Ely MN Area Hiking Trails
Think Safety First! When you go hiking, follow these simple rules:
√ Tell someone where you are going.
√ Wear proper boots and outerwear.
√ Bring insect repellant, rain gear, map and compass.
√ Don’t rely on a GPS unit.
√ Carry plenty of water and food.
Bass Lake Trail
Bass Lake Trail goes 5.6 miles around Bass Lake and has backpacking campsites. The trail is historically and ecologically unique, and requires at least 4-6 hours to walk. The trail is located on the Echo Trail six miles north of Ely. Bass and Low Lakes are located in a basin gouged out of pre-Cambrian rock. Prior to 1925 the two lakes were separated by a ridge of glacial gravel which acted as a natural dam. Logging operation led to the construction of a sluiceway to move logs through the gravel ridge – a drop of 60 feet. Seepage soon weakened the sluiceway as water moved through the gravel adjacent to the structure. The sluiceway and glacial ridge washed out in the spring of 1925 leaving a gorge over 250 feet wide. Bass Lake was lowered 55 feet in 10 hours, reduced to half its original size and two small lakes, Dry Lake and Little Dry Lake became isolated in the old lake bed. Approximately 250 acres of land was then exposed and available to the establishment of pioneer plant species.
Angleworm Hiking Trail
A 14-mile trail, with 11 miles forming a loop around Angleworm, Home and Whiskey Jack lakes, Angleworm Trail has nine designated campsites, and is located 14 miles northwest of Ely on the Echo Trail. A rugged trail through stands of red and white pine with many high ridges with scenic overlooks. Moose love to frequent the north end of the trail in the Home Lake area and pink ladyslippers can be seen along the trail in the spring.
Fenske Lake Trail
The Fenske Lake trail is located at Fenske Lake Campground, located approximately 11 miles outside of Ely on the Echo Trail/County Road 16 and is 7 miles long. When hiking you’ll see stately white pines with a solid understory of balsam firs and old-growth aspen, and jack pines mixed with paper birch.
The Trezona Trail has flat to rolling terrain and is located just three blocks north of Sheridan Street in Ely. The trail is just over five miles in length and goes around Miners Lake, a former iron ore mining pit. History abounds in the area providing a glimpse into the economic lifeblood of the past. The south side of the trail is flat to gently rolling, following old railroad grades and mine haul roads. The north side of the trail is rolling to hilly, passing through white pine stands, residential areas, and the historic Pioneer Mine buildings and headframe.
North Junction and North Arm Trails
The North Junction and North Arm hiking trail systems are highly recommended for berry picking in season, nature studies, bird watching and wildlife photography. North Arm trail is 14 miles NW of Ely off Echo Trail/County Road 116 on North Arm Road/County Road 116 644, and is 32 miles long. North Junction trail is 13 miles NW of Ely, junction of Echo Trail/County Road 116 and North Arm Road/County Road 644 and is 7 miles long.
The Sioux-Hustler Trail is 29 miles NE of Orr on Echo Trail/County Road 116. The trail is a 32-mile loop marked by rock cairns and tree blazes, and runs from the Little Indian Sioux River through relatively untouched country to Hustler Lake. The trail is minimally maintained, consisting of native material with uneven tread and exposed roots and rocks. The terrain is varied with hills, exposed ledge rock, wetland areas, with beaver pond and stream crossings, and can be littered with deadfalls and altered landscapes caused by beaver activity. Due to the length and rugged terrain, it takes approximately 3-4 days to complete its total loop. Many people take a day hike to Devil’s Cascade which is 6 miles (one way) from the trail-head. You need a day use permit to take the day trip and an overnight permit for camping. Special attractions along this section include the wildlife, the waterfall on the Little Indian Sioux River, the overlook on Pauness Lake, and the cascades.
Located 20 miles northeast of Ely, Minnesota off the Moose Lake Road/County Road 183, this moderate terrain trail with a few steep hills includes a loop around Blackstone Lake. The high vistas provide scenic views to low moist areas. The trail also winds across small waterfalls. The trail destination is a rock cliff overlooking Ennis Lake which is frequently used for rock rappelling and climbing. A back country campsite is located on Blackstone Lake.