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Trail Report – : Ely, Minnesota – December 28, 2022

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Reporter:Ely Chamber of Commerce/Explore MN Visitor Center
Trail Conditions: Poor
Snow Cover: 18 Inchs
Date of Report: December 28, 2022
Area Report:

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.

Continue to monitor trail conditions online, as they may be changing daily:


Taconite State Trail: The Taconite has been groomed once from Ely to Tower and will be groomed again before this weekend. Use caution in the Ely-to-Purvis segment as it remains very narrow, and the segment through the swamp between Purvis Rd and Bear Head Rd/CR 128 remains ungroomed. We will be grooming further west along the remainder of the Taconite as ice in the swamps allows. We also continue clearing many parts of the trail that were made impassable by the heavy snow a couple of weeks ago. We are using heavy equipment to remove trees and brush in some places and hand-clearing in others. Snow: 14-26 inches with a base of 0-4 inches. Groomed: Partially Condition: Poor

Arrowhead State Trail: Along the entire trail, as with the Taconite, we will be grooming where swamps and ice thickness allow, and we will also be continuing to clear those parts of the trail with trees and brush from the heavy snow blocking the corridor. In particular, the Orr South Spur south to the Landing Spur is bad for brush and down trees. Also, the very northern part of the trail has been closed for safety reasons due to a groomer going through the ice in one of the swamps. The International Voyageurs snowmobile club grooms the very northern segment of the trail, so continue to check their website along with the DNR site for trail updates at

Arrowhead Trail Snow: 16-28 inches of snow with a base of 0 inches. Groomed: No Condition: Poor

Putnam/Fishing Lakes and Lake Vermilion Park Trails: These trails are open, but extra caution is needed while riding. A few spots on these trails remain almost entirely blocked by trees and brush from the heavy snow a couple of weeks ago. We continue to work to open these spots up. Swamps and beaver ponds also have thin ice in places, even though we continue to pack them. 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.

Bear Head Lake State Park: With the grainy snow, campground loops and Beach Trail were packed and needs time to be tracked. Be cautious, as there are locations where the brush is encroaching on the trail from the heavy snow. Norberg Trail needs more snow and to be cleared of brush that the storm left leaning into the trail. Snow depth is 17-20 inches. Skiing conditions:  Poor trails are not groomed. Base: 10 inches.  Snowmobiling conditions: Poor, trails are not groomed. Base: 8 inches.