Pets allowed
Allowed with Restrictions
Elevation Gain
140.00 ft (42.67 m)
Trail type
3.60 mi (5.79 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

The Secret/Blackstone Trail is a beautiful trail system near Ely, Minnesota that features several scenic overlooks of ponds and lakes. The system consists of two loops. The shorter loop takes hikers around Blackstone Lake and is a much easier hike. The longer loop, which is the subject of this article, is a much more rugged trail that has rocky sections and hilly terrain. The payoff for taking this harder 3.6-mile route is breathtaking views from cliffs above Ennis Lake. The trailhead for this trail system is located about 20 miles east of Ely off Moose Lake Road.

Soon after leaving the trailhead you will pass a pond and the trail to Flash Lake to the left, continue straight here. You will then come to an intersection where the trail follows either the north side of Blackstone Lake or the west side of the lake; go straight here to go to the west side of Blackstone Lake. Next you will find a spur trail to the left that leads to an unofficial backpacking campsite on Blackstone Lake. The spur trail to the official Forest Service campsite further down the trail. At the next intersection there is the option to head east where the trail runs between Blackstone Lake and Secret Lake; instead head toward Ennis Lake.

After this intersection the trail becomes much more rugged, but soon you will be rewarded with a view from above of a small pond. Several hundred yards further there is another vista of a larger pond. About 500 yards past the larger pond, you will encounter a spur trail that leads to a cliff above Ennis Lake. The beginning of this spur trail is quite steep; be careful here. Do not skip this spur trail, as it leads to the most scenic view of this hike with views of Ennis Lake to the east and wetlands to the west. After returning from the spur trail, continue on towards the east. There are two more overlooks of Ennis Lake. The trail then heads north and becomes less rugged. At the next intersection take a left to head west. Much of this portion of trail provides views of Secret Lake. At the intersection beyond Secret Lake, head north and retrace your steps back to the parking area.

An informational brochure that contains a map of the Secret/Black Stone Trail can be found here.



Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass


Open Year-round



Lake views. Pond views.


Rocky trail areas.

Trailhead Elevation

1,420.00 ft (432.82 m)

Highest point

1,560.00 ft (475.49 m)


Near lake or river
Backcountry camping
Geologically significant
Big vistas

Typically multi-day


Permit required




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