Oberholtzer Trail is an easy hike in Voyageurs National Park. This hike features sweeping scenery of the surrounding forest and wetlands. This hike starts just outside of the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. The first 1.5 miles is wheelchair accessible. In the winter this trail is tracked for snowshoeing. There is camping available in Voyageurs National Park. It is named after Ernest Oberholtzer, better known as "Ober." Ober died over 20 years ago, but his legacy lives on, not only on this trail named for him, but also in the preservation and creation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. To quote Ober regarding the trails of the area of Voyageurs National Park,
"These trails of the north are a sermon in harmonious living. They tell not only of a race in conflict with [Western] civilization but of their whole philosophy and outlook on life. We have so much to learn from Indians and no better place to learn it today than portages worn smooth by our Indian predecessors."
-Ernest Oberholtzer (Oberholtzer Foundation, Friend of the Ojibwe
The trail is accessed from the Rainy Lake Visitors Center.
While hunting grouse in the fall is the most popular of small game hunting activities in Minnesota, there is another way to experience the elusive bird in the Spring. Between mid April and the end of May grouse perform their mating ritual referred to as "drumming." It's when the male grouse shows off his stuff by standing on a fallen log and flaps his wings vigorously which makes a distinctive sound that can be heard by humans and the female grouse as well. Hiking trails in the Rainy Lake area near International Falls have abundant places where the grouse can be heard. While their feathers blend into the woods around them, making them almost invisible, their drumming reveals their whereabouts. Hunters can note these locations for better success in the fall and nature lovers can enjoy the effort of catching site of a male doing his best to attract a mate. This is hiking with a purpose. Maps of hiking trails can be obtained at area lodges as well as the Voyageurs National Park.
With the partial Federal Government shutdown, Voyageurs National Park remains open to the public, but there are no services available. Trails are not being groomed, the ice road has not been plowed open, the Administrative offices and Rainy Lake Visitor Center are closed and any interpretive programs have been cancelled until the situation is resolved.
We invite you to enjoy Rainy Lake, area restaurants and area lodging in the meantime!
During the federal government shutdown, the website for Voyageurs National Park will not be updated and may not reflect current conditions. Some national parks may remain accessible to visitors; however, access may change without notice. Some parks are closed completely. Some visitor services may be available when provided by concessioners or other entities. For most parks, there will be no National Park Service-provided visitor services, such as restrooms, trash collection, facilities, or road maintenance.