International Wolf Center
Considering that Ely lies in the heart of the largest population of wolves in the Lower 48, and that Dr. David Mech (one of the world’s foremost wolf experts) did much of his pioneering wolf research here, it is only natural that the International Wolf Center (1396 Hwy. 169, 218/365-4695 or 800/359-9653, www.wolf.org, 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily July–Aug., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. daily May–June and Sept.–Oct., 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Sat.–Sun. rest of year, $8.50) opened their education center here.
For most people the highlight is the resident wolf pack living in the 1.25-acre enclosure behind the center. Though the wolves can and sometimes do hide out in the forest, they tend to roam and rest up front, allowing close-up views through the massive windows.
The other exhibits are also excellent and should not be missed. You’ll learn about vocalizations and behaviors, understand the social structure of the pack, see inside a den, and hear about legend and lore back to the Middle Ages.
Children can follow a wolf pup through its first year in the Little Wolf room. They also offer behind-the-scenes tours, short off-site tracking and howling trips, and extended adventure programs where you can accompany researchers into the field.
© Tim Bewer from Moon Minnesota, 3rd Edition