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SnowAngel Trail Report for Ely Area

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People are under the impression that there isn't any good snowmobile riding in the Ely area, which includes Ely, Babbitt and Tower. WRONG!!!

We've heard that people are cancelling reservations for the Fun Run Jan. 27 thinking the riding is bad. The Fun Run ride is all doable on lake trails. If interested, go to:


Also, remember... money from the Fun Run will help our are clubs improve trails by getting rid of the rocky areas for flatter trail base.

Just got back from another 60+ mile ride. A short ride is better than no ride! Our 3rd such ride in the past week.

Surprisingly, even with the little snow we have in the Ely area, the trails aren't that bad. Trails are snow covered with NO bare spots. What helps is we also have the options of lake trails.

Most lakes in the Ely, Babbitt & Tower area are all staked. Birch Lake still needs some staking. Pressure ridges on White Iron Lake and Vermilion, and alot of exposed rocks due to low lake levels.

Connecting trails between lakes are all in good shape and being groomed. The Grassy Lakes Trail is still a nice ride even without the Chainsaw Sisters. the Hidden Bay Trail from Birch Lake to the Stony Spur is in great shape. The trail from Birch Lake to Bear Island Lake is a bit rough, but not bad. The trails between Burntside Lake, Mud Lake and Vermilion are a bit rough, but being able to ride 26 miles of Vermilion is great.

The Stony Spur from Babbitt to the Mattila Shelter is in very good shape.

The Babbitt Spur to the Taconite Trail is very good.

The Taconite Trail is a bit rough in spots, but still in good shape. We've ridden worse.

This from Scott up at Knotted Pine in Isabella as of 1/18/07:

The trails have been adequate enough for weeks to get to the fire and

logging roads, which have been excellent.

Off trail to the north has been good. We've had full bookings every

weekend since Christmas and no one is complaining. Of course,

it's not easy trail riding and traffic is far less than normal.

We've gotten 3" today and it's still lightly trickling down here at

midnight. Two Harbors is going to give a shot at grooming up

this way in the next couple of days.

***Think snow!!!***


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Just wanted to thank you Snow Angel. We just got back from a ride up there. I called my buddy last night and told him what you had said about the area. Not knowing you, we were hesitant but we decided to take your word for it and give it a shot. The worst that could happen was wasting a day driving instead of laying around watching tv.

We left the cities at 6am and parked at Virginia by 9am. We hit the trails, rode the Laurentian, Iron Ore and Taconite. We had lunch in Ely and returned on the Stony Spur, Putnam and a few others including Birch Lake and Bear Island lake trails. I must say it was far better that I had imagined it would be. We were back at the trailer by 4:30 with 180 miles behind us. Not all perfect as you said, but not that bad. Definitely worth the trip for a frustrated rider! Now just a few more inches they could be real nice...

Thanks again for your realistic account of what we we found today.

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It's amazing what little snow the trails have, yet the riding is not that bad. My husband and I rode 100+ miles today starting from Ely and riding the lakes to Birch Lake and the Hidden Bay trail. Brich lake was being staked.

Like you said, the Stony Spur was good and we headed south toward the Tomahawk Road. We rode the logging roads to Knotted Pine. Stopped there for a bit and then headed back on the Tomahawk Trail part way, and then picking up some logging roads again.

All in all, it was a great day of riding.

Got word from the Tomahawk Trail administrator that they are going to try to groom the Tomahawk from Knotted Pine to the North Shore Trail tomorrow. If all goes well and the machine isn't pounded too much, they'll try grooming toward the Mattila Shelter. We need about a foot of snow in order to groom from the shelter to Ely. Luckily we can get on the lakes from the Stony Spur.

Pray for snow! grin.gif

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I forgot to say my brother and family live in Coon Rapids. He's a machinist at Mill Works (I think).

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