Voyageurs National Park Winter Trail Conditions Report March 2 2012
Contact: Jim Hummel, 218-283-6600
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minnesota: If you haven't visited Voyageurs National Park yet this winter, now is the time. Snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing conditions are perfect. All of the park's 110 miles of snowmobile trails and over 10 miles of groomed cross-country ski trails are now open and ready for visitors to enjoy. Travel along the lake trails offers snowmobilers a ride through a national park with opportunities to view wildlife and scenic grandeur. Skiers will see numerous animal tracks and signs of wildlife as they travel through the forests.
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.
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
The new 9-mile long Kabetogama Lake Ice Road is open for two way traffic and is being enjoyed by park visitors. The road follows a route along the south shore of Kabetogama Lake between the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and the Ash River Visitor Center.
The Rainy Lake Ice Road is open to Cranberry Bay and around Dryweed Island.
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.
The Blind Ash Bay snowshoe trail near the Ash River Visitor Center and the Oberholtzer snowshoe trail near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center are open.
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 fun winter activity.
Cross-Country Ski Trails - see trail status list at end
The Rainy Lake Visitor Center near International Falls has adult-sized skis (with boots and poles) available for rent and children's skis (with boots and poles) available for loan during business hours. The visitor center is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10:00am to 4:30pm.
"STAKED TRAILS MAKE SAFETY SENSE"
Did You Know?
Voyageurs National Park experienced a large, lightning-ignited fire on the Kabetogama Peninsula in 2004. This young eagle survived the fire and returned to its former nesting tree in time for park researchers to take this photo!