Located in St. Louis county, the Bear Island Lake Trail is an ungroomed 25 mile trek. The route winds through wooded sections and along the shores of Perch Lake and Bear Island Lake. This wilderness trail offers a peaceful and solitary ski setting with plenty of opportunity for wildlife sightings/tracking to include fox, moose, wolves and pine martens.
To reach the cross-country skiing trailhead from the intersection of SR 169 and CR 21 turn right onto CR 21 and proceed for approximately 10 miles. The trail can be accessed at the intersection of Escape Road and CR 21 or at
9089 CR 21 where maps are available with current trail conditions.
To reach the trailhead from the intesection of SR 1 and SR 169 in Ely, go south on SR 1 for 5 miles. Turn right on CR 120 and travel about 8 miles. The trail is on the left.
Overall, Bear Island - Lake Trail is the 2nd most popular cross country ski area of all 39 Nordic ski destinations in Minnesota.