ATV & Offroad
ATV riders — big news! More than 250 miles of new trails will soon open in the Ely area through the Prospector Loop $4.5 million construction project. Trail connections between Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass, Tower and the North Shore will provide riders with a variety of trail experiences. You can also use the county road connection via the Echo Trail to ride from Ely to Crane Lake on a combination of gravel and paved roads.
For the best local trail info, the Prospector Loop Map provides detail on trail segments maintained by the local Prospector ATV Club. There are also the Motorized Recreation Visitor Maps available at the U.S. Forest Service’s Kawishiwi Ranger District headquarters on the east side of Ely. If you’re looking to get around town on your ATV, all streets and avenues are open to ATV traffic with the exception of Sheridan Street, which is a state highway as well as Highway 1.
By July 1, 2021, the Taconite Trail leaving Ely will be open to ATV traffic. The Taconite is a state trail maintained by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. Connections from the Taconite will be made by the Prospector Club in coming months.
Looking for the top riding area out of Ely? Head east out of town. You’ll cross the steel bridge over the Kawishiwi River where you'll find a nice picnic site on the west side of the river. From there it’s on to the Mattila Shelter where it's decision time to either continue on toward the North Shore or head west to Babbitt where you may want to take in the Jackpot Loop on the way. Prospector trails are all signed along the way and included in the Polaris Ride Command app available free to download on your mobile device. Avenza Maps are also updated with trail routes.