Looking for a great trail near Ely, Minnesota? AllTrails has 14 great hiking trails, trail running trails, forest trails and more, with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers, and nature lovers like you. If you're looking for the best trails around Bear Head Lake State Park or Lake Vermilion State Park, we've got you covered. You'll also find some great local park options, like Steptoe Park. Ready for some activity? There are 8 moderate trails in Ely ranging from 1.8 to 46.4 miles and from 1,315 to 1,843 feet above sea level. Start checking them out and you'll be out on the trail in no time!




bird watching



nature trips

trail running

dogs on leash

kid friendly


paddle sports

Ely, Minnesota Map

We hiked this on 12/23/18 at night (with headlamps; very dark!) after a beautiful snowfall. It had its challenges, but well worth the view, even at night.
My 8 year old was able to hike it with no problem in the snow. Trials are well blazed.

Excellent escape into the wilds of northern Minnesota. Great campsites for small tents. I recommend a freestanding tent as some of the sites have little area to set spikes as they are located on rock facia. Bring good hiking shoes too as some of the portages can be rugged and mucky. Nothing more ironic than getting foot blisters on a canoe trip.

Good moderate hike.

5 months ago

Great trail for day or weekend hike. Great rocky overlooks on both sides of angleworm lake. # of hikers can be moderate to heavy on early fall weekends to view beautiful fall colors.

6 months ago

Great trail. Completed the loop counter-clockwise and camped for a night at the Whiskey Jack campsite. The trail was not very difficult to follow and was moderate to hard in difficulty. I will definitely hike this trail again.

6 months ago

Well worth it, and don't forget your camera. The elevation increases are short in duration, so it's not as exhausting as I thought it would be. The trail is in good shape, though rocky and rugged at points. In summer, pay attention to the weather. There's no cell service here, and if it starts storming you've got a long way back. In winter, the trail was surprisingly shoveled for the first part, and then turned into well-worn tracks from others. This is my favorite trail on the Gunflint. The end of the trail continues as the Border Route Trail, which I didn't do, but it appeared to be very overgrown.

Fun hike. Good views. Not too hard. Interesting history.

Some of the best views of Lake and Wood scenery I have ever seen. The Norberg Lake Trail was fun easily accessible and the views were stunning.

Awesome trail with great views! Will definitely do again!

7 months ago

I really enjoyed this hike and found it easy, rather than moderate, and I would not consider myself in great physical shape. Took my 15 yo daughter and I about 1.5 hours, primarily because we picked (and ate!) blueberries at the beginning part of the trail. The trail can be unprotected and open at points, as well as rocky, lots of roots in spots to navigate for footing. Trail can be narrow through the woods but beautiful sweeping views on the way to the rock. Bring a magnet! I enjoyed the solitude too, as there were not many people to share trail with. You don’t need a map to do it but if continuing on the BRT, get one!

Nice family hike with great views of the lakes, pines and Forrest

The damage from severe weather a year prior is still apparent. The trail is extremely rough due to this and I do not suggest trying unless you are an expert hiker. A friend and me tried this hike and got half way and could not continue due to harsh terrain.

on Big Island Trail

8 months ago

Beautiful area - but I’m not sure I would rate the trail as kid friendly. There were a couple of fairly steep, rocky parts of the path that were hard for my kids to navigate. The beach and playground are great!

9 months ago

Excellent trail and one that I found surprisingly challenging. Be prepared for plenty of bugs and rugged terrain. Beautiful and secluded.

9 months ago

Awesome trail loop! My daughter and I loved crossing the beavers dam. Yes it is part of the trail and plan on getting your feet wet. Went on May 19th of 2018 and bugs were almost non existent and no ticks. Weather was perfect also. Trail could use some better signage. Totally recommend a compass and good paper map. Met two people who thought the gps on their phone would work back there but they ended up going back. Lots of ups and downs so plan on a work out. Beautiful place look forward to going back.

10 months ago

This trail has been re opened during the summer of 2017. contact the US Forest service Kawishiwi District in Ely for current conditions.

on Bass and Dry Lake Loop

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

my first official trail. we did it in the winter. clearly defined due to snow tracks. suggest ice cleats for your shoes/boots in winter. great scenery. want to do this again in summer.

Monday, January 22, 2018

Nice walk only one tree across trail just before rock

Friday, November 24, 2017

Lots of trails to take, with differing intensities. Trails are well marked with abundant, clear markers. The high ridge trail was my favorite, though moderately steep and rocky, with amazing views at the summit and a great picnic spot with views of Canada.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

I love this trail! the terrain changes alot and I love the rolling hills surrounding you. the rock is a lot bigger than I thought too!! beautiful during the fall!

Monday, September 18, 2017

It was more than just some Moderat trail it was actually pretty good

Monday, August 28, 2017




While canoeing Disappointment Lake we came across 5 lost hikers that were walking in the lake along the shoreline; we ended up transporting them and their kit to a portage/(Little part) of the trail that still exists. Turns out they tried hiking this trail, got lost in the blowdown, and then made the decision try and find their way out in the lake as compared to fighting the woods on a trail that is buried..

Everyone in the group was drenched, it had been raining the past 36 hours, lucky for them the temps were in the low 60's... Still a recipe for disaster..

Giving a 1 star because there is not a skull and crossbones..

Saturday, August 19, 2017

This started and ended a great hike, however you will notice we had some troubles near the area we ate our lunch. The trail was lost and we could either go up or down. According to the map on All Trails we went down toward the water and almost turned back as we could no longer stay on the route. We turned around frustrated and then noticed up above were some fallen trees that covered the trail. The rangers have not cleared the path lately. This was tough and I would guess some have lost their way at this area. I am a seasoned hiker, this was tricky. Be careful if you decide to go all the way around dry lake especially on the west side of Dry Lake. For intermediate hikers not beginners. Roots, rocks, mud, slabs of rock, trees fallen. We did see 2 deer, gardener snake, chipmunks and birds.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Completed the bass lake loop with my 68yr old father. Took our time but loved the hike!

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Excellent trail with a variety of flora. Good vantage points throughout. We took the outer route which was just over 6 miles...just under 3 hours. Easy to follow but challenging enough to keep us interested. We plan on doing it again on our next trip to the north shore area!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

So beautiful so see Minnesota's "Stonehenge". Blueberries EVERYWHERE!!!!! Trail is quite rugged - takes about an hour to get from road to rock.

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Great variety of terrain and scenery.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Saw a pink lady slipper, and other wild flowers. The monolithic magnetic rock does indeed mess with a compass needle. Nice views along the way too. Good family hike!

Monday, June 12, 2017

nice trail. went counter clockwise around bass lake and cut back through dry falls.

Monday, May 01, 2017

Great trail with good mix of terrain. Hiked the Dry lake loop with the pup. Lots of blow downs but well maintained.

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