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Winter Ice and Trails Report for Jan 18 2012

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Date: January 18, 2012
Contact: Jim Hummel, 218-283-6650

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, Minnesota: Current snowfall within the park is bringing excellent riding conditions on the trails. Travel along the lake trails offers snowmobilers a ride through a national park with opportunities to view wildlife and scenic grandeur. The park invites Ice Box Days participants to come out to Voyageurs during their stay.

Snowmobile Trails - see trail status list at end

Hazardous pressure ridges are still present, but colder weather has slowed their movement. Snowmobilers should continue to use extreme caution and only cross the pressure ridges at designated crossings along the staked route. Slow travel speeds are highly recommended. Snowmobile land portages have rough riding conditions due to minimal snow cover. Crews will begin grooming trails next week.

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.

Due to improved ice conditions, the Rainy Lake Ice Road is now open to Cranberry Bay. Crews will check ice next week to determine if there is sufficient ice to open the loop 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 and 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 and tracked. 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.

Cross-Country Ski Trails - see trail status list at end

The park has opened the Black Bay Ski Trails and the Tilson Connector Trail, but there is not enough snow to track the trails.

Regular weekly winter trail conditions reports are available on our website at www.nps.gov/voya.

Snowmobile Trails
International Falls to Kettle Falls (Purple Trail) - Open & Staked
Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Kabetogama Lake to Ash River (Green Trail) - Open & Staked
Ash River to Crane Lake (Green Trail) - Open & Staked
Chain of Lakes (Dashed Black Trail) - Not Open
Ash River to Kettle Falls (Yellow Trail) - Open & Staked
East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake (Blue Trail) - Open & Staked

Ice Roads
Rainy Lake Ice Road - Open to Cranberry Bay
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road - Open between the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center Boat Launch and the Ash River Visitor Center Boat Launch

Ski Trails
Echo Bay Ski Trail - Open with minimal snow cover
Black Bay Ski Trail- Open with minimal snow cover
Tilson Connector Trail- Open with minimal snow cover
KabAsh Trail- Open with minimal snow cover

Snowshoe Trails
Blind Ash Bay Trail - Open with minimal snow cover
Sullivan Bay Trail - Open and tracked
Oberholtzer Trail - Open with minimal snow cover



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Did You Know?

A common loon shows off black & white summer plumage, NPS

Your choice in fishing tackle can have an effect on park wildlife. It takes only one lead sinker to kill a loon. Non-lead alternatives are available in local stores and at Voyageurs National Park visitor centers.