Winter Events at Voyageurs

A mother puts her arm around her son's shoulders and both smile while standing at the head of a sunny, snow-packed trail.
Snowshoeing the Oberholtzer Trail near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.


Embrace the Cold. Play and Learn. Warm the Heart.

The park is open year-round 24 - hours a day, 7 days a week. However, Park Rangers and specialized staff offer monthly activities at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center January through March.

For more information, please call the Rainy Lake Visitor Center at (218) 286-5258.

A child and several adults wear snowshoes and heavy coats prepare to hike down a snowy trail.


Night Light Snowshoe Hike & Telescope Observation

Friday, January 19, 2024

6 to 7:30 pm. Recommended ages 5 and up. Free.

Celebrate Icebox Days and join us January 19 for a Night Light Snowshoe Hike and Telescope Observation at Voyageurs! Embark on a snowshoe hike with candle luminaries glowing alongside a moonlit trail. Afterwards, join us for a telescope session where we will look at planets, the moon, and more together!

Contact the Rainy Lake Visitor Center for more information at (218) 286-5258.

Boreal Stargazing Week


Join us for a week of free activities for students, families, and friends that immerse you in learning and stargazing. The second annual Boreal Stargazing week will take place from February 10 - 18, 2024.

These free events are friendly for all ages and feature captivating night sky tours, snowshoe hikes, live conversations with astronomers, and more!

Boreal Stargazing programs are brought to you by Voyageurs Conservancy, Friends of the Boundary Waters, Starry Skies North, the National Park Service, Superior National Forest, Expeditions in Education and The Bell Museum. Teachers, click here to register for inspiring Boreal Stargazing Week programs and speakers live streamed directly to your classroom!

Boreal Stargazing Week poster showing event schedule against the backdrop of a star-filled night sky

Peter McWilliams


Join us for Boreal Stargazing Week - where the magic of the Minnesota night skies comes to life!
Enjoy free community events during our dark sky celebration in Minnesota’s wild places including Voyageurs National Park, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Duluth, and the Twin Cities. Explore our inspiring universe alongside dark sky experts, park rangers, and local astronomers.

A star-filled sky above a frozen lake surface. Winter Night Sky - Boreal Stargazing

Gordy Lindgren


Voyageurs National Park: Nighttime Snowshoe Hike & Telescope Program
Saturday, February 10
6-7:30 PM
Black Bay Beaver Pond

Join a park ranger and Voyageurs Conservancy for a guided snowshoe hike and telescope observation session at Black Bay Beaver Pond (to access the Black Bay Beaver Pond, drive ~.25 mile on the ice road from Rainy Lake Visitor Center). Snowshoe rentals are free and available upon arrival at Black Bay Beaver Pond trailhead. Bring warm layers and a headlamp!

No reservation necessary

BWCA: Snowshoe to the Hegman Lake Petroglyphs
Monday, Feb. 12th and Friday, Feb. 16th - 5:00 PM
Hegman Lake, BWCA Entry Point 77, north of Ely


Duluth: "Exploring Dark Skies" with Jessica Rogers, director of the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium, along with the Arrowhead Astronomical Society and Astro Bob
Friday, February 16th
7 - 9 PM
Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium on the UMD campus

7 - 8 PM Come learn about the adverse adverse effects of light pollution and what you can do to be a steward of the night sky with Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium

7 - 9 PM Join Astro Bob, the Marshall W. Alworth Planetarium, and the Arrowhead Astronomical Society to explore the wonders of the night sky. Come see Jupiter and the moon up close (weather permitting)!

Twin Cities: Night Sky Watching Party - Wood Lake Nature Center
Friday, February 16th
6 - 8 PM

Look for constellations, hear stories, and enjoy the night. Learn how our night sky has been lost to light pollution and simple things to do to bring back the night.

Voyageurs National Park: Ski Event and Telescope Program
Saturday, February 17
6-7:30 PM
Tilson Bay Bogwalk, International Falls, MN

Join the Polar Polers, Voyageurs National Park, and Voyageurs Conservancy for cross country skiing and a telescope observation session at Tilson Bay. Meet at the Tilson Bay Bogwalk parking lot. Bring warm layers and a headlamp!

Note: Please bring your own skis before the program begins (they are not available at Tilson Bay Bogwalk). Limited rental skis for this event are available for free at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.

No reservation necessary


Bring your students out of their desk and into the largest International Dark Sky Region in the world - right here in Minnesota! By participating in Boreal Stargazing Week, your classroom will receive FREE live virtual programs on the wonders of dark skies with special speakers from NASA, National Park Service, Expeditions in Education, and more! Students will learn about protected Dark Sky Regions, the natural and cultural importance of the night sky, and how we can protect them.


Who can participate? Boreal Stargazing Week programs are available and free for K-12 classrooms across the country. See specific programs below for grade-level targets.

Sign me up! Register your classroom here. Boreal Stargazing Week programs will be live streamed directly to your classroom! Teachers will also receive the recorded sessions if they cannot attend the live programs.


Winter Night Skies & the Aurora Borealis with Voyageurs Conservancy
Monday, February 12
Live Virtual Program
Grades 4-12

While winter months may bring freezing temperatures, there are advantages to experiencing the night sky during this time of year! Join Voyageurs Conservancy's dark sky enthusiast as we explore the wonders of the winter night sky and learn about why the rare and beautiful phenomenon of the aurora borealis may be best viewed in the year 2024.

Dark Sky Magic at Voyageurs National Park
Tuesday, February 13
12pm CT, Live Virtual Program
Grades K-8

Join Expeditions in Education and the National Park Service LIVE on the ice in Voyageurs National Park! Through this immersion, students will experience the wonder of the night sky and realize the importance of dark skies for both humans and wildlife. Teachers - please have your students begin working on their Activities or Engineering Design Challenges before this LIVE event.

The Long Tour and The Big Plunge: The Lucy and DAVINCI missions at NASA Goddard
Thursday, February 15
Live Virtual Program

This talk will follow the development, testing, and launch of the Lucy mission to Jupiter’s Trojan asteroids in 2021. After that we’ll pivot to NASA Goddard’s next exciting planetary mission: dropping a probe into the extreme Venus atmosphere with DAVINCI.


Last year’s Boreal Stargazing Week attracted 9,000+ students from around the country, including classrooms in Maryland, Minnesota, California, Florida, Tennessee, and New Mexico! Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to immerse your classroom in Minnesota’s starbright skies and get your students interested in the fascinating world of astronomy.

A special thanks to Voyageurs Conservancy for helping put on these special events!

A Park Ranger points a laser and visitors gaze up at the star-filled night sky.

Gordy Lindgren

Why are we celebrating?

For generations, humans have looked to the stars for inspiration and connection. Located along the Minnesota-Canadian border is a rare sanctuary for starry skies. Voyageurs National Park and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota make up one of the largest Dark Sky Regions in the world.

The Boreal Stargazing Week celebrates the importance of dark skies through virtual school programs and community events. Friends of the Boundary Waters, Voyageurs Conservancy, Starry Skies North, National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, and the Bell Museum, are joining together to share boreal dark skies with folks of all ages and backgrounds. Enjoy snowshoe programs, telescope sessions, and live conversations with amateur astronomers. Join us for a free program and discover the wilderness above your head.


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Last updated: January 19, 2024

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Mailing Address:

Voyageurs National Park Headquarters
360 Hwy 11 East

International Falls, MN 56649



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