Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report for March 12, 2014

A View from Kettle Falls Dam looking toward Namakan Lake
A view from Kettle Falls Dam looking over Namakan Lake

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News Release Date: March 12, 2014

Contact: Tawnya Schoewe, 218-283-6670

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN In winter, Kettle Falls displays all that Voyageurs National Park has to offer during this season, solitude, quiet, and scenic beauty. The use of Kettle Falls has changed over time, from a major transportation route, to hubs of mining, logging, and fishing, and now to recreation, yet people keep returning to this meeting place of Namakan and Rainy Lakes.

While the hotel itself is closed in the winter, there is plenty to do in the area. To make the trip by snowmobile, take the Blue Trail along Rainy Lake for 28 miles, or follow the Yellow Trail (7.4 miles), which begins off the Green Trail near Ash River. Make the climb to the Kettle Falls Dam Overlook (by foot) to view the rush of cold water, dropping about 10 feet, between Namakan and Rainy Lake. Be careful of the water and ice surrounding the dam, as it flows fast and causes thin ice conditions. For your own safety, do not venture onto the ice anywhere near the dam.

Solitude, quiet, and beauty mark the Kettle Falls landscape, all wrapped in an ice-covered embrace that makes this trip possible. Save for the rush of water through the dam separating Namakan and Rainy Lakes, quiet surrounds the landscape. Often winter visitors are the only people for miles around, and the wind rustling the snow-covered pines the only companion. Dress warm, prepare for the weather, and experience winter at Kettle Falls for yourself.

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 with pockets of slush showing up on 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 to Dove Bay and spurs to east of Dryweed Island

Kab - Ash Ice Road– Closed from the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center

– Open from the Ash River Visitor Center to Nebraska Bay

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





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Last updated: April 10, 2015

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Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649


(218) 283-6600

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