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Trail Report: Ely, Minnesota – January 25, 2017

Ely, MN Chamber of Commerce

Trail Conditions: Fair
Snow Cover: 12
Date of Report: January 25, 2017
Area Report:

Ely Area Lakes & Trails: Warm temperatures last weekend caused soft and slushy trails.  Grooming efforts ceased during the above freezing temperatures.  Groomers anticipate trail grooming to resume at the end of the week in time for the Fun Run.  Staked lake trails remain in fair condition.  Snowmobilers traveling off of the staked areas will encounter areas of slush. 

Echo Trail: Fenske Lake and other short trails along the Echo Trail have been staked but have not been groomed this last week. 

Taconite Trail: Snow – 12-20” depth  Base – 1-3”  Groomed – yes  Condition – fair to poor  The entire Taconite from Ely to Hwy 73 is groomed and in poor to fair condition, save for a small section of open water between Big Aspen and Pfeiffer Lake.  This section is flagged, signed and passable.  Some corners of trails are exposed ground. 

 Arrowhead Trail: Snow – 12-22” depth  Base – 1-3”  Groomed – yes  Condition – poor to fair  The entire Arrowhead is groomed and in poor to fair condition, except for a two-mile portion going north over a swamp from the Orr South Grant-in-Aid trail.  .  Some corners of trails are exposed ground. 

Putnam-Fishing Lakes Trail: Trail base – 1-3” Groomed – yes  Condition – poor

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

Taconite Spur Trails and Stony Spur Trails: Base – 1-3”  Groomed – yes  Condition – fair   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.  Taconite and Stony Spurs are groomed.

Babbitt Area Trails: No report this week. 

Tomahawk Trail & Local Trails: Base – 1-3”  Grooming has ceased until below freezing overnight temperatures occur later this week.  Crews plan to have trails groomed for the Fun Run event this weekend.

News and Reports:

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

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

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

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