Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Condition Report for March 19, 2014

Subscribe RSS Icon | What is RSS
Date: March 19, 2014
Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN Grab a pair of snowshoes and experience the Oberholtzer Trail in a whole new way. Visitors to the park often hike this trail in summer due to its convenient location - near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. In winter, visitors can explore the trail by snowshoe and experience all winter has to offer in just a short 2-mile trek.

The Oberholtzer Trail was named after conservationist – Ernest Oberholtzer who lived not far from the doors of the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Ober (as he was known) built his home on Mallard Island in 1915. Years earlier, Ober met an Ojibwe Indian guide - Billy Magee and became fast friends. They traveled, by canoe, thousands of miles throughout the area and into Ontario, Canada.

After years of travel with his Ojibwe companion, Ober realized the area should be set aside for all to enjoy and spearheaded a movement to stop dam development in the region. Oberholtzer's persistence led to the passage of the Shipstead-Newton-Nolan Act in 1930. This legislation, based largely on Ober's alternative plan for the region, prohibited the changing of water levels in the Superior National Forest. It was the first legislation ever passed by the U.S. Congress that mandated wilderness values on federal lands.

Oberholtzer and the many other conservationists, with whom he worked, were successful in setting aside nearly three million acres of wilderness known today as the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Many of his fellow conservationists would later help establish Voyageurs National Park.

Today, the park offers this 2-mile trail for visitors to enjoy year-round. Like much of the park, it offers a variety of life from chickadees, red squirrels, red fox, snowshoe hare, to timber wolves. Visitors who snowshoe this trail may spot these or other wildlife.

The Friends of Voyageurs National Park (FVNP) have donated a variety of snowshoes for all ages to enjoy. They are free-of-charge and can be checked-out at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

Snowmobile trails in the park are in fair condition thanks in part to the park's gateway community snowmobile clubs: International Voyageur, Ash River – Kabetogama Snowdrifters, and Voyageur Trail Society.

Below is this week's winter trail conditions report. All reports are available on the park's website at

Snowmobile Trails

Snowmobile trails are in fair condition. Speed limits in the park are 45 mph on lake surfaces and 25 mph on land portages.

International Falls to Kettle Falls (Purple Trail) – Open, staked, and groomed

Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Kabetogama Lake to Ash River (Green Trail) – Open, staked, and groomed

Ash River to Crane Lake (Green Trail) – Open, staked, and groomed

Chain of Lakes (Dashed Black Trail) – Open, staked, and groomed

Ash River to Kettle Falls (Yellow Trail) – Open, staked, and groomed

East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake (Blue Trail) – Open, staked, and groomed

Rainy Lake Ice Road– Closed

Kab - Ash Ice Road– Closed


Ski Trails

Echo Bay Ski Trail – Open, packed, and tracked

Black Bay Ski Trail – Open, packed, and tracked

Tilson Connector Trail – Open, packed, and tracked

Kab-Ash Trail – Open

Snowshoe Trails

Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail – Open

Blind Ash Bay Trail – Open

Oberholtzer Trail – Open

Sullivan Bay Trail – Open





About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 401 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at

Last updated: April 10, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649


(218) 283-6600

Contact Us