Superior National Forest/BWCA

Cross-Country Skiing - Coxey Pond Trail


Other Trails
Astrid Trails
Birch Trail
Coxey Pond Trail
South Farm
GW Pine Plantation
Herriman Lake
Jasper Hills Trail
Big Moose Trail
North Junction
Pincushion Mountain
Slim Lake Trail
Tucker Lake
Bird Lake

This trail offers challenge to the skier's skill as well as some beautiful scenery. This area has been harvested several times for timber products since the early 1950's. Much of the trail up to Coxey Pond is old logging roads. You may notice some paint marks on trees prior to entering the BWCA Wilderness. This is part of the harvesting process.

There are three small timber sales—two on State of Minnesota land and one on Federal land. Some logging was done during the winter of 1982-83 and logging is expected to be completed in the next winter or two. The occasional openings created from harvesting wood products will provide good wildlife habitat and add to your enjoyment of the trail. Many of the nice pine stands you will encounter on the trail were thinned sometime in the past by commercial timber sales.

Location: The Coxey Pond Trail is located about 17 miles northwest of Ely on County Road #644 (North Arm Road) on Burntside Lake.

Access: One mile past the Fenske Lake Campground on County Road #116 (Echo Trail) turn on to the North Arm Road (County Rd. #644). Go for 3.5 miles and you will see the Coxey and Slim Lakes Trail sign and parking area.

Recreation Opportunity Class: Semi-Primitive Non-motorized

Near the parking area the Coxey Pond and Slim Lake Trail splits. The Coxey Pond trail has a gradual climb of 200 feet before intersecting an old logging road. This portion of the trail passes some large, old pines (the sentinels) that offer your imagination a long forgotten link with the past.

Just past the sentinels the trail will spilt. The Coxey Pond trail continues to the left where it crosses the troll's bridge before connecting with the old Coxey Pond road. From the junction of the trail to Coxey Pond, you will be on an old logging road that travels through stands of pine that have been thinned in years gone by. This trail also intersects with the Ole Lake Loop which is more difficult, but beautiful. You should plan on coming out via the south road and then along the North Arm Road back to your vehicle.

The North Star Loop heads north at the sentinels, traversing some minor hills and open stands of pine before eventually joining the Coxey Pond Trail. The Lost Lakes Loop offers an alternate route to Coxey Pond. The Barren Ridge connects up to the Slim Lake Trail and offers access to other networks you many want to explore another day.

The Ole Lake Loop is considered difficult. Portions of this trail cross ice. Trail location has been chosen to avoid known bad ice. Ice conditions change rapidly in early and late season or during warm weather. Always be alert for changed conditions when crossing any ice. The parking area is the only facility provided.

Use of trail should track the attached map and signs at junctions help keep you on.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 20 Apr 2011
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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