Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report

Updated: February 3, 2016

All snowmobile trails and portages are being groomed with the small groomers.

Pressure ridges have settled down this week and have not been moving for the time being but continue to be monitored.

There are some small pockets of slush that formed over the weekend. They are not deep and currently do not present a hazard. The pockets should firm up with this colder weather.

Ski and snowshoe rentals are now available at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.

Please check back, or like our facebook page for the most up-to-date conditions. Thank-you.

**Voyageurs National Park facebook page is a public page, one does not have to have an account to access and view postings.

Snowmobile Trails

International Falls to Kettle Falls (Purple Trail) – Open, Staked
Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Kabetogama Lake to Ash River (Green Trail) – Open, Staked
Ash River to Crane Lake (Green Trail) – Open, Staked
Chain of Lakes (Dashed Black Trail) – Open, Staked
Ash River to Kettle Falls (Yellow Trail) – Open, Staked
East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake (Blue Trail) – Open, Staked
Rudder Bay (Orange Trail) – Open, Staked

***Please remember the snowmobile speed limit within the park is 45 mph on frozen lake surfaces and 25 mph on all overland portages. Speed limit signs are posted at trailheads and overland portages.

Ice Roads

Rainy Lake Ice Road- Open to Cranberry Bay and around to the North side of Dryweed
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road- Open from Kabetogama boat launch to Ash River boat launch and Sphunge Island loop

Ski Trails

Echo Bay Ski Trail- Open, packed, tracked
Black Bay Ski Trail- Open- Birch (novice) Loop: packed, tracked- Pine (Intermediate) Loop: packed- Ridge (Advanced) Loop: open
Tilson Connector Trail- Open, packed, tracked
KabAsh Trail- Open

Snowshoe Trails

Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail- Open
Blind Ash Bay Trail- Open, packed
Oberholtzer Trail- Open, packed
Sullivan Bay Trail- Open, packed

Snowshoe and Cross-Country Ski loans are available at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.

March 3

In response to a recent lone wolf sighting in the Ash River area, Voyageurs National Park staff have rerouted sections of the park’s snowmobile trails.

The wolf appears to be alone with no pack and has followed three snowmobilers. In order to ensure visitor safety, park staff are taking precautions by monitoring the wolf and re-routing small sections of the park’s Green and Yellow Trails. (more…)

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Snowmobiling Accident Results In Fatality

Authorities say the snowmobiler who died after his machine crashed into a tree in northeastern Minnesota was from Iowa.

The Duluth News Tribune reports 45-year-old Timothy James Schultz of Cedar Rapids died from head trauma after Saturday’s accident near Orr.

The crash happened shortly before 6:30 p.m. on the Bill Morgan Trail. No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

The St. Louis County sheriff’s office says emergency crews tried to revive Schultz but he died at the scene. The crash remains under investigation.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Eddie Rosario gets first-ever start as cleanup hitter as Twins go for split

“Another day, another lineup,” manager Paul Molitor said of the Twins’ batting order, which is missing Miguel Sano for a second straight day.
Source: Trib

Gophers work to repair football team image, educate players 11 months after sexual assault scandal

The Gophers had cleaned their image under former coaches Jerry Kill and Tracy Claeys. But that effort took a major hit when several players were involved in an alleged sexual assault. Now, with Fleck in charge, the Gophers are trying to repair their image again.
Source: Trib

Vikings offense shows highs and lows during final night practice in Mankato

MANKATO — The soaring passes to Stefon Diggs would wait. An announced crowd of 10,500 at Blakeslee Stadium took in the Vikings’ final night practice in Mankato after 52 years of training camp and saw… three tight ends take the field.
The Vikings’ retooled run game was at the forefront Saturday night, beginning with goal line and red zone work in 11-on-11 drills. They actually opened with some live tackling. And, perhaps to be expected, last year’s third-ranked defense controlled the line of scrimmage and kept Dalvin Cook and Jerick McKinnon from finding much room.
Thursday’s preseason opener in Buffalo will provide a better update about how the Vikings offense has progressed, but training camp practices like Saturday night put on display its run-centered approach after ranking 32nd in the league last season. And there’s room to grow about a month away from the season opener. Below are some takeaways from the practice:
The Vikings offense is looking to create on the ground and build off that production. Quarterback Sam Bradford carried out many play-action passes, including an impressive 50-yard bomb to Diggs for a touchdown as he glided past cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes. Whether its Cook, McKinnon or Latavius Murray, who has yet to practice in purple while recovering from March ankle surgery, the Vikings are looking for returns on investments.
Speaking of Diggs, the Bradford-to-Diggs connection has been healthy throughout the summer. The third-year receiver looks as fast and evasive as ever and he’s one to rarely miss when Bradford makes a big throw. Diggs caught a couple long passes on Saturday night, including the 50-yard touchdown and another 25-yard grab via a deep crossing route. Diggs, receiver Michael Floyd and tight end Kyle Rudolph also worked the middle of the field with contested catches.
Terence Newman is still getting some work at safety, where he lined up for Harrison Smith in the defense on Saturday night. Newman started at safety in 2015 when the Vikings were in a pinch and he’ll remain a safety valve for the secondary. On defense, linemen Tom Johnson, Linval Joseph and Danielle Hunter, along with linebacker Edmond Robinson, stood out with disruptive plays in 11-on-11 sessions. Waynes pitched in a deflection, blocking another Bradford target to Diggs in the middle of the field.
Jarius Wright is still involved in the Vikings offense. Without receiver Laquon Treadwell practicing due to a leg injury, Wright was in three-receiver sets with Adam Thielen and Diggs. Now Floyd’s strong camp could mean he’s eventually going to command a large role, but as the Vikings plan the first four games without Floyd, they’ve turned to Wright in Treadwell’s stead. Wright caught perhaps Bradford’s best throw of the night, a touch pass more than 30 yards just over Wright’s shoulders as he ran a deep crossing route with Anthony Barr and Mackensie Alexander trailing close.
The specialist competitions appear close to this point. Both kickers Kai Forbath and Marshall Koehn made 3 of 4 attempts from 39, 44, 48 and 51 yards. Forbath missed from 44 yards while Koehn didn’t hit from 51 yards. Punters Taylor Symmank and Ryan Quigley each got seven attempts in team drills and the edge seemed to go to Symmank, who had better hang time. Quigley had a couple early ducks, including one 30-yard punt from his own end zone. Preseason games will loom large for both competitions.
Tight end Kyle Carter, who spent last season on the practice squad, was the third tight end in heavy personnel formations for the Vikings with Rudolph and David Morgan. Minnesota has an interesting and inexperienced group behind Rudolph at tight end, but when the Vikings needed some push they turned to Carter instead of Bucky Hodges and Nick Truesdell, a former receiver.
Source: Trib

