Stuff To Do

When the natural tunes of waves lapping the shore, loons crying in the night, and the eerie howling of a nearby timber wolf aren’t enough to keep you occupied, there’s always more to see and do in Ely.

Beyond the nature trails, water recreation and beaches that surround your Ely, Minnesota cabin, you don’t need to wait for a rainy day for an excuse to head into Ely.  The town is filled with unique shops, parks and seasonal events that everyone can enjoy. Where else but in Ely could you view wolves and bears safely in their natural environments. Learn about the famed “Root Beer Lady”who holds a special place in the lure of the Wilderness at a local museum that tells her story of living alone in the wilderness for decades upon decades. History buffs will enjoy the Ely-Winton Historical Museum, and everyone should, at least once in their life, take the trip one half mile underground through the Soudan Underground Mine State Park.

The Dorothy Molter Museum
The Dorothy Molter Museum is a memorial to the legendary last resident of the BWCAW, who died in 1986 after living most of her 79 years on Knife Lake near the U.S.–Canadian bor- der. Each year as many as 6,000 visitors from all over the world would stop by to visit Dorothy in her wilderness home. She would make up to 12,000 bottles of root beer per year to share with her visitors and gained the nickname “Root Beer Lady”. After her death, her two log cabins were transported out of the BWCAW piece-by-piece and reassembled in Ely. Your visit includes a video and personally guided tour of Dorothy’s cabins. Dorothy’s famous Isle of Pines Root Beer is available in the gift shop.

Blueberry Art & Harvest Moon Festivals
The Blueberry Art Festival, held each July, and the Harvest Moon Festival in September, are open-air galleries for crafters, artists and artisans from around the region and across the Midwest. Thousands of gift and collectible items, along with artwork, pottery and sculpture, combine with unique and traditional food items, chil- dren’s activities and music for two amazing events. Everything takes place in our spacious Whiteside Park, the perfect showcase for these much-anticipated, popular festivals.

International Wolf Center
Ely is home to the world’s premier wolf interpretive facility – the International Wolf Center. Visitors learn about the natural history of wolves by observing the resident wolf pack and touring the “Wolves and Humans”exhibit. Program participants can learn more about the wolf’s hunting and feeding behaviors by watching the resident wolves feed, go on an evening howling expedition, or put on snowshoes and follow the predator’s winter tracks. Videos, talks, demonstrations, day programs and other adventures round out a visit to the Center. Visitors have a unique opportunity to see the Ambassador Pack.

North American Bear Center
This science/nature center is the first of its kind in the world. Live bears include Minnesota’s largest bear, prettiest bear. and perhaps cutest bear – all in natural forest habitat. Exhibits from 40 years of research replace misconceptions about these feared but adored animals. Fifty video exhibits take you into the secret world of black bears around Ely. Understand bear language and what to do if you see a bear. Explore the hands-on interactive children’s area. Walk interpretive nature trails to learn area vegetation, rocks, birds, ecology, and wildlife sign. Participate in black bear field courses. Don’t miss the demonstrations, programs, theater, and gift shop.

Soudan Underground Mine State Park
This State Park features the state’s deepest underground iron ore mine. The 1-1/2 hour guided tour takes visitors nearly 1/2 mile underground to the lowest level mined. Located off Hwy. 169 in Soudan. State Park vehicle permits are not required; however, there is a fee for the tour. Tours:Memorial weekend–September and weekends in October.



Ely-Winton History Museum
Located on Ely’s Vermilion Community College campus, this center shows the local history of logging and mining through artifacts, photographs and displays. Open daily throughout the summer.




Golf Courses
Ely and Babbitt each have 9-hole golf courses that are open to the public from late April until late October, weather permitting. Rental equipment is available at both facilities. There are several 18-hole championship public golf courses within a half-hour of Ely.