Echo Bay Trail Highlight; Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report - Feb. 18, 2015

Tucked amid the community of Kabetogama, the Echo Bay Trail offers novice skiers another tracked ski trail. Located, just off County Road 122 on County Road 332, the Echo Bay Ski Trail provides a winter ski experience around a frozen wetlands area. Wetlands such as Echo Bay are a crucial component to the park. In the past, wetlands were places to be avoided or drained and filled for other uses. Today, we know wetlands serve a variety of important functions. They provide critical habitats for fish and wildlife, purify waters, mitigate the power of floods and storms, and provide recreational opportunities like hiking, skiing, and birdwatching.

Three ski loops are tracked in winter when conditions allow. The loops wander through mixed evergreen and deciduous forest and overlook wetlands created by beaver activity adjacent to Lake Kabetogama.

Echo Bay Ski Trail

The first loop provides gradual downhill segments with a moderately steep uphill climb near the trail’s end. The second and third loops provide slightly more challenging terrain as they move further from the wetlands into rockier terrain. At the signed scenic overlook, not ski accessible, or along the trail northeast of the pond, pause to look for the remains of a great blue heron rookery atop a ghost forest of dead ash trees. This once-active rookery reminds us landscapes are ever-changing, wildlife come and go, beavers create new wetlands, and old wetlands disappear over time. Preserved areas like the Echo Bay Trail, allow us to observe the natural fluctuation of nature.

Skis may be borrowed for use on the Echo Bay Trail from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. Borrowed items must be returned the same day. During business hours, the visitor center offers maps, snowshoes, information, and hot cocoa.

The most up to date winter trail conditions are available at

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

Ice Roads

  • Rainy Lake Ice Road – Open to Cranberry Bay and around Dryweed Island
  • Kabetogama Lake Ice Road – Open

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