Friday, October 28, 2016

When to visit Voyageurs National Park

Kabetogama Lake Overlook Trail
The best months to day hike the national park are June through September. Depending on the year, May and October also can be pleasant.

As with the rest of Minnesota, summers can be humid, especially July and August. Rain can occur during the afternoon even when the morning is sunny, so always check the weather forecast before heading out.

November through April usually is too cold for day hiking. Once snow falls, trails typically are used for cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Early spring often means muddy trails thanks to snowmelt and rainfall.

With so much water in Voyageurs, during summer you definitely will need to don mosquito repellent before hitting the trail. Be sure to carry the repellent with you in case it sweats off. Also, this far north, autumn nights will be cool and require sweatshirts and jackets.

Three great trails for exploring Voyageurs National Park include:
Kabetogama Lake Overlook Trail Day hikers can explore the shores of a massive ice age lake on this 0.4-mile round trip trail and a 0.1-mile walk from the Ash River Visitor Center to a dock on the lake. Bring your cameras and binoculars!
Echo Bay Hiking TrailYou can walk atop rock almost half the age of the Earth on this 2.2-mile trail near the Kabetogama Visitor Center. The route consists of three stacked loops, the third or northernmost of which really is intended to be used only as a ski trail. Part of the trail runs alongside Lake Kabetogama.
Rainy Lake Recreation TrailPark visitors looking for an easy trail to hike or bike will enjoy this new route near the Rainy Lake Visitor Center. Opened in 2015, the fairly flat, paved trail covers 1.7 miles one-way. If looking for a longer walk or bicycle ride, the trail conveniently connects to the International Falls Bike Trail, which runs for another 12 miles.

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