They’ve seen the snow, now they want to see you. The Rainy Lake Visitor Center will now be open Wednesday through Sunday, February 2 – March 30, 10:00 am – 4:30 pm.
Financial support for extended visitor center hours provided by Voyageurs National Park Association. Thank you to our generous supporters who made this possible!
Come out to the visitor center and warm up with some hot cocoa. Borrow snowshoes or rent cross-country skis and explore the trails. We want to help you experience the winter wonderland of your national park.
Gather your family and friends and join a park ranger for a guided snowshoe hike in Voyageurs National Park. Learn the basics of snowshoeing, the history of the first snowshoes, and explore a different park habitat each week.
Saturday, January 25, 2014, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Saturday, February 1, 2014, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Saturday, February 8, 2014, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Saturday, February 15, 2014, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Saturday, February 22, 2014, 2:00 to 3:30 pm
Bring your own snowshoes or borrow a free pair from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Participants should meet inside the visitor center prior to the start of the hike. No fee or registration is required to attend.
All snowmobile trails in the park are open and staked. Snowmobile trails are in good condition with some drifting on larger lake surfaces. 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.
The Rainy Lake Ice Road is open around Dryweed Island and up to Dove Bay. The Kabetogama Lake Ice Road is open from the Kabetogama Lake boat launch to the Ash River boat launch.
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.
All snowshoe trails are open. Echo Bay, Black Bay, and Tilson Connector ski trails are all open, packed, and tracked.
The Rainy Lake Visitor Center is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. During business hours, the visitor center offers maps, information, hot cocoa, snowshoe loans, and cross-country ski rentals.
Weekly winter trail conditions reports are available on our website at www.nps.gov/voya.
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 Road – Open around Dryweed Island and to Dove Bay
Kabetogama Lake Ice Road – Open
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
Black Bay Beaver Pond Trail – Open
Blind Ash Bay Trail – Open
Oberholtzer Trail – Open and packed
Sullivan Bay Trail – Open and packed
Mukooda Lake in Voyageurs National Park will be closed to lake trout harvest effective January 15, 2014. The rule will be published in the state register prior to the start of the lake trout angling season opener.
While fishing on or in Mukooda Lake waters, angling for lake trout is limited to catch and release only. Any lake trout caught must be immediately returned to the water. It is unlawful for anyone to have in possession, regardless of where taken, any lake trout while on or fishing in these waters.
The closure is a temporary measure which will be in effect for 18 months.
The lake contains a self-sustaining population of lake trout that have a unique genetic make-up. This unique strain has persisted for decades in spite of DNR stocking efforts and competition from cool-water species such as northern pike, walleye, and bass.
“The decision to close Mukooda Lake to trout harvest is based on creel survey estimates and observations of fishing pressure,” said Kevin Peterson, International Falls area fisheries supervisor. “The lake’s habitat supports slow natural reproduction and efforts to boost the lake trout population through stocking have not been successful. Halting the lake trout harvest will protect the remaining stock and allow us to see how the fishery responds.”
The DNR works with resource managers at Voyageurs National Park to monitor the fish populations and goals for this and several other lakes located within the park.
“We support the DNR’s decision and are ready to assist,” said Voyageurs National Park Superintendent Mike Ward. “We understand anglers enjoy the trout in Mukooda Lake and we appreciate their patience while we take steps to ensure this stock thrives in the future.”
The Mukooda Lake management plan will be updated in 2014, which will provide additional opportunities for information sharing and stakeholder input. DNR fisheries will hold public meetings in 2014 to consider longer-term measures to protect Mukooda lake trout.
Research efforts by Voyageurs National Park staff including Steve Windels and Jennifer Fox, as well as former VNPA Executive Director Cory MacNulty, made the cover of The Journal of Wildlife Management.
From their article “Effects of Water-Level Management on Nesting Success of Common Loons:”
“Results demonstrate that water-level management can be altered to beneﬁt productivity of common loons. However, nuanced interactions between land-use change, invasive species, human development, recreation, climate change, and recovery of top predators may often complicate both management decisions and interpretation of water-level impacts on wildlife.” © 2013 The Wildlife Society
Click here to read the abstract of the journal article. For a full copy contact Steve Windels at firstname.lastname@example.org.