Vikings left tackle Rashod Hill carted off during night practice, returns to sideline

MANKATO — The Vikings reached deeper into the depth chart at left tackle Saturday night when backup Rashod Hill, filling in for the injured Riley Reiff, was carted off the field.
The good news is Hill, the 25-year-old tackle, appeared fine as he returned only moments later to the sideline in full pads. He did not return to practice. Jeremiah Sirles replaced him in the lineup.
“He’s OK, he’s OK. Everything’s good,” defensive tackle Linval Joseph said after the final night practice at Blakeslee Stadium. “When anybody goes down, at the end of the day we’re all family; we need one another. So when somebody goes down, it scares everybody.”
Hill’s agent, Brett Tessler, tweeted on Sunday morning that the tackle “had a scare in practice last night,” but added the tackle is “fine and shouldn’t miss any time.”
Hill appeared to injure his left leg when a pileup occurred during a run play. He was tended to by the Vikings athletic training staff before getting up on his own, testing the leg and hopping on the cart.
Reiff missed his ninth straight practice since suffering a back injury on July 27, the first practice of Vikings training camp.
Source: Trib

Listen: Vikings' contract moves, camp observations and Senator Al Franken

Intro: On this Access Vikings podcast, we introduce Ben Goessling as our new Vikings beat writer. 1:30: Goessling and Andrew Krammer recap three big contract extensions the Vikings completed to keep the defense together. 17:00: All offense on the camp observations: Michael Floyd, Stefon Diggs, Dalvin Cook. 31:00: Senator Al Franken and his son, Joe, join to talk Vikings fandom, memories and their final camp trip to Mankato.
Source: Trib

'Still hard to believe': 52 years of the Vikings in Mankato coming to an end

As the franchise’s time in Mankato comes to its end, players, coaches and personnel of past and present Vikings teams say the memories they’ve made aren’t going anywhere.
Source: Trib

Twins continue staff shakeup by firing four scouts

A couple of longtime scouts have been let go as the Twins continue to make personnel moves.
Source: Trib

Abbott Road public water access on Island Lake to be temporarily closed for upgrades

The Abbott Road public water access on Island Lake north of Duluth will be temporarily closed from Sept. 5 to approximately Oct. 26 while upgrades are made to the site. The project will include improvements to the boat ramp and parking area, space for aquatic invasive species treatment, and storm water management.

The Dam Site public water access on Island Lake is also closed this season due to a Minnesota Power hydro improvement project at the Island Lake Dam. Boaters are encouraged to use the Hideaway public water access on the northeast side of the lake which will be the only public water access open during the fall construction season.

Boaters who frequent the west side of the lake are urged to exercise caution at the causeway bridge on County Road 4. If current high water levels persist, larger boats may not be able to navigate under the bridge. Boaters who dock their watercraft on the west side of the lake should be aware that high water could limit their navigation to a public water access and make it difficult to remove larger boats from the water this fall.

“Doing this project now has allowed us to take advantage of federal funding for the improvements while ensuring the reconstructed access is completed and ready for next spring,” said DNR Parks and Trails supervisor Kevin Johnson. “People who keep larger boats docked on the west side of the lake may need to take their boats out of the water early this year, or make arrangements with a private access owner so they can remove their boats before late fall.”

The Abbott Road access will be signed during the closure and boaters are asked to avoid the construction area.

For a map showing the Abbott Road and Dam Site public water accesses on Island Lake, visit the online LakeFinder at mndnr.gov. Questions about the Abbott Road public water access project can be directed to Kevin Johnson at the DNR’s Two Harbors area parks and trails office at 218-834-1431.

Source: Mn DNR