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JBMasterAngler

Going camping in Ely in July (fall lake). I've been there the last 3 years, but strictly fishing. This year I'm planning on taking a day to be tourist :) me and the kids are going to check out the wolf center, the bear center, the root beer lady museum. Just curious to hear some reviews from anyone that has been to any of these places. Also, if anyone knows of any other places worth checking out, that would be awesome too!

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Wanderer

For as many years as I've been going to Ely, I haven't been to any of them!  I keep saying I'll go but haven't yet.

 

My wife and kids thought the Dorothy Molter Museum was "neat", and of course the cheapest of the 3 options.  If you go to the Wolf Center try to go at feeding time.  It's your best chance of actually seeing the wolves.  Yes, it's possible to go and NOT see them the way it's set up.

 

The most significant tourist attraction I've been to was the Soudan Mine.  Worth the trip in my opinion.  I'd do it again.  But it would be tough to fit that in the same day.  There is another mine by Grand Ely Lodge and Miners Lake but I don't know if there's any kind of "tour" that goes with it.

 

The Kawishiwi Ranger station is a beautiful building with some interesting displays - free of charge.  I believe there are some walking trails around it.  There's a walking trail around Miners Lake for sure.

 

Vermilion College has an Ely history display I thought was interesting.  Cheap price.

 

For hiking trails you could hit up the Kiwishiwi Falls trail east of town on Fernberg Road.  It's not a long trail and doesn't require a big time commitment but fun sights at the falls.  And if you head that way you may as well go up to Tofte Lake and check out Red Rock Wilderness Store.  It's a GOOD tackle shop and often has one good sale or another going.

 

For a bigger trail that has nice variety of terrain and views, Bass Lake Trail up the Echo Trail is a good hike.  You can pick from the short version for a couple hours or take the big loop and be out for a good chunk of the day.  Bring water and maybe a lunch.

 

If you're there on the 4th, the parade is usually pretty good.

 

If all that sounds like too much, just go to the Boathouse and drink micro brews and eat duck wings all day! 

 

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leech~~

Ahh, yes the Boat house Duck wings. I haven't found them any where's else! Yes to the Wolf center & Bear center. Root Beer lady thing is small but cool. If you have read her book before hand it really puts things together when your there looking at her little cabin she lived and died in.

But, you may as well scrap all your other plans if your bring the wife and kids. Once they see all the gift shops down town! :D

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chaffmj

Wanderer pretty much has it all covered. I have been everywhere on his list and would say yes to all of them. If I think of something else I'll let you know.

Edited by chaffmj

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leech~~
46 minutes ago, chaffmj said:

Wanderer pretty much has it all covered. I have been everywhere on his list and would say yes to all of them. If I think of something else I'll let you know.

 

Ya, well I still say he has to hit the gift stores once the wife see them! :lol:

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Cliff Wagenbach

The Soudan under ground mine tour is well worth the trip!

You also may want to check out the new state park there if it is open.

Cliff

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BringAnExtension
52 minutes ago, Cliff Wagenbach said:

The Soudan under ground mine tour is well worth the trip!

 

I still remember the mine trip from when I was a kid.  And that was a long time ago!

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BartmanMN

Yep, add the mine tour for sure.  Sounds like you have the rest covered.  If you are going the end of July, you may over lap with BlueBerry Fest.   Always a good time.

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BringAnExtension
13 hours ago, Wanderer said:

For as many years as I've been going to Ely, I haven't been to any of them!  I keep saying I'll go but haven't yet.

 

Just thinking about your statement Wanderer and doesn't that happen all the time?  My personal experience is that I have places that I go to on a regular basis for fishing and I race to and from there without taking the time to enjoy what the local area has to offer. 

 

I am especially interested in historical sites and museums.  It never ceases to amaze me how easy we have it when I look at the way previous generations lived.  I do a pretty good job with what's available near where I live, but still fail to learn about the history of fishing locales.  Maybe I need to take extra days this year ....

Edited by BringAnExtension
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AlwaysFishing23

Soudan mine. 

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leech~~

Sadly a few years ago we tried to go see the Soudan under ground mine and they had a shift fire and it was closed! :(

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JBMasterAngler

I'll be up there at the end of July. I have been there for the 4th parade before though, and it was one of the better small town parades I've been too. Last year I was lucky enough to take a tour of that mine at miner's pit. I was taking some pictures with the kids, and the guy that takes care of the place just happened to be there, and gave us a tour. I thought it was pretty cool.

