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fishingdad

how long from Ely to Orr?

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fishingdad

Hi, I was wondering how long it would take to go from Ely to Orr using the echo trail. We are planning on spending a day in Ely and then making it over to Orr to the Bear sanctuary around sunset, and I would like to take the echo trail and cut over (since we have never taken that road b/4) Thank You

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Steve Foss

Plan on one to two hours, depending on how fast you feel comfortable going for the first 20 miles out of Ely. It gets straighter and wider after that for faster traveling, but I doubt a person could make it in under an hour unless they were breaking all sensible speeds.

I've never hauled butt without stopping from Ely to Orr on the Echo, and I've never actually odometered it so I don't know how many miles it is. But I know it takes me about 45 minutes at a moderate pace to hit the Moose River, about 30 miles out from Ely.

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fishinsfun

Figure at least 2 hours to get to Orr. I wouldn't drive too fast. The road can be nasty (washboard), there may be logging trucks (they drive much too fast) and there is a lot of wildlife to be wary of. Besides, if you don't drive it often (as I used to) it can be very scenic in spots.

It used to take longer but the first part has been redone over the years and has shaved time off.

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bigtimber

Have travelled the Echo Trail several times to get to Crane Lake. Not anymore. It can be pretty rough. Probably worth it if you've never done it because of the scenery. However, I believe it would be faster & easier to head back toward Cook & Rt 53.

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SkunkedAgain

If you've never gone that way, then definitely drive on the Echo Trail. As others said, there is a lot of wildlife so don't worry so much about the time, just take your time, enjoy the scenery, and avoid creating road kill.

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fishingdad

Thanks to those of you that responded. Now that my wife found out that there is wild-flowers and the like along the trail she is giddy. Is there some specific spots to stop and check out for the Blueberries and Rasberries and of course the flowers to look at or is it drive until you spot them? Thanks Again Fishingdad (are the blueberries pretty much done for already or not)

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Steve Foss

There are still blueberries around, though they will be fading now. Raspberries are going strong right now. When you're about 28 miles out of Ely on the Echo, a few hundred yards after you cross the Portage River bridge, you'll see a left turn. That's the Moose Loop, a gravel low maintenance road that you can take through nice country. It goes for several miles before coming back out onto the Echo farther up.

There are blueberries in the old overgrown logging cut right next to the road all around that intersection of the Moose Loop and Echo. Should be some raspberries in there, too. Most of the late summer wildflowers are sun lovers, and you'll find them along roadsides, in old logging cuts or along river banks. Look for brown-eyed susan, asters, mullein, some of the last of the ox-eye daisies, goldenrod, swamp milkeed (lots of fritillary butterflies and other butterflies on the goldenrod and swamp milkweed) -- and water lilies in the rivers. There are other species as well. You'll find them.

A few miles past the Moose Loop you'll cross the bridge over the Little Indian Sioux River. To your left will be the slow, fairly wide river. To your right will be rapids as the river enters a small valley between rocky ridges. Very picturesque spot. If you feel like a little walking, you can pull into the parking lot to the right just past the bridge and take the trail that parallels the river downstream. About 1/4 mile down, there's a waterfall next to a bunch of pines and cedars, and this is one of the prettiest, most accessible spots along the Echo Trail.

Some miles farther up you'll cross, then parallel the Hunting Shack River, which cuts through black spruce bog lowlands with higher forest along either shore. Another sweet landscape to take in, and a little ways after you cross it there's a little pulloff on the right and a 20 foot walk to the edge of the river. Nice spot.

Those are just a couple highlights. I'm up the Echo on many days in all seasons and all weathers from Ely to Buyck. It's where I guide most of my photo excursion clients.

A special journey through a fine land, the Echo Trail is not a route to take if you're in a hurry. As previously mentioned, taking Hwy. 169 back through Tower and Hwy. 1 to 53 near Cook and up to Orr is much faster. If you plan on a half day along the Echo, however, you'll have time to go at an easy pace, pick some berries and stop whenever you see something interesting and take in the view.

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fishingdad

A huge thank you Steve for the very good directions and the such about where to go on the echo and the waterfalls were awesome my kids are still talking about how fun that was. We did this trail the day it was 97 or 98 in Ely a couple weeks ago. My highlight was the timberwolf crossing the moose loop. Thank you again Steve we would have driven right by the Falls.Next year can I hit you up for some more good spots to take the family and camera? laugh.gif. fishingdad (Bill)

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Steve Foss

Glad you and yours had fun, Bill. Lots more places off the Echo to see, too. grin.gif

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