Decades in the making, the Steger Wilderness Center in Ely is nearing completion. The sprawling complex is located just north of Ely on Pickett’s Lake and has served as a center for learning, environmental awareness, skill development, community building, and leadership mentoring.

Final projects include essential infrastructure, including plumbing and some mechanicals to sheet rocking and other fine finishing work.

The center has grown over the years, self-funded via explorer Will Steger and some benefactors. But much work remains and your support is essential. Donations via the link below are essential for the completion of this extraordinary venue, which is being set up to serve as a gathering place for environmental study, a unique wilderness “laboratory” to draw attention to the climate crisis, and a center for personal development for people of all ages.

A unique vision and place in the Northwoods

The mission at the the Steger Center is to provide a unique wilderness setting that connects leaders and inspires innovation and bold discovery.

Construction & Craft

The center has been constructed over the decades by master craftsmen and women from around the world. The passion, attention to detail and willingness to teach and learn has created a unique place that inspires wonder. From the unique architecture in the Leaders Center to the beautiful glass and stone work on the bathhouse – The Steger Center has some of the best architectural details in the Northwoods.


Explore the Center

The 5-story Leaders Center offers unique community spaces for conferences and events. Facilities for up to 100 people and sleeping arrangements  in cabins of every kind РThe Steger Center is a wonderful place to hike, explore, learn and volunteer.  Explore the many buildings, community spaces, trails and nature that makes the Steger Center possibly the coolest place on earth!


Explore the natural world

With over 240 acres of woods, water, trees and sky, The Steger Center is a wonderful place to pick berries, take out a canoe and explore the trails. The lake, trails and spectacular nature scenes will remind why Ely, the BWCA and Northern Minnesota is one of the most beautiful places on earth.