Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report: 1/11/12

From the National Park Service, 1/11/12:

Snowmobile Trails  – see trail status list at end

Winter weather conditions have allowed the park to open the Green Trail from Ash River to Crane Lake. Now, the entire Green Trail is open from Rainy Lake/Black Bay to Crane Lake.

Hazardous pressure ridges continue to be an issue along the Green Trail on Kabetogama Lake. Staff continue to re-route the trail in problem areas to provide a safer passage through the pressure ridges. Due to frequent and extreme changes to the pressure ridges, snowmobilers should use extreme caution and only cross the pressure ridges at designated crossings along the staked route.   Slow travel speeds are highly recommended.  Snowmobile land portages have rough riding conditions due to minimal snow cover.

Park staff are checking ice along the Blue Trail from East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake today and will determine if there is sufficient ice to stake the trail. At this time the trail remains closed.

Outstanding scenery is one of the reasons why Voyageurs National Park was established. Please enjoy the scenery as you ride and follow the snowmobile speed limit of 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  – see trail status list at end

In addition to the ice road on Rainy Lake, Voyageurs National Park will open an ice road on Kabetogama Lake. The anticipated date of this opening is Saturday, January 14, 2012. Ice and snow conditions this winter have allowed the park to provide this opportunity for visitors to enjoy a scenic drive, watch wildlife, ice fish and explore the park. Similar to the Rainy Lake Ice Road, the Kabetogama Lake Ice Road will have two-way traffic. The road follows a route along the south shore of Kabetogama Lake between the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center and the Ash River Visitor Center. Written authorization from the park is required for individuals to plow any lake surfaces off an ice road.

Snowshoe Trails  – see trail status list at end

The Sullivan Bay snowshoe trail is now open and tracked. This trail is located along the Ash River Visitor Center entrance road. Travel about two miles in on the entrance road and look for the snowshoe sign on your right that marks the trail.

Cross-Country Ski Trails – see trail status list at end

Snow conditions are limiting the opening of park ski trails. Forecasted snowfall has the potential to improve trail conditions.

Regular weekly winter trail conditions reports are available on our website at

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) – Not Open
Ash River to Kettle Falls (Yellow Trail) – Open & Staked
East Namakan Lake to Sand Point Lake (Blue Trail) – Not Open

Ice Roads
Rainy Lake Ice Road – Open to Rainy Lake City
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road – Starting, Saturday, January 14 – Open between the Kabetogama Lake Visitor Center Boat Launch and the Ash River Visitor Center Boat Launch

Ski Trails
Echo Bay Ski Trail – Open with minimal snow cover
Black Bay Ski Trail– Not Open
Tilson Connector Trail– Not Open
KabAsh Trail– Open with minimal snow cover

Snowshoe Trails
Blind Ash Bay Trail – Open with minimal snow cover
Sullivan Bay Trail – Open and tracked
Oberholtzer Trail – Open with minimal snow cover




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