The proposed Lake Vermilion Trail will be a 40-mile, paved, non-motorized, multi-use trail that will connect the communities of Cook and Tower/Soudan with public recreational opportunities near the south shore of Lake Vermilion. The Trail will provide a safe place for residents and visitors to walk and bicycle to public water accesses, scenic overlooks, parks, campgrounds, existing non-motorized trails, and other community amenities. Find a concept map of the trail by clicking here.
The idea of the Lake Vermilion Trail was conceived in the late 1980s, when Lake Vermilion resort owners saw great value in the prospect of a paved trail making connections throughout the area. But work toward implementing this vision didn’t begin until more than 20 years later.
In 2011, the Lake Vermilion Resort Association hired the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC) to develop the Lake Vermilion Trail Plan, which brought together area stakeholders to outline a conceptual vision of the proposed Lake Vermilion Trail. In 2013, this process was continued when SRF Consulting was hired to develop the Lake Vermilion Trail Location Study, which outlined the feasibility and cost of constructing selected western segments of the Trail.
In 2015, the Lake Vermilion Trail Steering Committee, with technical assistance from the National Park Service Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program and the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission (ARDC), reconvened to launch implementation efforts of the Trail. In 2018, the group published the Lake Vermilion Trail Master Plan to enhance the Trail’s access to funding opportunities.
Since reconvening, the Committee has developed publicity materials for the Trail, created a Joint Powers Board to enable development and maintenance of the future Trail, and developed a non-profit called Friends of the Lake Vermilion Trail.
Current efforts focus on building local awareness of the Trail effort and vying for trail construction funding. If you would like to be a part of the Steering Committee, please visit the Meetings page to learn about past and upcoming opportunities to be involved.
It takes a village to build a trail! To make a tax-deductible donation to trail development efforts, click the “donate” button or send your contribution to the mailing address below:
Friends of the Lake Vermilion Trail
1300 Trygg Road
Ely, MN 55731
Please make checks payable to “Friends of the Lake Vermilion Trail”.
Keep up to date on the latest news from the Lake Vermilion Trail here!
Lake Vermilion Trail Joint Powers Board Meeting Wednesday, October 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm Electronically via Zoom (computer or phone). Pre-registration is required by October 11. Pre-register… Read more “Notice of Regular Meeting”
Significant progress has been made toward creating a recreational trail between Cook and Tower, in the beautiful natural landscape south of Lake Vermilion. The trail will be… Read more “Friends of the Lake Vermilion Trail Ready to Raise Development Funds”
Wednesday, January 13, 2021 at 5:00 pm There will be three ways to attend this meeting. Preferred method – electronically via Zoom. Pre-registration is required by January… Read more “Lake Vermilion Trail Joint Powers Board Meeting”