Ely Minnesota Trail Conditions & Winter Fishing Report

Trail Report for 03/04/2021

Snow Depth – 4-12” inches

 

GENERAL INFORMATION: With the warm weather, high snowmobile traffic, and little snowfall over the last couple weeks, the trail base has depleted to nothing over a large portion of our trails. Also, due to the warm temps and no base, grooming will be suspended indefinitely unless we get more snow.

This is for all of our trails, including the Arrowhead and Taconite State Trails, Putnam and Fishing Lakes Trails, and Lake Vermilion Soudan Underground Mine State Park trails. Trails are down to dirt through a majority of our trail system and have not been able to be groomed since early last week.

If you do go out, remember that there is active logging happening on a number of spots throughout the Grant-in-Aid and State Trail system, especially as you go further north toward Orr and International Falls. Please slow down and give trucks and logging equipment space. No Motorized Vehicles other than snowmobiles are allowed on State Trails or Grant-in-Aid snowmobile trails.

There is also a section of the Arrowhead State Trail closed between Hwy 53 (SE of Ericsburg) and the Hagerman Grant-in-Aid trail while the Rat Root River bridge is being replaced, so watch for trail reroute.

  

Area Trails:

Grooming on the Tomahawk trail is currently suspended due to warm weather. There is not enough base to groom. Some spots are quite rough. More snow is needed before grooming operations can resume.

 

Arrowhead State Trail

The Arrowhead State trail is the backbone to an extensive Grant-in-Aid trail system that travels through remote areas.

 

TRAIL CONDITIONS:  Snowmobiling: Condition- Poor; Trail – Not Groomed; Base – 0”

TRAIL CLOSURE/REROUTE: Hwy 53 east to the Hagerman Grant-in-Aid trail is closed due to a trail bridge being replaced. This section of trail will remain closed until the project is completed. Please use the Hagerman and Slatinski Grant-in-Aid trails to route around the closed bridge. There is signage on both sides of the project directing riders on the reroute.

 

The Arrowhead State Trail is in poor condition due to the warmer weather, no snowfall and recent high volume of snowmobile traffic. Grooming has been suspended indefinitely for the season unless a major snowfall occurs and temperatures drop for an extended period of time.

 

Bearhead Lake State Park

Bearhead State Park trails provide rolling topography through birch and pine stands.  You may see a variety of wildlife ranging from deer, wolves, ruffed grouse, and pine martens.  You can snowshoe anywhere in Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas, except on trails that are specifically groomed for another activity, such as snowmobiling or skiing.

 

TRAIL CONDITIONS: Skiing: Condition – Poor; Trails – Partially Groomed; Base – 0-4”; Snowmobiling: Condition – Poor; Trails – Groomed; Base 0-4”

The Taconite Trail in Bear Head Lake State Park was groomed and is in fair condition with some areas of debris and thin base under the large pines.

 

Cross Country ski track was set in the campground and Beach Trail and is in poor condition due to lack of snow and warm weather.

 

Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

The park has six miles of snowmobile trails that connect from the Taconite State Trail to the Lake Vermilion ice trail.  The ride takes you through old growth pines and young aspen forests with large wetland complexes to view along the way.  You can snowshoe anywhere in Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas, except on trails that are specifically groomed for another activity, such as snowmobiling or skiing.

 

TRAIL CONDITIONS:  Snowmobiling: Condition – Poor; Trails – Not Groomed; Base – 0”

Soudan Underground Mine and Lake Vermilion State Park trails are in poor condition due to the recent warmer weather and no snowfall. Grooming has been suspended indefinitely unless a major snowfall occurs and temperatures drop for an extended period of time.

 

Putnam/Fishing Lakes – Bear Island State Forest

The Putnam and Fishing Lakes Trails traverse forested, rolling topography through birch, ash, and pine stands.  Several small lakes dot the landscape along these scenic trails. 

 

TRAIL CONDITIONS:  Snowmobiling: Condition – Poor; Trails –Not Groomed; Base 0”

Putnam/Fishing Lakes Trail is in poor condition due to the recent warmer weather and no snowfall. Grooming has been suspended indefinitely unless there is a major snowfall and temperatures drop for an extended period of time.

 

Please use caution on the trails, travel at appropriate speeds, and stay to the right. There is active logging happening on a number of spots throughout the Grant-in-Aid and State Trail system. Please slow down and give trucks and logging equipment space. No Motorized Vehicles other than snowmobiles are allowed on State Trails or Grant-in-Aid snowmobile trails.

 

Taconite State Trail

Taconite State Trail stretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely through many scenic vistas of rolling hillsides, lakes, rivers and forest.

 

TRAIL CONDITIONS: Snowmobiling: Condition – Poor; Trails –Not Groomed; Base 0”

The Taconite Trail is in poor condition due to the recent warm weather and no snowfall. Grooming has been suspended indefinitely unless a major snowfall occurs and temperatures drop for an extended period of time.

 

Skiing:

Babbitt Golf Course & Birch Lake Plantation trail base is thin.

 

North Arm Trails

Skiing: Dogs and skijoring are allowed on these trails.  Dog sleds would find it difficult to negotiate most of the trails.  If you are using dogs, please leave no trace by picking up dog litter and any remains of food or bedding materials.  Try to avoid ski tracks, and repair tracks melted out by dog droppings.

 

Trail condition:  No updated reports available.   

 

Hidden Valley & Trezona Hidden Valley was groomed Monday night and may get groomed Friday.  No classic tracks are set, only grooming for skate skiing at this time. 

 

***Fishing Report*** (Arrowhead Outdoors)

 

Eelpout - Eelpout fishing was excellent for many anglers this last weekend with the peak of the spawn happening right now. Anglers have been finding them between 15-40 feet of water right on top of sunken islands. Heavy pout pounders loaded up with minnow pieces and pounded on the bottom have been very effective.

 

Lake Trout - Lake Trout fishing has been hit or miss this last week. Anglers lucky enough to find active trout reported it being very easy to catch them. The same spot the next day was often the Dead Sea and made anglers question why they even bother. Active trout happily ran down red and white tubes, vibratos and jigging raps in 25-40 feet of water.

 

 

Crappie - Interest in crappies is growing as warmer temps come to the area. Anglers have been having very mixed result. The majority of anglers are still finding crappies largely scattered over 20-30 feet of water and largely inactive. Wax worms and small crappie minnows tipped on small jigs have been most effective on these neutral to negative fish.

More information on area events can be found by visiting our website at http://www.ely.org/mn/events

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