Q: How do you pronounce Ely? Please tell me you don’t pronounce it EE-lie as they did on NPR yesterday.
A: Ely, Montana … Ely, Minnesota … Joe Ely (country singer) … and now, from a recent e-mail, Al and Mary Jane Ely all pronounce their names the same, rhymes with really. Most not “in the know” do pronounce it EE-lie on their initial try for some reason.
Q: We are planning on visiting Ely next summer. Where could we find more information on the resorts in your area?
Q: What is the population of Ely?
A: As of 2016, the most recent figures available, Ely had a population of 3,390, with 1,912 housing units all in 2.72 square miles. The population in 1990 was 4,004. The population of Ely is gradually declining.
Q: My granddaughter is going somewhere with her class called Wolf Ridge. Is that near you? Do they have a Web site?
A: Wolf Ridge is relatively close, about one hour from here. It is close to the North Shore of Lake Superior north of Two Harbors, Minn. Here is their Web site: Wolf Ridge
Q: Are there any horse riding stables in the Ely area?
A: Unfortunately, the nearest riding stables are about a two-hour drive from Ely. But people who own horses in the area or people who bring their own horses to Ely find many scenic trails for horseback riding.
It seems that Minnesota liability laws almost prohibit someone from getting into the riding stable business. There are numbers of stables where people can keep their own horses and many who breed and train horses in the immediate area, but only two places for horseback riding are within reasonable driving distances. These are in opposite directions from Ely and about a two-hour drive either way:
Eagle Ridge: In Lutsen, along the North Shore of Lake Superior; (800) 360-7666
K&K Stables: Toward Grand Rapids; (218) 245-3814
Q: My snowmobile club is planning a trip, and we would like to know what the snowmobile trail conditions are in the Ely area?
A: The Ely Igloo Club maintains the trails and normally grooms between Tower and Ely and the trails from Ely to the Tomahawk Trail. They also work the trails to the Chain Saw Sisters and back. The club does an excellent job of improving conditions on as much of the trail system as time and volunteers will permit. This season we hope to have a weekly update on trail conditions from both the DNR and the Ely Igloo Club.
Q: Are there camping areas in Ely?
A: There are some camps run by the Minnesota DNR and or the US Forest Service that charge from $8-10/night/campsite. These would be at Fall Lake, South Kawishiwi River, Fenski Lake, and Birch Lake campgrounds. There are both drop-in (first come first served sites) and reservation only campsites. For reservations most campgrounds require 4 days notice. You can see the different campgrounds and rules and make reservations at Reservations.gov The US Forest Service informed us that you may camp for free anywhere in the Superior National Forest outside the BWCAW. Those areas overlap, so you would just need to get a good map to make sure you were in the Superior and not in the BWCAW which would require a map..
Q: Does Ely use Fluoride in its water?
A: Yes, Ely adds a small amount of fluoride to its water as required by the state of Minnesota. It is on the low end of the recommended range required. Our water comes from Burntside Lake which essentially has no fluoride in it. Some states like Colorado actually have to take fluoride out of their water, since it naturally occurs at high levels. That is not a problem for Ely’s water supply, we have to add some to meet requirements.