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Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN – Come explore the interior of Voyageurs National Park by snowshoe. 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.
Snow conditions are perfect for trekking through the park along the Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail. Follow the Rainy Lake Ice Road one-mile north to the Black Bay Ski Trailhead. The Beaver Pond Trail starts at the ski trailhead but is separate from the ski trails (look for the hiking sign). It is a moderate 1.2-mile round trip hike that travels into the interior of the Kabetogama Peninsula.
Many visitors to the park are not aware of this trail but we assure you, it is worth the hike. The trail takes you through a stand of white pine, past low-lands of aspen and birch, and up to a ridge feathered with jack pine. Eventually, at the trails end is a large rock outcrop that overlooks the beaver pond. Of course this time of year, the beavers are only active under the ice but visitors can often view otter slides or the critters themselves on the pond surface.
Snowmobile trails in the park are also in excellent shape 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 www.nps.gov/voya.
Snowmobile trails are in fair condition with some drifting on larger lake surfaces.Please use caution when riding off trail due to large snow drifts present on most lake surfaces. 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– Open around to the east side of Dryweed Island and up to Dove Bay
Kab - Ash Ice Road – Open from the Kabetogama Lake boat launch to Bowman Island and from the Ash River boat launch to Blind Ash Bay.
With the recent snow and wind events many sections of the ice roads have drifted shut but maintenance staff continues to make progress and will be working to get those sections of road opened if possible.
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.