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