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Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN – While the calendar says it is spring, winter just doesn't seem to want to let go. But with the intermittent warm and cold temps, trail and lake conditions have been changing rapidly.
Staked snowmobile trails are in fair condition with a good layer of snow from last Friday's storm. Grooming will take place on all land portages this week, and the new snow should provide nice conditions. Be careful while traveling off trail on the frozen lake surface. Hardened snow drifts from the recent freeze / thaw can often be hidden beneath a blanket of fresh snow, creating an unwelcome surprise. While ice thickness is still good, many slush pockets and areas of slush have been found off of the staked trails.
Both the Rainy Lake and Kab – Ash Ice Roads are no longer open for the season and will not be maintained. While ice thickness is currently not a problem, road surfaces were suffering under slushy conditions and potholes, increasing the chances of visitors becoming stuck. Both roads are covered in the most recent snowfall as well.
Skiers can celebrate last Friday's snow, as it should help revitalize last week's poor icy trail conditions. Grooming will take place this week creating some great ski conditions, especially for late March.
Snowshoeing has never been better. With over a foot of fresh snow last Friday, even the well-used trails are like new. Visitors can easily get off the beaten path and find new snow to explore. All four of the parks snowshoe trails are now fresh and ready for a hike.
Cross-country skis and snowshoes can still be rented and borrowed from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center during business hours, Wed – Sun, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. This week will be the last Sunday that the visitor center will be open until summer. Beginning April 1, the visitor center will be open Tue – Sat, 10:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Below is this week's winter trail conditions report. All reports are available on the park's website at www.nps.gov/voya.
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– Not Open
Kab - Ash Ice Road– Not Open
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
Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail – Open
Blind Ash Bay Trail – Open
Oberholtzer Trail – Open
Sullivan Bay Trail – Open
"STAKED TRAILS MAKE SAFETY SENSE"
ORANGE IDENTIFIES HAZARDS
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 www.nps.gov.