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Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN –Tucked amid the community of Kabetogama, the Echo Bay Ski Trail offers novice skiers another tracked ski trail. Located, just off County Road 122 on County Road 332, the Echo Bay Ski Trail provides a winter ski experience around a frozen wetlands area.
Wetlands such as Echo Bay are a crucial component to the park. In the past, wetlands were places to be avoided or drained and filled for other uses. Today, we know wetlands serve a variety of important functions. They provide critical habitats for fish and wildlife, purify waters, mitigate the power of floods and storms, and provide recreational opportunities like hiking, skiing, and birdwatching.
Three ski loops are tracked in winter when conditions allow. The loops wander through mixed evergreen and deciduous forest and overlook wetlands created by beaver activity adjacent to Lake Kabetogama.
The first loop provides gradual downhill segments with a moderately steep uphill climb near the trail's end. The second and third loops provide slightly more challenging terrain as they move further from the wetlands into rockier terrain. At the signed scenic overlook, not ski accessible, or along the trail northeast of the pond, pause to look for the remains of a great blue heron rookery atop a ghost forest of dead ash trees. This once-active rookery reminds us landscapes are ever-changing, wildlife come and go, beavers create new wetlands, and old wetlands disappear over time. Preserved areas like the Echo Bay Trail, allow us to observe the natural fluctuation of nature.
Skis may be borrowed for use on the Echo Bay Trail from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Borrowed items must be returned the same day. During business hours, the visitor center offers maps, snowshoes, information, and hot cocoa.
The most up to date winter trail conditions are available on our website atwww.nps.gov/voya.
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–Open to Cranberry Bay and around Dryweed Island
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road–Open
Echo Bay Ski Trail –Open, packed, and tracked
Black Bay Ski Trail –Open, packed, and tracked
Tilson Connector Trail –Open, packed, and tracked
KabAsh Trail –Open
Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail –Open, not packed
Blind Ash Bay Trail –Open, not packed
Oberholtzer Trail –Open, not packed
Sullivan Bay Trail –Open, not packed
"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.