snowmobile club

Trail Spotlight and Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report - Jan. 28, 2015

Enjoy the ease of snowmobiling on groomed surfaces at Voyageurs National Park thanks in part to the park’s gateway community snowmobile clubs: International Voyageurs, Ash River – Kabetogama Snowdrifters, and Voyageur Trail Society. Today’s snowmobile trail spotlight is the southern portion of Voyageurs’ Green Trail, which extends from Ash River to Crane Lake.

Snowmobiling in Voyageurs National Park

Ash River is a hub of trail connections. The yellow trail leads north to Kettle Falls. The Ash River to Arrowhead Link Trail enters the Superior National Forest and heads southeast to Orr or Crane Lake. The Bill Morgan Trail follows Ash River Trail to connect with the Arrowhead Trail to the west. If you don’t have a snowmobile trail map, stop in at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center, pick one up from the information boxes at park boat launches, or contact one of the local snowmobile clubs.

Along the southern portion of Green Trail, as you depart Ash River, you’ll ride along the old Virginia and Rainy Lake Railroad Grade. The trail turns onto Moose Bay before an old railroad bridge. A short distance further, you’ll pass Hoist Bay, the historic Virginia and Rainy Lake Logging Camp, which was later used as a resort by Ted and Fern Monson. The bay got its name from the large hoist machine which hauled logs out of the water and placed them onto waiting railroad cars.

On the eastern end of Namakan Lake, The Blue Trail spurs off and makes a northeastern loop on Namakan and Sand Point Lakes. Riding across the Grassy Bay Portage on the Green Trail, the sheer granite Grassy Bay Cliffs rise from the ice, displaying the geological processes that helped shaped the park’s landscape.

The Green Trail turns south, traveling over Mukooda Lake, a popular ice fishing destination. Remember that lake trout fishing on Mukooda Lake is catch and release only due to 2014 MN DNR regulations. Finally, the Green Trail terminates in Crane Lake.

Every area snowmobile trail offers a different experience. That experience could be as simple as a new route, but it also might reveal some of the history and natural wonder Voyageurs National Park and the surrounding communities preserve.

The most up to date winter trail conditions are available at

Snowmobile Trails

All snowmobile trails are groomed. Ski trails are packed and tracked. Trails are generally in good condition. Some slush pockets are starting to develop on the lake surface. Pressure ridge activity has decreased, but monitoring continues.

  • 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