Snowmobile Safety in Voyageurs National Park

It’s officially snowmobile season, folks.

Before you hit the snowmobile trails at Voyageurs National Park,  there are a few things to keep in mind whether you are on your first trip ever or have been riding for years. Along with all winter activities there are a few added safety tips you will want to keep in mind.

The trails around Crane Lake have been packed and cleared and the Park Service has started staking the lakes. You can pick up trail maps at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center and most local establishments in Crane Lake and the other gateway communities. It’s important to let someone know where you are headed and what time you expect to return. During early and late season it is also a good idea to call ahead to make sure your intended fuel stops will be open and bring along extra gas, just in case.

Check the weather and be prepared for changing snowmobile trail conditions. The weather in Crane Lake can be very different from that on Namakan. Be prepared for anything.

The speed limit on the trails in the park is 25mph and 45mph on the lake. When out riding, just like on the roads, stick to the right side of the trail. Always ride to your own ability level. If you can’t stay to the right side of the trail when going around corners you are going to fast.

Dress for the weather and ALWAYS wear a helmet! Not only can it save your life but it will also keep you nice and warm. Even if it is a beautiful day, bring along an extra pair of mittens/gloves and socks in case you get wet. You can also always take layers off if you get too warm. A balaclava or scarf is also an important accessory that many people overlook. Frostbite can happen quickly to any exposed skin.

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Snowmobiling is a great way to spend the day outside and see a lot of the park in a relatively short period of time. Just remember, safety first! See you out there!

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