Voyageurs National Park

Voyageurs National Park

New route through Voyageurs offers scenic view, more angling structure

February 16, 2010, 7:57 am

Visitors to Voyageurs National Park will get a better view thanks to the new route of the Rainy Lake Ice Road.

The road begins at the Rainy Lake Visitor Center and circumnavigates Dryweed Island. The east route gives an expansive view toward Ontario’s Sand Point Island, cuts south between islands and then heads west on its return route.

VNP Superintendent Mike Ward credits the change of the route this year to Barry “Woody” Woods, who suggested the change with the support of the Convention and Visitor Bureau and the International Falls Area Chamber of Commerce.

“They felt like it would attract more visitors to the park, providing an economic benefit to the community,” Ward said.

The new route allows anglers to ice fish in areas with more structure and increases the scenic beauty of the drive, said Ward. “It was a great idea and we gave it a shot,” he said.

Ward noted that ice roads had been developed in the Dryweed Island area years earlier. “Carl Brown and others paved the way many years ago,” Ward said.

Ward said the idea seemed worth exploring.

“We reached into our budget and figured out a way to get it done,” Ward said, calling this season a trial year.

“We’ll see how it goes and whether we are capable of maintaining that in the future,” he said.

Suggestions also included taking the route on the north side of Dryweed Island and hooking around to Cranberry Bay in a large figure 8, Ward explained. But that just wasn’t possible this year, and may be considered next winter.

He noted that maintaining the road on the large part of the lake may be difficult in blowing snow conditions.