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10/25/2014

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Customize Your Ely, Minnesota Vacation

Hike, Play, and Learn in Ely

When planning your Ely, Minnesota vacation, you’ll be amazed at the many activities and attractions that surround Grand Ely Lodge, including hiking, history museums, wolf and bear conservation sites, shopping, golfing, and skiing. From the outdoor explorer to the expert shopper, the wealth of sightseeing and things to do in Ely allows you to choose your own Minnesota experience.

Luckily, your stay at Grand Ely Lodge is the first step to a splendid stay.. Settle in for a relaxing meal or beverage at our restaurant and bar, schedule lakeside activities for the whole family, or take a dip in our indoor pool. Cold-weather visitors can enjoy winter activities like ice fishing, dog sledding, and cross country skiing, making the Grand Ely Lodge is the perfect destination for a recreational retreat any time of year.

Venturing into town? Peruse our favorite Ely, MN travel highlights below.

Our Favorite Ely Area Attractions:

Trezona Trail – adjacent

Hike, bike or ski the four-mile trail around Miners Lake, located across the street from Grand Ely Lodge. The trail is open to the public for year-round use.  Miners Lake is known for some great Rainbow Trout fishing with public access.

Pioneer Mine Site – adjacent

The Pioneer Mine was the last of the Ely area’s 11 iron mines to close when it was shuttered in 1967. The mine, originally an open-pit operation, operated for more than eight decades on the shore of Miners Lake, just across the street from what is now Grand Ely Lodge.

Downtown Ely – 0.7 miles

Camp Street and Pioneer Road
Ely, Minnesota 55731
Ely may have a small-town charm and atmosphere, but you'll find some of the finest shopping and most intriguing gifts anywhere, right here in Ely. Many of the shops feature handcrafted items made here in the Ely area. Stroll and peruse through our many historical buildings to find that perfect memento.

International Wolf Center – 2.5 miles

1396 Minnesota 169
Ely, Minnesota 55731
800-ELY-WOLF
9am-5pm daily, May-September (until 7 pm July and August). Call for winter hours.
Ely is home to the International Wolf Center's flagship interpretive facility, a multimillion-dollar complex that examines one of the most elusive and misunderstood animals in the world. Visitors learn about the natural history of wolves by observing the resident wolf pack and touring the "Wolves and Humans" exhibit. Program participants can track wolves by plane, go on evening howling expeditions or put on snowshoes and follow the predator's winter tracks. Videos, talks, demonstrations, family day programs and other adventures round out a visit to the IWC.

North American Bear Center – 1.8 miles

1926 Minnesota 169
Ely, Minnesota 55731
877-365-7879
Call ahead for hours of operation (seasonal)
The Science/Nature Center has live bears (including Minnesota's largest bear) in a forested setting with a pond and waterfalls. Watch from windows or an outdoor observation deck as the bears forage and play. Dozens of educational video exhibits show how wild bears live around Ely. A theatre features the best bear documentaries. Check out the Bear Necessities Gift Shop to complete your visit.

Dorothy Molter Museum – 2.3 miles

2002 Sheridan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731
218-365-4451
Memorial Day – Labor Day (10 am – 6 pm)
The Dorothy Molter Museum is a memorial to the legendary last resident of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). She died in 1986 after living most of her 79 years on Knife Lake near the U.S.-Canada border. The museum's two log cabins were transported out of the BWCAW piece-by-piece and reassembled in Ely. The Point Cabin is now an interpretive center with pictures and documents.

Ely-Winton History Museum – 2.0 miles

1900 E Camp Street
Ely, MN 55731
218-365-3226
May – September: 10am - 4pm, daily; October – April: 1pm – 4pm, Wednesday – Saturday
This center shows the local history of logging and mining through artifacts, photographs and displays. The exhibits at the museum fully interpret the area’s history dating back as far as 12,000 years to prehistoric times in what is now the Boundary Waters area.

