Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Variety of sights to be seen on Kabetogama, Minn., area day trails

Kabetogama State Forest.
Photo courtesy of Minnesota DNR.
Boreal forests, fantastic views of massive inland lakes, a great blue heron rookery, and more await day hikers in the Kabetogama region of northern Minnesota.

To reach the area, from Duluth, Minn., take U.S. Hwy. 53 north into the Kabetogama State Forest or south from International Falls, Minn. The unincorporated community sits near the U.S.-Canadian border in Voyageurs National Park.

Among the many day hiking trails in the area are:
g Arrowhead State Trail segment – The combination snowmobile/hiking trail runs 135 miles from west of Tower to south of International Falls. In the Kabetogama State Forest, park in the turnaround at the end of the road heading east off of County Road 122/Gamma Road immediately north of Hwy. 53. Head east on the trail down a hill to a stream flowing into Kabetogama Lake for a 1.5-mile round trip.
g Ash River Falls Trail segment – Two sets of stacked loops make up the Kabetogama State Forest ski/hiking trail. Park at the western trailhead parking lot off of County Road 129 east of Hwy. 53 and hike the first stacked loop for 1.8-mile trip.
g Blind Ash Bay Trail – Day hikers can explore a boreal forest via this 2.9-mile round trip trail in Voyageurs National Park. Park at the Kabetogama Lake Overlook, near the Ash River Visitor Center, off of Mead Wood Road north of County Road 129.
g Echo Bay Trail – A set of three stacked loops, the 2.3-mile trail runs through an aspen and pine forest and past a great blue heron rookery while offering an overlook of Kabetogama Lake. Park in the lot on the north side if County Road 332 east of County Road 122 in Voyageurs National Park.
g Kab-Ash Hiking Trail segment – The combo ski/hiking trail runs 26 miles across Voyageurs National Park. A good segment to walk begins at the western terminus and heads east through a boreal forest. Park in the lot at the end of County Road 672/Salmi Road east of County Road 122.
g Pelican Lake Trail segment – The trail runs from Hwy. 53 in Ash Lake to the north shore of Pelican Lake in Kabetogama State Forest. Park off the highway alongside County Road 519 and walk to the creek flowing into Ash Lake for a 2.5-mile round trip.
g Voyageurs Forest Overlook – A 0.5-mile loop runs through pines with great views of Kabetogama Lake. Park in the first pullout on the right on Mead Wood Road north of County Road 129 while on your way to the Ash River Visitor Center (open daily May 7-Sept. 30 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).

Read more about day hiking Northeast Minnesota in my Headin’ to the Cabin: Day Hiking Trails of Northeast Minnesota guidebook.