ATV & Offroad
ATV riders will be getting access to over 250 miles of new trails 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. There is also 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, pick up a Prospector Loop Map from local gas stations. This 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, 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 of 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.
The top riding area out of Ely is heading east out of town where you’ll cross the steel bridge over the Kawishiwi River. There’s a nice picnic site on the west side of the river for riders to enjoy. From there it’s on to the Mattila Shelter where it will be 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.