South of Ely in the Superior National Forest, the Birch Lake Plantation Ski and Hiking Trail is a nice route through a 120 acre red pine plantation. The trailhead is located 1 mile northeast of Babbitt.
To reach the cross-country skiing trailhead from Babbit, head northeast on SR623 for 1 mile. The trailhead parking area is just east of FS131.
Overall, Birch Lake Trail is the 9th most popular cross country ski area of all 39 Nordic ski destinations in Minnesota.