Keeping the Public Safe During the Shutdown

For the most up to date information, please refer to our special shutdown webpage:

Voyageurs National Park Association, the official nonprofit Friends group of the park, is providing special funding assistance to sustain partial winter operations for visitor safety at Voyageurs National Park during the partial government shutdown.

Support provided by the Voyageurs National Park Association will allow staff at Voyageurs National Park to pack and groom cross country ski trails in the vicinity of the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, assuring safe access and use by those seeking winter experience opportunities. Park employees will also staff the visitor center on Saturday and Sundays from 10 to 4:30 over the next few weeks through this financial assistance, providing people with information on safe travel routes. With the visitor center open, limited opportunities to loan skis will be available. 

If ice conditions allow the Black Bay Trails to be opened skiers will only be able to access the trail network by skiing across the frozen surface of Black Bay to the trail head.

Through this support staff will be able to continue assessment and grooming of open trails, including the Green Trail, the only safe marked snowmobile trail open in the park at this time.

Park staff are working diligently with the National Park Service's Washington Office to identify other non-appropriated funding sources that might be used to assure the continued monitoring and grooming of the limited trails that are open to assure safe travel.

Providing limited, reasonable, safe access is considered the most prudent approach to managing the park during the period of the recent government shutdown, given the difficult and unlikely ability of implementing a hard closure to all access to park lands and frozen lake surfaces.