A rugged asphalt and gravel ride, the 72-mile Echo Trail roadway cuts through Superior National Forest and Kabetogama State Forest between Ely and Crane Lake, with 13 entry points and portages offering wilderness access.
You’ll discover forest service campgrounds, outfitters and resorts tucked among Echo Trail’s granite outcroppings, rivers and wetlands. A side trip presses north to Crane Lake, resort village and gateway to Voyageurs National Park.
From Ely, the western hub, several popular trails lead to entry points. Ely itself offers outfitters, lodging and restaurants. Learn more about the north country at Ely’s International Wolf Center, the Dorothy Molter Museum or the Ely-Winton Historical Museum.
LaCroix Ranger District
EP #1 - Trout Lake: A deep lake, and busy with motorboats, say our advisors. Seek solitude beyond the buzz in the paddle-only lakes of Little Trout, Oriniak, Merritt and Pine.
EP #8 - Moose River: Access is a canoe landing and three portages to enter Big Moose Lake.
Note: Use EP #16 for Moose River travel north of Echo Trail.
EP #9 - Little Indian Sioux River: Difficult route.
Note: Use EP #14 for Little Indian Sioux travel north of Echo Trail.
EP #12 - Little Vermilion: Enter via Crane Lake.
EP #14 - Little Indian Sioux River: Access is a 40-rod portage to the river.
EP #16 - Moose/Portage River: A 160-rod portage leads into the shallow winding Moose River system. Travel through Nina-Moose Lake and Lake Agnes to access LacLaCroix and points beyond, including the famed Crooked Lake.
Kawishiwi Ranger District
EP #4 - Crab Lake and Cummings Lake: Don’t let the mile-rod portage into Crab Lake scare you. It’s pretty flat and the quiet rewards are great.
EP #6 - Slim Lake: Access is a 90 rod portage.
EP #7 - From Big Lake: Access LaPond Lake with a 160 rod portage from Big Lake.
EP #19 - Stuart River: A 480 rod portage kicks off the journey. There are several long portages through this area. Drought conditions may require more portaging. This beautiful backwater area is not frequently used by visitors, so serious canoe travelers can find plenty of solitude throughout this river system. Additional portages lead into the U.S. side of Crooked Lake.
EP #20 - Angleworm Lake: One advisor warns against the 640-rod “divorce portage” south of Angleworm!
EPs #22 & #23 - Mudro Lake: Several routes lead out of Mudro Lake into the west end of Basswood River and the east end of Crooked Lake. Horse River is a shallow, slow moving creek offering excellent chances to see waterfowl. The Basswood River area has several major waterfalls, Indian pictographs and Table Rock, where historic area treaties were signed.