The Ely Area offers several opportunities for mountain biking with routes to suit various skill levels and interests. For the true adventure explorer the possibilities are virtually unlimited as the terrain ranges from good gravel roads to grassy one-lane paths. The possibility of spotting wildlife is excellent and the areas provide for fabulous photography.
Some areas you will want to consider for a true mountain biking experience include:
Fernberg Tower Area: This area is located along the Fernberg Road east of Ely. Several county and forest roads intersect giving an opportunity to explore the Superior National Forest, visit the hill that once held the Fernberg Lookout Tower and visit several lakes. The route includes both gravel and natural surface trails.
Nickel Lake Area: Located south of Ely off Highway 1 and the Spruce Road. This area provides rolling wooded hills, grassy bogs and beaver dams. There is access to several isolated lakes and an abandoned granite quarry that last operated in the 30′s. Hidden Valley Recreation Area: This area offers twelve miles of hilly, wooded loop trails on the outskirts of Ely. The system consists of one large loop around the perimeter and several smaller loops weaving through the center of the area.
Fenske Lake Area: This area is located on the Echo Trail north of Ely. There are three routes in this area. The first one follows Forest Road 459 and leads 4.3 miles to Forest Road 457. It continues north beyond Picket Creek and continues to the edge of the wilderness area. Along the way there are many spur roads to explore. The second route follows an old forest road from the Echo Trail to Hanson Lake and beyond. The third route affords an opportunity to explore a small network of old and new logging roads just north of County Road 644. Timber harvesting in this area produced back country roads that are ideally suited for mountain biking. Trails cross over rolling hills covered with second growth jackpine and apen and pass through flat black spruce forests. Keep your eye open for deer and moose.