We had quite a little snowstorm this morning, adding about 4 inches to the base. Groomers will get out to work with the new snow, and it doesn’t hurt that there’s more in the forecast. Snowmobilers will find conditions have improved. The Lake surface trails are all marked and staked. Cross country ski and snowshoe trails are open and tracked and the Ice Road is marked and open. The opportunities to get out and enjoy winter in Voyageurs National Park abound.
Ice fishing has been pretty good on Rainy Lake, mostly to the west of the National Park. Birch Point and Sand Bay are always favorites and the walleye are hitting in the afternoon in about 20 to 30 feet of water. Jigging with bait or a lure has been most productive. Some larger northern pike are being caught with minnows on a long leader near the Rainy Lake City area
Voyageurs National Park has plowed the ice road from the Rainy Lake Visitor Center around Dryweed Island and then east to Cranberry Bay. This provides great access to photograph the serene winter beauty of Voyageurs, or to get close to some good areas for ice fishing. The word on ice fishing is that you can jig with a minnow, or use a rattle lure in Sand Bay at do pretty well with walleye from the afternoon into the evening. Look for 20 mto 30 feet of water there.
Meanwhile, the cross country ski and snowshoe trails are all in great shape and groomers are hitting the on-land and lake surface trails and there’s a little new snow in the forecast. Have we mentioned that skis and snowshoes are available at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center for Voyageurs National Park? They are.
As a point of interest, I saw a guy training for the Arrowhead 135 on our area trails the other day. The actual Arrowhead 135 starts at Kerry Park in International Falls and ends 135 miles southeast of here at Fortune Bay Resort and Casino on Lake Vermilion near Tower. Participants can run/hike, ski or bike in this race, but it’s too late to take part this year, the race roster is already full
Signs of winter include the banner that goes up on third street every January welcoming visitors for the Arrowhead Ultra 135. World class athletes gather to run, bike or ski the 135 miles from International Falls to Tower along the Arrowhead Trail. We join the city in welcoming our guests. Another sign of winter is the ‘Ice Road Open’ sign at Voyageurs National Park. They are checking the ice depth to extend the road, so do obey the safety signage. At any rate, you can drive out to Rainy Lake City to access the Black Bay Ski Trail now. Ice travel means ice anglers are able to get to some of their favorite spots and word is the walleye bite is good in the morning using a jig and minnow combination in 15 to 25 feet of water. As you might guess, most fish houses are set up in Sand Bay. Ski and snowshoe trails are all in great shape and sledders can run the lake surfaces from Rainy Lake to Ash River with ease