm.  Fee is $10.00/person at the door.  Credit cards welcome.  Fees: $10.00/person for meal  Ely Senior Center  7 S 1st Ave E., Ely, MN, 55731

WolfTrack Classic Sled Dog Race  February 26, 2017 | All Day  Join us for this premier mid-distance sled dog race spanning 65 miles through northern Minnesota’s State Trail system.  The WolfTrack Classic is known for its unrelenting hills that test the stamina of mushers and dogs across the scenic north woods terrain.   Race starts at 9 am.  Fees: No spectator fees  Softball Fields  Old Airport Road and State Highway #1, Ely, MN, 55731

Snowmobile Information:

Pink Ribbon Riders 11th Annual Snow Run  February 24, 2017 – February 25, 2017 | All Day  The Snow Run is an event open to both men and women, including a welcome social, snowmobile ride(s), awards banquet and more! Fees to participate.  Grand Ely Lodge  400 N Pioneer Road, Ely, MN, 55731