Ely, MN Chamber Of Commerce
The Ely Area received another couple of inches of snow overnight. We are at about 10+ inches of snow on the ground. There is a 30% chance of more snow tonight. Don’t miss out on the Fun Run Snowmobile Ride this Saturday, January 26 in the Ely Area. The temperatures are expected to be mild, trails are groomed, chances for great prizes and great fun! It’s not too late....you can sign up on the day of the event at any one of the checkpoints. Come on out and support trail grooming!
Warmer temperatures this past week have taken out some of the snow we received over the Thanksgiving Holiday. The Ely Area has about 0-2 inches of snow on the ground at this time.
MN State Snowmobile Trails officially open on December 1. A recent law change: A snowmobile that is registered after July 1, 2012 and received 06/30/2015 expiration does not need the snowmobile state trail sticker to operate on state or grant-in-aid trails. The snowmobile registration fee was increased to cover the trail sticker cost. An individual who possesses an unexpired MN snowmobile registration that was issued before July 1, 2012 must continue to display a valid snowmobile trail sticker until the snowmobile is renewed. A snowmobile that is not registered in the state of MN must purchase a trail sticker.
Autumn is here, and there is no better place to witness all the natural beauty of the season than on the wooded trails of Ely. The air is crisp, the colors are bright against the deep, blue sky and as the leaves crunch under your feet, you’ll feel far away from the challenges of everyday life.
With fewer hikers on the trail during a season that can be both beautiful and a bit chilly, you can seek out the South Farm Trail that is unique for its many varieties of maple. Don’t be surprised if you see signs of wolves in this area.
A short 1.5-mile hike to Kawishiwi Falls provides another batch of stunning views as you witness the 70-foot drop of the falls. This wooded and winding trail provides some great photo opportunities for you and your fellow hikers as you make your way down to the waterfall. Along the way, you’ll also want to look for River Birch trees, which have a red tint to their bark that really catches the eye as the leaves fall to the ground.
Don’t put the canoe and paddles away just yet!
Did you know fall is the best time to plan a canoe trip? It’s not the weather or the water that make fall the best canoeing season. Instead, it’s the beauty of nature and peace and serenity that take place in the fall that canoeist enjoy most.
Fall Colors- Who doesn’t enjoy watching the leaves turn colors? Fall is the favorite season to take a canoe trip because the landscape is changing so regularly. During fall canoe trips you get to enjoy the changing colors of the scenery and watch the leaves fall.
No Bugs- Unlike summer and spring, the bugs are gone by fall. Mosquitos and black flies are the worst in late spring and early summer, but come September they’re mostly gone! Not having to worry about pesky pests or spraying yourself with bug repellant can make a canoe trip much more relaxing. Enjoy the calm and quiet of nature while out on the waters this fall.
Looking for a place to stay during your canoe trip? Check out lodging in Ely.
The wonderful rain had frozen overnight and all the buds were encased in ice. That’s spring in northern Minnesota.
As we piled into the van (all hatted and gloved again!), Bill told us we were headed out to scratch trees. Scratch trees? Well, if you scratch at the base of a tree having cavities in which birds are nesting, the birds will pop their heads out. Our target was Pileated Woodpeckers. We drove out to the area around the Kawishiwi Campground (Highway #1, just after the second bridge) and parked in the driveway of the Forest Service Research station. There were lots of tall, aging aspen with multiple cavities along the road (holey trees?).
Bill scratched away.
It was a crisp 26 degrees when I pulled into the parking lot to meet the “birding” van. The sun had been up for an hour, rising over an hour earlier than at our first session. We headed out for one of the few open areas in our town – the cemetery. It is apparently a Mecca for birds.
We checked four Bluebird boxes and found “reservations” in three of them. It seems that Eastern Bluebirds are very careful about the placement of even the earliest pieces of grass for their nests. Even if there were only a few pieces of grass, they were tucked neatly around the edges and curved to create the “cup” that would eventually be a nest. The male bluebird sang brightly from a power line while the female played peek-a-boo in a nearby tree. Their melodic song was wonderful to hear. Bill took us through the old part of the cemetery pointing out newly arrived Chipping Sparrows and Tree Swallows.
I was distracted looking at the old grave stones. The oldest date of death I spotted was 1891; Ely had just been founded. Then over to the newest portion of the cemetery where a large area of native, e.g. undesirable, shrubs had been cleared away last fall and replaced by a lovely landscaped planting of – shrubs. The old plants had been safe haven for migrating sparrows, pipits and longspurs so much so that Bill had nicknamed them the “sparrow shrubs.” I was distracted by Forsythia in bloom! In Ely! In April!
The sun was well up when we assembled at 6 AM, but it still was cold and we were all gloved and hatted. This week we had one focus: Great Blue Herons. Bill took us to the rookery on Eagles Nest. I didn’t even know that Ely had a rookery, and it turns out there are at least two.
Finding the rookery is not easy. I’d suggest that anyone not really familiar with the area find a guide. From the Eagles Nest Road we turned west on to Walsh Rd., then wound along that extensive peninsula with its astonishing number of cottages. We stopped and parked at a gated access to the Tomahawk snowmobile trail, went left on the trail only a short distance, and then struck off right on a very faint footpath.
The area is one of extremely tall Red and White Pines. Our appearance in the area – even though we were at least 200 ft from the nesting area – was designed to observe from afar and not disturb the birds. We could hear a cacophony of sounds and see birds flying over.
Where did the winter go?
I took my last fishing trip up to Basswood three weeks ago, the morning of February 25. The temperature was 24 degrees below zero when we arrived at the Fall Lake landing at 8:00 AM. It was a perfect day for the teams. We had three teams, a total of eighteen dogs. All were in prime end-of-the-year condition and ready to roll.
Many teams had gone out ahead of us, and the landing was full of excited, barking, howling, dog teams. We unboxed and harnessed the dogs and waited our turn, helping others get dogs hooked up and ready to go.
Orion is spanglier than the rhinestone cowboy tonight as he jumps up into the eastern sky and the crescent moon lends a little illumination to what would be a lovely snowshoe stroll.
But I am not strolling.
I am being pulled along lickety-split behind Mantis the recreational skijoring dog. Neither one of us has a headlamp, and she sometimes switches tracks which I find only by feel and luck beneath my skis.
After an evening with friends, made lively by a tumble of dogs and kids in a small house, one of them says, “Want to go for a ski sometime this week?”
So I clip an hour off the end of a workday, and we slide around the Trezona Trail.
Our pace varies with our conversation, and at times we come to a full stop so that we can face each other. The warmth of the sun is helping balsam and pines release snow loads from branches. We hear the occasional shoosh, plop of a clump of snow tumbling to the ground. Sometimes we catch sight of a spray of snow crystals as the branch springs up, bouncing gently with relief.