Friday, October 14, 2016

Explore Voyageurs major lakes via a hike

Kabetogama Lake from the Kabetogama Lake Overlook Trail
If you love lakes, Voyageurs National Park is a great destination.

Five massive lakes, all carved out and filled by glaciers during the last ice age, sit in the park – Kabetogama, much larger Rainy Lake to the north and west, Namakan lake to the east, and smaller Sand Point and Crane lakes in the southwest. Rainy, Namakan and Sand Point all help form the U.S.-Canada international border.

Each of these lakes can be seen during a day hike:
Kabetogama Lake Overlook Trail – Day hikers can explore the shores of massive, 40.2-square-mile Kabetogama Lake. The 0.4-mile round trip trail and a 0.1-mile walk from the visitor center to a dock on the lake allow visitors to get up close and personal with the lake. A parking lot for the trail sits off Mead Wood Road north of County Road 129/Ash River Trail.
Oberholtzer Hiking Trail – A spur off the trail leads to a bench overlooking Rainy Lake, the largest of Voyageurs’ lakes at 355 square miles. The trail starts near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center.
Beast Lake Trail – This is a great trail to experience 39.2 square-mile Namakan Lake. It begins at the lake’s Mica Bay and goes inland on Kabetogama Peninsula to much smaller Beast Lake.
Little Trout Lake Portage – No trail runs alongside 8.1 square-mile Sand Point Lake. A waterway can be canoed from Sand Point Lake’s Grassy Bay to Little Trout Lake with this small portage.
Casareto Cabin visitor destination – The Kettle Falls Cruise heads to 4.6 square-mile Crane Lake, making a stop at this historic site on its north shore. In addition to walking through the historic site, visitors can dine at a hotel here.

Learn more about the park’s day hiking trails in my Best Sights to See at Voyageurs National Park guidebook.