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.

“We are taking precautions for the protection of the visitors and the wolf,” Superintendent Mike Ward said in a release. “Visitors are encouraged to continue to enjoy the winter wonderland by accessing the open trails throughout the park and multiple gateway communities.”

Temporary closures

The Green, or Voyageur, Trail from the Moose River Grade to Namakan Lake will be closed.

A short section of the Yellow, or Kettle Falls, Trail from the Green Trail and Yellow Trail connection in Moose Bay to the Orange, or Rudder Bay, Trail and the Yellow Trail connection will be closed.

Reroute

The Green Trail will be rerouted from the closure on Namakan Lake to the connection of the Yellow, or Kettle Falls, Trail and Orange, or Rudder Bay, Trail running along the south side of Big Namakan Island.

When travelling from Ash River south to Crane Lake, a visitor may take the Ash River to Crane Lake land trail. If travelling through the park, they may take the Green Trail northwest to the Rudder Bay Trail, then head northeast to the newly formed Rudder Bay Trail, Kettle Falls Trail, and Voyageur Trail connection.

When travelling from Crane Lake to Ash River, a visitor may take the Crane Lake to Ash River land trail. When travelling through the park, a visitor may take the Green Trail to the Yellow and Orange Trail connections, turn onto the Orange, or Rudder Bay, Trail until the Green Trail connection, and turn southeast to Ash River.

I saw a wolf up near the clinic in the Falls, shouldn’t the DNR close those streets?:)

wolf

Release Date:  February 11, 2015

Contact:           Tawnya Schoewe, tawnya_schoewe@nps.gov, 218-283-6670

Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN – Voyageurs would like to welcome the Minnesota United Snowmobilers Association (MNUSA), who will be riding the park and area trails this weekend. Fresh snowfall this week has helped improve all trails and portages just in time for their 2015 Winter Rendezvous. Snowmobilers can enjoy the ease of traveling on groomed surfaces at Voyageurs National Park thanks in part to the park’s gateway community snowmobile clubs: International Voyageur, Ash River – Kabetogama Snowdrifters, and Voyageur Trail Society.

 

Visitors to the park can enjoy the groomed trails by visiting a scenic rock formation, Grassy Bay Cliffs. Located on Sand Point Lake between the communities of Ash River and Crane Lake, Grassy Bay received its name from being a portage that was most likely used during the fur trade. The portage was a short cut between Sand Point Lake and Namakan Lake, and its earliest map reference was in 1913 on the International Joint Commission map.

Outstanding geologic outcrops, such as Grassy Bay Cliffs, are one of the reasons Voyageurs National Park was established. Visitors to this area of the park can see a unique outcrop of the Lac La Croix biotite granite, the same rocks that make up much of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. While the geologic story of the park dates back 2.8 billion years and shows a variety of different geologic features, this outcrop shows some of the “younger” rocks of the park, “only” 2.6 billion years old. In addition to its impressive age, this rock outcrop reaches more than 80 feet high and is truly a scenic experience.

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 portages.  The speed limit for the ice road is 30 mph.

 

Snowmobile Trails

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 RoadOpen to Cranberry Bay and around Dryweed Island

Kabetogama Lake Ice RoadOpen

 

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

KabAsh Trail – Open

 

Snowshoe Trails

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

 

 

 

www.nps.gov

 

 

 

 

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.

 


snowmo

INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MN – All trails within the park are now open.  Snowmobile portages are groomed. Full grooming on lake surfaces will occur as ice conditions allow. Conditions on frozen lake surfaces are rough. Snowdrifts have frozen and create hazardous conditions off-trail. Use caution at night and during low visibility.

 

The Rainy Lake Ice Road is open from the visitor center to Cranberry Bay, and around portions of Dryweed Island. The Kabetogama Lake Ice Road is now open from the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center Boat Launch to the Ash River Visitor Center Boat Launch.

 

Ski trails are open, packed, and tracked. Conditions are fair to good. Snowshoe trails are open, but not packed.

 

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 portages.  The speed limit for the ice road is 30 mph.

 

When ice fishing, please remember holes must be drilled at least 50 feet from ice roads and snowmobile trails. To reduce hazards to snowmobile users, all ice blocks are to be immediately chopped up, submerged, or hauled to land. Placement of equipment or any type of structure must be greater than 50 feet off the edge of all ice roads and 50 feet off the centerline of all snowmobile trails. Written authorization from the park is required for individuals to plow greater than 300 feet on any lake surfaces within the park.

 

The Rainy Lake Visitor Center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. During business hours, the visitor center offers maps, information, and hot cocoa. Visitors may borrow snowshoe and cross-country skis, but must be returned the same day.

The most up to date winter trail conditions are available on our website at www.nps.gov/voya.

Snowmobile Trails

International Falls to Kettle Falls (Purple Trail) – Open and staked

Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Kabetogama Lake to Ash River (Green Trail) – Open and staked

Ash River to Crane Lake (Green Trail) – Open and staked

Chain of Lakes (Dashed Black Trail) – Open and staked

Ash River to Kettle Falls (Yellow Trail) – Open and staked

East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake (Blue Trail) – Open and staked

 

Rainy Lake Ice RoadOpen to Cranberry Bay, and around portions of Dryweed Island

Kabetogama Lake Ice RoadOpen

 

Ski Trails

Echo Bay Ski Trail – Open, packed, and tracked

Black Bay Ski Trail – Open, packed, and tracked – Pine Loop rocky in places.

Tilson Connector Trail – Open, packed, and tracked

KabAsh Trail – Open

 

Snowshoe Trails

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