 

The underground mine tour would be pretty cool, but probably wouldn't have time for that. I've also heard that it's not recommended for young kids? Kawishiwi falls is on the list. I'm driving up the northshore and taking highway 1 up, so we'll be checking out gooseberry, split rock, and tettegouche state parks.

 

Not sure if the wife is coming with. I'm more of a spending threat at gift stores than she is...my entire wardrobe consists of Grand Marais t-shirts and hoodies, all my coffee mugs and glasses, as well as most of my home decor, refrigerator magnets, etc have all come from Grand Marais.

 

Thanks for all the input so far!

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BringAnExtension

Careful, the gifts shops at the state parks steal your money too!  I spent more at the Tettegoche gift shop than I did to stay in the campground overnight!

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Wheres_Walter

Wolf center, yes.  Especially with young kids.  We go a couple times a year.   I did not really like the bear center in Ely.  If you really want a bear experience go to the Vince Shute Wildlife Center up by Orr.  That's a long poke from Ely, but when you are on the elevated walkway at Vince Shute and 5 feet from a bear cub that's 20 Feet up in a tree, its pretty remarkable.

 

The Soudan Mine is worth it.  My kids were 4 and 7 when we took them.  the 4 year old was probably a year or two too young, but she did fine.

 

 

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Wanderer
9 hours ago, BringAnExtension said:

 

Just thinking about your statement Wanderer and doesn't that happen all the time?  My personal experience is that I have places that I go to on a regular basis for fishing and I race to and from there without taking the time to enjoy what the local area has to offer. 

 

Yes it does.  I still haven't stopped at Mine View In The Sky in Virginia yet either for as many times as we've driven by.

 

But on the other hand, my main reason for being in Ely is the lakes and woods and it's hard to get me away from them.  I guess I'd rather drive area roads on a rainy day just to see what's around the next corner than doing most indoor things.

 

Another idea for you JB is to rent a canoe and paddle some lakes or streams you haven't been to yet.  You'll see more if you're committed to NOT fishing when you're out there.  Another thought is to check Burntside Lodge and see if you can get on the pontoon tour boat.  Not sure if that's a guest only amenity or not but it would probably be a nice ride.

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monstermoose78

Go see the ely greenstone

The nice park on shag with beach

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delcecchi

Mineview in the Sky might be closed by now due to the new bridge on 53, which will be something to see when it's done.  Check out the youtube videos that show various stages of construction.  

 

The mine tour is great.   The only reason that they say "not for young children is you have to walk a little ways, and climb some stairs, and it  is a little dark in places. At least that is what my guess is.  

 

 

 

Edited by delcecchi
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Cheers

wolf center is interesting but dissapointing in that they do not have the type of wolfs found in Minnesota . They have arctic wolfs , a smaller and different species .

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JBMasterAngler

What's the traffic situation with that road construction? I was planning on taking that way home. I know my son would love the mine in the sky, but think it'd be too late in the day, as I plan on fishing a lake, and then going home.

 

i was thinking about the trout lake portage, because I think the kids would get a kick out of that. But time and money might not make that possible. So now I'm thinking about the poor man's version, and using the roller portage on ojibway/triangle lake.

 

i read quite a few negative reviews about the bear center, so if there's one thing on my list I have to skip, that might be it. However, we're pretty easily entertained. Have any of you watched/participated in any of the programs at the wolf center? Looks like some of them might be pretty interesting.

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Cliff Wagenbach

I have been to both centers a couple of times. I prefer the bear center over the wolf center.

As stated, the Mine in the Sky may no longer be there by this summer. You will just have to check ahead to see.

The current road construction by Virginia is no problem right now and probably will not be later.

The road construction between Tower and Ely next summer may be a different story!

Cliff

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Wanderer

Thanks for the info on Mineview.  Just another one of those things where you shoulda stopped when you thought about it.

 

Pretty impressive bridge.  I hope the steel was sourced locally. ;)

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PRO-V

The Wolf Center having Arctic Wolves is news to me. Was there a few years back and they were local strain and looked like it. I've seen enough to recognize them.

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chaffmj

Members of the pack may vary as wolves age and new wolf pups are socialized and added to the Exhibit. Currently, the Exhibit Pack consists of Aidan and Denali, two northwestern gray wolves, born on April 27, 2008, Boltz, believed to be great plains gray wolf born on March 17, 2012 and Axel and Grayson, arctic gray wolves born on May 2, 2016.

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PRO-V

Thanks for the update.

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