Hidden Valley Recreation Area – 2.6 miles

218-365-6858
Hiking, mountain biking, and machine-groomed cross-country skiing trails are available less than a half-mile east of Ely.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – multiple entry points within ten miles

Known as the "Canoe Capital of the World," the BWCA spans more than 1 million acres of wilderness, including lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands. With more than 1,500 miles of water trails, the BWCA invites you to explore the largest wilderness preserve east of the Rocky Mountains. Grand Ely Lodge is located within driving distance of several entry points, including Farm Lake, Fall Lake and Trout Lake. Whether you’re planning a day trip or a longer-term adventure, the U.S. Forest Service requires a permit to canoe the wilderness, which may be obtained from resorts, outfitters, or by contacting one of our area Ranger Stations. Because this system limits the number of visitors to the area, you might share an entire lake with no one but our state bird – the loon.

Ely Golf Club – 1.4 miles

901 S Central Avenue
Ely, Minnesota 55731
218-365-5932
Ely boasts one of Minnesota’s most scenic golf courses, the Ely Golf Club. The nine-hole, 3,245 yard par-36 course is open to the public. The course is playable (weather permitting) from late April through late October. The course caters to golfers with sharp short games, as it features just one hole longer than 500 yards and two creative par 3 holes.

Ely Chamber of Commerce Log Cabin/Information Center – 1.8 miles

1600 E Sheridan Street
Ely, Minnesota 55731
218-365-6123 or 800-777-7281
June – mid-September: Monday – Saturday: 9am - 6pm; Sunday: 12pm - 4pm
July 4th and Labor Day: 10am – 3pm
Mid-September – May: 9am – 5pm, Monday – Saturday
This log cabin, once located on Basswood Lake, was built in 1938 by Finnish lumberjacks, who used axes to shape and fit the logs. During the ….winter of 1975 and 1976 the cabin was dismantled log by log, transported across ice and rebuilt at its present location. The present-day cabin serves as the town’s chamber of commerce and visitor information center.

Soudan Underground Mine State Park – 20.7 miles

1302 McKinley Park Road
Soudan, Minnesota 55782
218-753-2245
Minnesota’s oldest iron ore mine is located at the Soudan Underground Mine State Park, a short drive southwest of Ely. You can walk through the mine’s dry house, drill shop, crusher house and engine house, and walk along a boardwalk past an open mine pit. Traverse a hiking trail deep into the Minnesota conifer forest to beautiful Stuntz Bay. Guided tours will take you 2,400 feet down into the mine and more than a century into the past.

Sisu Heritage Homestead Tours – 31.9 miles

7503 Levander Road
Embarrass, Minnesota 55732
Open daily Memorial Day – Labor Day; tours begin at 10am and 2pm
Embark on a Heritage Homestead Tour to see actual pioneer homesteads, saunas, a rare house barn and more representing the Finnish heritage of northeast Minnesota. Several of the buildings on the two-to-three-hour tour are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame Museum – 54.3 miles

801 Hat Trick Avenue
Eveleth, Minnesota 55734
218-744-5167
Memorial Day weekend – Labor Day: Monday – Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, 10am – 3pm
Winter: Friday, noon – 5pm; Saturday, 9am – 5pm; Sunday, 10am – 3pm
The United States Hockey Hall of Fame is America's designated shrine to all levels of hockey, enshrining and showcasing more than 100 great figures in American hockey. Visitors experience the thrilling game action and inspiring achievements of players, coaches, builders and administrators through authentic, informative and entertaining displays and memorabilia.

Scenic Drives

The Ely area has many scenic drives that explore the beautiful lake and forest region to the north and south of Grand Ely Lodge. Discover campgrounds, boat landings, picnic areas, swimming beaches and lots of wildlife. You can find extra beauty if you travel the area in the fall. Scenic vistas throughout the area explode in bright fall colors each September. Spring, summer, fall, or winter in Ely, MN, bring your camera to capture the wildlife and scenery.