Trail Conditions

Trail Report for 1/19/2022

Snow Depth – Ranging from 15-17 inches

GENERAL INFORMATION: We have received some snow since last week’s report.  Ice conditions have improved greatly, however, we strongly recommend everyone still test the ice as they travel across it.  Ice will be thinner in areas of constricted water flow, near rapids, and springs.  Please use caution at all times, and stay to the right on the trails.  There is active logging happening on a number of spots throughout the Grant-In-Aid and State Trail system.  Please slow down and give trucks and logging equipment space.  No motorized vehicles other than snowmobiles are allowed on State Trails or Grant-In-Aid snowmobile trails.  

Area Trails: The Tomahawk Trail will be groomed this week and is in fair condition.  Burntside to Vermilion to Mud Lake is groomed.  White Iron to Birch is groomed and Hidden Bay trail to Babbitt has been groomed.  White Iron and Ely side of Birch Lake have been staked.  Shagawa Lake, Fall Lake, Little Long, Burntside, and Mud Lake are staked.  Most of the lakes are rough from wind blown drifts.  Some slushy spots but it is starting to freeze with the traffic packing it.  Use caution as some plowed roads surprise us with people putting out fish houses.  

Arrowhead State Trail

The Arrowhead State trail is the backbone to an extensive Grant-in-Aid trail system that travels through remote areas.

TRAIL CONDITIONS:  The trail is groomed and in good condition,.  Watch for occasional exposed rocks on the hills.  The small segment of trail between Ban Lake Rd and Crane Lake Rd (CR23) got its first groom through the swamp early this week and will be groomed again before the weekend.   Snow:  8-23 Inches  Snowmobiling: Condition- Good; Trail – Groomed; Base –1-8” 

Bearhead Lake State Park

Bearhead State Park trails provide rolling topography through birch and pine stands.  You may see a variety of wildlife ranging from deer, wolves, ruffed grouse, and pine martens.  You can snowshoe anywhere in Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas, except on trails that are specifically groomed for another activity, such as snowmobiling or skiing.  

The Cross Country track was set in the campground and on the Beach Trail to the Trail Center on Friday, January 14.  Two feet of snow is needed to groom Norberg Lake Loop.

The pinelands of Bear Head Lake State Park are beautiful with a white blanket of snow covering the forest floor and accenting the beautiful needled green boughs. 2022 is a great year to come visit for the day or overnight.


Skiing: Condition – Fair; Trails – Partially Groomed; Base – 1-3”

Snowmobiling: Condition – Good; Trails – Groomed; Yes Base 2-4”

Lake Vermilion – Soudan Underground Mine State Park

The park has six miles of snowmobile trails that connect from the Taconite State Trail to the Lake Vermilion ice trail.  The ride takes you through old growth pines and young aspen forests with large wetland complexes to view along the way.  You can snowshoe anywhere in Minnesota’s state parks and recreation areas, except on trails that are specifically groomed for another activity, such as snowmobiling or skiing.

TRAIL CONDITIONS:  Snowmobiling: Condition – Poor to fair; Trails – Will be Groomed by the weekend; Base – 1-6” Watch for occasional rocks and brush hanging on the trail..

Putnam/Fishing Lakes – Bear Island State Forest

The Putnam and Fishing Lakes Trails traverse forested, rolling topography through birch, ash, and pine stands.  Several small lakes dot the landscape along these scenic trails. 

TRAIL CONDITIONS:  Snowmobiling: Condition – Fair to Good; Trails –Fishing Lakes trail is groomed.  Putnam Lake Trail to be groomed next week.  Base 1-6”  Fishing Lakes trail is groomed and in fair condition. Watch for rocks on both of these trails, mainly on the hills.  

Taconite State Trail

Taconite State Trail stretches 165 miles from Grand Rapids to Ely through many scenic vistas of rolling hillsides, lakes, rivers, and forest.

TRAIL CONDITIONS: The entire trail from Ely to Hwy 73/Side Lake is in good condition and will be groomed twice before this coming weekend.  A few hills west of Hwy 53 still have exposed rocks.  Snowmobiling: 7 to 21" of snow.  Condition – Good; Trails –Groomed; Base 1-7” 

Babbitt Golf Course & Birch Lake Plantation – Birch Lake Plantation Trails are groomed and in excellent condition with a solid base.  The Babbitt Golf Course is groomed for both classic and skate skiing and is in excellent condition.  

North Arm Trails - Ski trails are not formally groomed.  Those skiing into the area are creating tracks, where possible. 

Hidden Valley & Trezona – Both trails groomed regularly.  Trezona is tracked for classic and skate skiing.  Trails at Hidden Valley are tracked for skate, classic, and in some cases both.