Big Lake Wilderness Lodge Ely MN
Big Lake Wilderness Lodge

Ely MN Area Attractions


Dorothy Molter Museum
The Dorothy Molter Museum is a seasonally operating, historic museum focusing on the life and legacy of Ely Area icon, Dorothy Molter, the legendary last resident of the BWCAW, who died in 1986 after living most of her 79 years on Knife Lake near the U.S.-Canada border. Canoeists often stopped at Molter’s home to enjoy her hospitality and famous homemade root beer (she was often referred to as “the Root Beer Lady”) The museum’s two log cabins were transported out of the BWCAW piece-by-piece and reassembled in Ely. The Winter Cabin is now an interpretive center with pictures and documents. There is also a small gift shop and a video telling the story of her life. Open 10:00 – 5:30 Mon-Sat, and Noon – 5:30 on Sun. Open weekends in May and September. (218) 365-4451


International Wolf Center
A multi-million-dollar complex that examines one of the most elusive and misunderstood animals in the world, center visitors learn about the natural history of wolves by observing the resident wolf pack and touring the “Wolves and Humans” exhibit. Program participants can track wolves by plane, go on evening howling expeditions or put on snowshoes and follow the predator’s winter tracks. Videos, talks, demonstrations, family day programs and other adventures round out a visit to the IWC. 9 am – 5 pm daily, May-Sept. (until 7 pm July and Aug.). Winter Hours: October through May, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sundays. (800) ELY-WOLF


Soudan Underground Mine State Park
This Minnesota State Park features Minnesota’s first and deepest underground iron mine. One-hour guided tours will take you 2,400 feet down and more than 100 years into our past. Put on a hard hat and venture a half-mile into the earth. You’ll gain a new appreciation for the lives of early miners, and come to understand the impact of mining on the lives of northeastern Minnesota settlers. Tours are available from Memorial Day through September, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Educational and group tours by special arrangement. Daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. (218) 753-2245


North American Bear Center
The North American Bear Center is the only black bear and wildlife educational facility of its kind. Dedicated to replacing old myths with facts, it lets people learn from the bears themselves about bear behavior, ecology, and their relations with humans. Located at 1926 Highway 169, Ely, MN 55731.


Ely-Winton Historical Society
Operates the Ely-Winton Historical Museum, using photographs, maps and artifacts to present the different phases of 12,000 years of local history. Located at Vermilion Community College, 1900 E. Camp St., Ely, MN 55731. (218) 365-3226. Open during Summer from 12:00 to 4:00 PM Tuesday through Saturday, and during Winter from 12:00 to 4:00 PM Tuesday through Friday.