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Trail Report – : Ely, Minnesota – January 13, 2023

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Reporter:Ely Chamber of Commerce/Explore MN Visitor Center
Trail Conditions: Fair
Snow Cover: 16 Inches
Date of Report: January 13, 2023
Area Report:

Ely Area Trail Conditions

January 10, 2023

Active logging is happening in several spots throughout the Grant-in-Aid and State Trail system. Please slow down and give trucks and logging equipment space.

Conditions across our trail system vary widely right now depending on swamps and creeks crossed by each trail. Especially now, continue to use caution and remain alert for thin ice, occasional open water, and other changing trail conditions. Continue to monitor conditions online, as they will continue to change rapidly over the next couple of weeks: 

Taconite State Trail: The entire trail from Ely to Side Lake is groomed and in fair condition except for two 2-3 mile segments of ungroomed trail – the first segment is just west of the Pike River bridge, and the second is 2 miles west of Pfeiffer Lake. Also, continue to use caution in the Ely-to-Purvis segment as it remains narrow.

Snow: 14-26 inches with a base of 1-4 inches. Groomed: Yes Condition: Fair

Arrowhead State Trail: Almost the entire Arrowhead is groomed and in fair condition. The first few miles from the Taconite State Trail junction north to Lost Lake Rd remain ungroomed (continue to check the DNR website for updates) due to open water and thin ice in the first part of Lost Lake swamp. The Landing Spur north to the Orr South spur will get its initial groom before this coming weekend.

Along with the DNR trail conditions website, continue to monitor these clubs’ websites ( & for the most current Arrowhead State Trail conditions.

Arrowhead Trail Snow: 16-28 inches of snow with a base of 1-4 inches. Groomed: Yes Condition: Poor to Fair

Putnam/Fishing Lakes and Lake Vermilion Park Trails: These trails are open, but continued caution is needed while riding. As we get the Arrowhead and Taconite fully groomed, we will be shifting more of our time and equipment toward opening the Putnam-Fishing Lakes and State Park trails. High ground and dry swamps are still very rough, and ice in swamps remains inconsistent. If using the trails right now, please use caution and travel at your own risk.

Babbitt Birch Lake Plantation: Groomed for classic skiing and in fair condition with sections of tree debris from the last wind storm. Babbitt golf course is groomed for skate and classic skiing and is in excellent condition.

Bear Head Lake State Park: The first track of the season was set on Thursday, December 29th, with fair results on the campground loops and the Beach Trail to the Trail Center. The trail base is set up firmly, but the recent storms have littered the forest floor with branches, needles, pine cones, etc. Pay caution while skiing. Norberg Trail needs more snow to be groomed.

Skiing Base: 10 inches. Conditions: Fair. Groomed: Partially. Snowmobiling conditions: Fair. Groomed Partially.  Base: 8 inches.