(BPT) - 3.9 million acres. 4,000 lakes and rivers. 2,800 miles of trails and portages. That's what you'll find in Ely, Minnesota. In Ely, we've got room for your next vacation.
Ely is poised at the edge of the vast Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness bordering Minnesota and Canada, home to millions of acres of unspoiled wilderness, lakes and rivers so pristine you can drink out of them, and thousands of miles of trails through jaw-dropping old growth forests await you.
Imagine setting your canoe on a lake that's clear enough to see all the way to the bottom. Paddling for days in a wilderness so vast you don't encounter another person or see any of the trappings of modern man — power lines, airplanes, cars.
Instead, you see towering pines, unspoiled rocky shorelines, vistas so beautiful they take your breath away. The only sounds you hear are the haunting cries of loons, the wind whispering through the pines, animals stealing softly through the forest, water gently lapping at the side of your canoe.
As darkness falls, watch the flickering flames of your campfire as millions of stars fill the inky black sky. You'll see why ancient peoples created stories about the constellations, and lying there, you might come up with some of your own. Later, the aurora borealis lights up the night with color dancing through the heavens and you fall asleep listening to the distant howling of wolves.
That's a vacation in Ely.
Experiencing the wilderness untouched by the hand of man restores the soul, uplifts the spirit and quiets the mind, erasing all of the stress of modern life. You will find yourself exhaling and breathing serenity back into your lungs.
Here's what else you might find:
Lodging. You can camp under the stars or choose from a variety of indoor options. Cozy and secluded cabins, bed and breakfast rentals, elegant resorts and much more.
Small-town charm. Poised on the edge of the BWCAW, Ely is a friendly, welcoming small town. It is home to artists, writers and artisans of all kinds, and you'll find galleries filled with their works, whether it's a breathtaking photograph, a painting, ceramic dishes made in local kilns, or winter wear like parkas and mukluks that have kept polar explorers warm on their travels. Stroll along the main street and take in all of the small-town charm.
Dining. Whether it's an elegant meal crafted from locally sourced ingredients or a burger in the local brewpub, you can find the whole gamut dining in Ely.
Seasonal activities. In the winter, glide silently through the snowy woods on cross-country skis, blaze along groomed trails on a snowmobile, or dash through the snow on the back of a dogsled in the sledding capital of the world. Summer means paddling and kayaking, camping under the stars, and hiking through old-growth forests. The fall colors will take your breath away. Every season here has its own wonder and beauty.
Festivals. From the Harvest Moon Festival in the fall, to the Ely Winter Festival, to the Wolf Track Classic Dog Sled Race, to the Blueberry Festival, every season there's something to celebrate in Ely.
When you're in Ely, the wilderness will imprint onto your soul. It's like going back to a time when the world was new. It is the last great pure wilderness experience. And it's all waiting for you in Ely.
For more information, visit visitelymn.org and follow @visitelymn and #visitelymn on Twitter.