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Trail Report: Ely, Minnesota – January 11, 2017

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Trail Conditions: Fair
Snow Cover: 20
Date of Report: January 11, 2017
Area Report:

Ely Area Lakes & Trails: Area lakes have developed ice cover and may have as little as 4” in current areas or up to 14” on protected bays.  Wetlands and swamps still do not have solid ice cover and may only have 1-2”.  Area lakes have been staked and some lakes may have areas of slush.  Use caution on lakes and check ice for thickness before venturing out.

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

Taconite Trail: Snow – 20-24” depth  Base – 2-4”  Groomed – partial  Condition – poor to good  The portion of the trail from Tower to Ely is groomed an in fair condition.  Hwy 53 to 73 will be groomed by this weekend.  The central portion of the trail, in the Pfeiffer Lake and Big Aspen areas, remains ungroomed due to ice not being thick enough in swamps and wetlands.  The Putnum/Fishing Lakes trail has been packed and cleared, but it remains ungroomed due to ice not being thick enough in swamps and wetlands.

 Arrowhead Trail: Snow – 22-28” depth  Base – 2-4”  Groomed – partial  Condition – poor to good  The entire trail has been cleared and packed.  The farthest northwest portion of the trail, from Blue Ox Trail to the Hagerman Trail, has been groomed as well as the section from Hwy 115 and the Orr South Grant-in-Aid Trail.  The portion of the trail from the Hagerman Trail down to the Sheep Ranch road will be groomed this weekend, potentially down to the Arrowhead Link Trail.

Putnam-Fishing Lakes Trail: Base: 2-4” Groomed – no  Condition – poor

Lake Vermilion State Park and Soudan Underground Mine State Park: Trails are closed

Taconite Spur Trails and Stony Spur Trails: Base – 2-4”  Groomed – partially Condition – poor THE HIDDEN BAY portion the trail linking up to Stony Spur has been closed due to logging.  Please avoid the Hidden Bay area for safety reasons.

Babbitt Area Trails: All trails are groomed and in fair condition.  Some rough spots towards the Ridge.  Birch Lake is staked.

Tomahawk Trail & Local Trails: Base – 4-6”  Trail is cleared through to the North Shore from Ely.  Ely to Mattila Shelter has been rolled and crews hope to have it groomed by the weekend.  The rest of the Tomahawk has been groomed to the North Shore.


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.  Select “More Information” below to access the website and map.  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

The Great Nordic Beardfest  February 3, 2017 – February 4, 2017 | 7:00 pm – 2:00 am  Throwdown for the Belt Tournament and Christopher David Hanson Band  Boathouse Brewpub  47 East Sheridan, Ely

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:

Northland 300 – Snowmobile Event  January 18, 2017 – January 22, 2017 | All Day  Four day event includes trail riding, banquet and prize drawings.  Fees to participate.  Learn more at   Grand Ely Lodge  400 N Pioneer Road, Ely, MN, 55731

Fun Run – Snowmobile Event  January 28, 2017 | All Day Spend a day of fun – either by snowmobile or car – traveling the northland.  Money raised goes to support snowmobile trails in the Ely, Tower and Babbitt area. Fees to participate  Fortune Bay 1430 Bois Forte Rd, Tower, MN, 55790

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