ATV & Offroad
ATV riders have access to over 250 miles of new trails in the Ely area through the Prospector Loop trail system. Trail connections between Ely, Babbitt, Embarrass, Tower, and the North Shore provide riders with a variety of trail experiences. The county road connection via the Echo Trail allows riders to get 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. The Ride Command app has all of the Prospector trails included. Motorized Recreation Visitor Maps are 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 and Highway 1.
The first ten miles of the Taconite Trail leaving Ely is open to ATV traffic. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources maintains the Taconite, a state trail. The section that is open to ATV traffic runs from the west side of Ely to the Purvis Lake shelter. Just east of the shelter, riders can cross the new Beaver River Bridge and continue on to Babbitt or turn west and head to Embarrass and Tower. The Trail Four route near the Purvis shelter connects to Trail Three (see map).
For one of the most scenic rides, head east out of Ely where you’ll cross the steel bridge over the Kawishiwi River. There’s a picnic site on the west side of the river to enjoy. From there, it’s on to the Mattila Shelter where riders can either continue on toward the North Shore or head west to Babbitt, taking in the Jackpot Loop on the way. The Jackpot Loop passes through the northern edge of the Greenwood Forest Fire, a major fire from the summer of 2021.
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.