Mica Bay

Yellow Trail Highlight & Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report - Feb. 25, 2015

Today’s snowmobile trail spotlight is the Yellow Trail, which extends from Ash River to Kettle Falls. A short ride from Ash River on the Green Trail over the Moose River Portage, the Yellow Trail begins. Sledding north on the trail brings the rider close to several past residences on Namakan Lake. Visitor Destination I.W. Stevens’ Pine Cove Resort preserves several structures from this notable Namakan Lake bachelor. The trail swings around the north side of Kubel Island where mail order bride Lydia Torrey lived for decades after her husband passed away in a drowning accident.


Just north of Kubel Island, the trail moves inland due to thin ice along the waterways. Thin ice is common in the areas of Old Dutch Bay and Blind Indian, Voyageurs and Squirrel Narrows, as well as near the Kettle Falls Dam. It is recommended to remain on the trail in these areas, and to always use caution whenever anyone suspects thin ice.

The Yellow Trail emerges briefly on Mica Bay, which passes Mica Island, where a short-lived mining operation, never profitable, extracted large sheets of Mica. As Mica is heat resistant and transparent in thin sheets, it was used in electrical conductors and woodstove windows until cheaper modern materials replaced it. The mines are now flooded and currently covered in snow.

After another ride through the forest, the Purple Trail junction awaits, which spurs to Rainy Lake. The Yellow Trail continues for a short distance and ends at the hibernating Kettle Falls Dam and Hotel. Winter solitude, quiet, and beauty grace the landscape. Be sure to spend some time at the overlook--if the sun should emerge, the view can be dramatic.

The Yellow Trail, 7.5 miles in length one-way, offers much to explore, from woodlands, wetlands, and wildlife to snapshots of past residents. Dress warm, prepare for the weather, and enjoy the trails within Voyageurs National Park.

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

All trails are open. Recent high winds have caused drifting. Use caution especially when off trail on large lake surfaces.

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

Have fun out there! Remember: