yellow trail

Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report - Mar. 4, 2015

All trails remain open and in good condition. Due to wolf interaction, short sections of the Green and Yellow Trails on Namakan Lake near the Moose River Grade have been closed and rerouted. The Green Trail Reroute is now staked and groomed from the closure on Namakan Lake to the connection of the Yellow Trail (Kettle Falls) and Orange Trail (Rudder Bay). The trail reroute follows the south side of Namakan Island to near Cemetery Island and the Green, Yellow, and Orange Trail junctions.

Park staff will monitor the cause of the temporary closures, and the closures will remain in place until conditions change or the winter season ends.

Due to high winds, snow drifts are widespread. Lake surface conditions are considered rough. Riders should use caution both on and off the trails.

The most up to date winter trail conditions are available at

Important: Green and Yellow Snowmobile Trails Rerouted in Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park staff and visitors have recently witnessed a lone wolf near the Ash River area. The wolf appears to be alone with no pack and has followed three snowmobilers. In order to ensure visitor safety, park staff are taking precautions by monitoring the wolf and re-routing small sections of the park’s Green and Yellow Trails. Superintendent Mike Ward stated, “We are taking precautions for the protection of the visitors and the wolf. Visitors are encouraged to continue to enjoy the winter wonderland by accessing the open trails throughout the park and multiple gateway communities.”

Temporary Closures:

  • The Green Trail (Voyageur Trail) from the Moose River Grade to Namakan Lake will be closed.
  • A short section of the Yellow Trail (Kettle Falls Trail) from the Green Trail and Yellow Trail connection in Moose Bay to the Orange Trail (Rudder Bay Trail) and the Yellow Trail connection will be closed.


  • The Green Trail will be rerouted from the closure on Namakan Lake to the connection of the Yellow Trail (Kettle Falls) and Orange (Rudder Bay Trail) running along the south side of Big Namakan Island.
  • When travelling from Ash River south to Crane Lake, a visitor may take the Ash River to Crane Lake land trail. If travelling through the park, they may take the Green Trail northwest to the Rudder Bay Trail, then head northeast to the newly formed Rudder Bay Trail, Kettle Falls Trail, and Voyageur Trail connection.
  • When travelling from Crane Lake to Ash River, a visitor may take the Crane Lake to Ash River land trail. When travelling through the park, a visitor may take the Green Trail to the Yellow and Orange Trail connections, turn onto the Orange Trail (Rudder Bay) until the Green Trail connection, and turn southeast to Ash River.

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

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:



Voyageurs National Park Winter Ice and Trail Conditions Report – Dec. 31, 2014

The Rainy Lake Ice Road is now open from the visitor center to the Black Bay ski trails and to Rainy Lake City. The lack of snow cover continues to slow winter trail progress. The green trail from Rainy Lake/Franks Bay to Kabetogama Lake/Crane Lake is open and staked. The yellow trail from Namakan Lake to Kettle Falls is also open and staked. Lake ice and overland portages have minimal snow cover. Conditions are poor on both the lake and portages. Use caution while traveling along the trail system. All other snowmobile trails are closed at this time, but ice checking and portage clearing continues. 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.

When ice fishing, please remember holes must be drilled at least 50 feet from ice roads and snowmobile trails.

Ski trails do not have significant snow accumulation to allow grooming at this time. Snowshoe trails are open, but not packed, and snow accumulation is poor.

The Rainy Lake Visitor Center is closed on Thursday, January 1, for the New Year’s holiday. The visitor center is open Wednesday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm. During business hours, the visitor center offers maps, information, and hot cocoa. Snowshoe and cross-country ski loans have not started for the season.

The most up to date winter trail conditions are available at