Snowmobiling and Ice Fishing in Northeast Minnesota
By Minnesota Arrowhead Committee
See Places on a Map
Northeast Minnesota is the perfect place to go to enjoy some of the state’s favorite winter pastimes: snowmobiling and ice fishing. The experience in the region is unparalleled, and the memories will be unforgettable.
Out on the trail, make your way through backwoods and cliff faces until you reach the trail’s end in Grand Marais. The entire trail is groomed weekly.
Do not be surprised if you run into some wildlife on your journey. Wolves, moose, fox and coyotes can all be seen on along the trails.
Because the North Shore Trail is connected to several local trails, you can also visit riverbanks, waterfalls and overlooks. You can also find gas, food and lodging on some of the local trails.
Glide Through Gunflint
With spotty cell phone service on parts of the trail, it is a good idea to let others know about your travel plans ahead of time. You can also download the Department of Natural Resources’ GeoPDF maps, which give you access to the trail maps without data or cell service.
Once you make it to Grand Marais, make sure to check out at the Cook County Snowmobile Club, which sponsors events throughout the winter. In total, Cook County boasts more than 450 miles of trails.
And be sure to check out the trail system in Mesabi, which makes exploring easy thanks to its ready access to lodging, bars and restaurants.
Where to Go Ice Fishing
After hitting the trails on your snowmobile, grab some bait and settle down on the frozen lakes in the North Shore and catch plenty of trout, walleye and crappies while ice fishing. As you wait on the fish be sure to kick back, relax and take in the peaceful view.
If you want to stay close to the fish but get away from the cold, choose to stay in a heated ice fishing house. They conveniently have pre-drilled holes.
Ely is also a great place to ice fish; it gives you the opportunity to catch lake trout, northern pike and eel pout. And if you are lucky, you may find the rare silver phase pike.
Want to go ice fishing, but don’t have a fishing license? Easily purchase the appropriate one online before your trip through the MN DNR website.
Want to know the best spots in Minnesota? How about tips on how to make the most of your time in a specific city? Our Minnesota experts can answer your questions, offer advice, or plan the perfect Minnesota trip for you. For free.