Experience winter in Ely. There’s plenty to do in the north woods winter. In planning your trip, here are some other opportunities to build in or around your dogsled trip.
The International Wolf Center is located in Ely is open Sat & Sun during the winter. A must for those interested in wolves.
The North American Bear Center is located in Ely is open Fri & Sat during the winter.
A festive two-week celebration of art, entertainment, ice sculptures, music, special events and more is held in early February. Even if you miss the festival dates, be sure to check out the ice sculptures when you drive through Ely in February.
While winter blankets the lakes in snow and ice, plenty of hungry fish await your lure. Lake Trout are much easier to catch in the winter as they move in to shallower water. Northern Pike, Walleye and Crappie also can deliver some exciting fishing stories. Hire a guide for a day, or rent an ice fishing house for more comfort or a longer stay.
Located 1 hour and 20 minutes from our kennel, Lutsen Resort is a destination resort on the scenic North Shore of Lake Superior. This full service resort boasts something for everyone. For skiers, choose between the 150km of groomed cross-country trails and the alpine lure of Lutsen Mountain, which is mid-America’s largest and tallest ski mountain. It is best known for wide-open, groomed cruisers and family-friendly activities. Lutsen boasts 1,000 acres, 95 runs and 825′ of vertical.
If you can walk, you can probably snowshoe. This lifetime sport is an fun and active way to enjoy the woods and lakes in the winter. One of our favorite easy winter hikes heads into the Boundary Waters wilderness, and passes several scenic islands en route to check out the ancient pictographs on the cliffs of North Hegman Lake. Snowshoes can be rented in town at Piragis Northwoods. More snowshoe route options are available here.
Ely is a mecca for cross country skiing. Whether you enjoy easy lakeshore skiing, making your own tracks across a pristine lake or getting a workout on groomed trails, Ely has it all for the nordic skier. The popular 4-mile groomed Trezona Trail passes by the Grand Ely Lodge and is a convenient and beginner-friendly ski destination. The Ely Nordic Ski Club maintains 25+km of fabulous groomed trails at Hidden Valley Recreation Area, just 2 miles from the center of Ely. There are trails to challenge every level of skier here. For those who want a combination trip of dogsledding and nordic skiing, consider staying close by at the Lake Gegoka condos, and skiing right out the front door on to the scenic and groomed Flathorn-Lake Gegoka Ski Trails. Nordic skis can be rented in town at at Piragis Northwoods. Visit the “winter” pages of ely.org for more information on places to ski and trail conditions.
The Ely area is a hub of snowmobiling in northern Minnesota. With over 200 miles of groomed trails stretching through national and state forests, the scenery is not to be missed. Visit these winter pages for more information on snowmobiling, local trails and trail conditions.