Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Jan. 11 2013
Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minnesota: All snowmobile trails in the park are open except the Chain of Lakes Trail on the Kabetogama Peninsula. Trails were generally in good condition, but with the recent rain conditions, have deteriorated. Use extreme caution when travelling away from the staked trail and be aware of the possibility of encountering thin or rough ice, fish houses, and other snowmobiles.
Regular weekly winter trail conditions reports are available on our website at www.nps.gov/voya.
Snowmobile Trails - see trail status list at end
Hazardous pressure ridges are still present, but have not been too active. Snowmobilers must continue to use extreme caution and only cross the pressure ridges at designated crossings along the staked route.Slow travel speeds are highly recommended. Crews are grooming snowmobile trails on a weekly basis except from Saginaw Bay East to Kettle portage due to a pressure ridge. Some of the land portages have a few exposed dirt patches due to minimal snow cover.
Park crews will be out, this week clearing brush and improving the Chain of Lakes Trail. Please use caution when travelling in the park especially weekdays and watch for crews working on and alongside the trail.
Outstanding scenery is one of the reasons why Voyageurs National Park was established. Please enjoy the scenery as you ride and follow the snowmobile speed limit of 45 mph on frozen lake surfaces and 25 mph on all overland portages. Speed limit signs are posted at trailheads and overland portages.
Ice Roads- see trail status list at end
Crews have been working on both the Rainy Lake and Kabetogama ice roads, but have still been finding areas of insufficient ice for travel by cars or trucks. As of today, the Kabetogama ice road is open to Mud Bay and the Rainy Lake Ice Road is open to the Black Bay Ski Trail. As soon as adequate ice is found, additional sections of the roads will be open.
To reduce hazards to snowmobile users, all ice blocks are to be immediately chopped up, submerged, or hauled to land. Placement of equipment or any type of structure must be greater than 50' off the center of all ice roads and snowmobile trails. Written authorization from the park is required for individuals to plow any lake surfaces within the park.
Snowshoe Trails - see trail status list at end
The Sullivan Bay snowshoe trail is now open. This trail is located along the Ash River Visitor Center entrance road. Travel about two miles in on the entrance road and look for the snowshoe sign on your right that marks the trail.
Snowshoes are available for loan at the Rainy Lake Visitor near International Falls, Arrowhead Lodge in Kabetogama, and Ash Trail Lodge in Ash River. Take advantage of this opportunity to try this winter activity.
Cross-Country Ski Trails - see trail status list at end
The Rainy Lake Visitor Center near International Falls has adult-sized skis available for rent and children's skis available for loan during business hours. The visitor center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 4:30pm.
International Falls to Kettle Falls (Purple Trail) - Open and staked
Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Kabetogama Lake to Ash River (Green Trail) - Open and staked
Ash River to Crane Lake (Green Trail) - Open and staked
Chain of Lakes (Dashed Black Trail) - Closed
Ash River to Kettle Falls (Yellow Trail) - Open and Staked
East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake (Blue Trail) - Open and Staked
Rainy Lake Ice Road - Open to Black Bay Ski Trail
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road - Open between the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and Mud Bay
Echo Bay Ski Trail - Open/packed,
Black Bay Ski Trail- Novice loop open/packed
Sullivan Bay Trail - Open