Minnesota Snowmobiling features Lake Of The Woods
Oct 29th, 2021 by Keith Worrall
Modified Oct 29th, 2021 at 9:11 AM
Lake of the Woods Featured in MN Snowmobiling Magazine
As the leaves are starting to come down in big numbers and we begin experiencing some of the first light snowfalls of the season around Lake of the Woods, life encourages us to look ahead. For some, looking ahead means cold winters. To others, it means a winter wonderland of opportunities. One of those opportunities that often times gets overlooked in these parts because of the world class ice fishing is snowmobiling, and this exact topic was featured in MN Snowmobiling Magazine!
In past years, myself and a couple of friends had the chance to embark on this snowmobiling adventure around the area and it has been fantastic. It was something we wanted to do for a long time. With a busy schedule and also out of fairness, being a walleye nut, never made the time for.
Here is the text of the article, enjoy!
Sleeper Snowmobiling Destination Will Have You Coming Back
By Joe Henry
Lake of the Woods for snowmobiling? Absolutely. There is no doubt in these parts there is a lot of attention focused on ice fishing. Consequently, what flies under the radar screen are the incredible snowmobile trails. Hundreds of miles of nicely groomed trails through some of the most beautiful scenery the state has to offer. For those who enjoy trail riding where there aren’t hundreds of sleds, this area might be just what you were looking for.
If you like to snowmobile, think about this…
-There are staked and groomed snowmobile trails extending from Wheeler’s Point at the lake south to Baudette on the Rainy River, 42 miles north to the NW Angle and west to Warroad.
-There are 273 miles of land trails on the south end of Lake of the Woods alone.
-The trails extend from Baudette east to Birchdale and then to Big Falls. This is probably the most wilderness type trail in the state. It goes for 87 miles one way and only crosses two roads. There are gas stations in Birchdale and in Big Falls. The stretch from Birchdale to Big Falls is 53 miles.
-Trails also extend west from Baudette to Williams, Zippel Bay State Park and over to Warroad. You can also go south from on that trail and hit Roosevelt and enter part of Beltrami Island State Forest.
-To the south, trails go from Baudette south all the way to Washkish.
-There are staked and groomed trails across the lake to the NW Angle from both Warroad, Rocky Point and Wheeler’s Point. Not only is this a quick ride across the lake, for sledders, this provides an opportunity to visit the NW Angle and save both driving around the lake via automobile and checking through at customs as the snowmobile trails across the lake are in MN.
-While up at the NW Angle, land trails extend through the wilderness from Angle Inlet throughout the northernmost point of the contiguous U.S.
Local Snowmobile Clubs. There are two local snowmobile clubs in Lake of the Woods County that do a great job. The Lake of the Woods Drifters Snowmobile Club is on the south end of the lake. Up at the NW Angle the NW Angle Edge Riders keep the trails groomed and in good shape. Both clubs connect trails to neighboring clubs who do a nice job with trails as well. What this means for sledders is a variety of quality trails.
Snowmobile Shelters. There are a variety of different shelters available to snowmobilers along the trail. These are for both safety and an area to take a break, warm up or simply regroup with your party. It is good to know where these shelters are before you begin your trip.
Variety of area resorts. Lake of the Woods is home to dozens of resorts, hotels and a variety of sleeper fish house outfitters. Resorts and hotels on the Rainy River, in Baudette, along the south shore and up at the NW Angle are a good place to start. Depending upon who is in your group and how you roll, there are lots of options.
Bon appetite! For snowmobilers, one of the fun experiences is sampling the variety of good food and drink throughout the area. Some resorts are small, quaint and have specialties like hand pressed cheeseburgers or homemade pizza. Some of the larger resorts have salad bars and more elaborate food such as prime rib and shrimp. Take your pick as it is fun to have options.
Visit the Igloo Bar! When snowmobiling around Lake of the Woods, consider a stop at the Igloo Bar on the lake ice in front of Zippel Bay. This bar has big screen TV’s, electric lights, bar, hot food and heated porta-poddies. Oh, and if you would like, you can actually fish in the bar! For many, this is nirvana. For snowmobilers, the igloo bar is sure a fun stop.
Working together for great snowmobile trails! Local snowmobile clubs, like in a lot of areas, put much planning, time and effort making the border trails in this region so special. They take great pride in summer clearing, opening and grooming trails weekly, making sure there is good signage and creating access trails to resorts, restaurants and bars.
Some of the trails in this area are funded by the DNR through the Grant-in-Aid program using license fees and gas tax monies. The State of Minnesota, Lake of the Woods County, Koochiching County, Roseau County and private landowners are the people that make these great trails possible.
As in many areas, local trails cross the property of many private citizens, as well as lands which are administered by various levels of government. As snowmobilers, we owe the landowners our thanks and advocate respecting their property.
Although ice fishing receives most of the attention in these parts during the winter months, snowmobiling opportunities abound and fly under the radar screen. With not nearly the traffic as more cosmopolitan snowmobile areas and with a climate a bit colder than most Midwest destinations, the trails stay in nice shape often into March.
Lake of the Woods is an epic place to snowmobile. Think of the variety. There are land trails across the south shore going through some of the most beautiful forests the state has to offer as well as established trails providing accessibility to all parts of the lake.
The trail on the Rainy River connects the City of Baudette and all of its amenities with the resorts on the Rainy River, resorts along the south shore of the lake as well as the 42-mile-long trail across the lake up to the NW Angle.
The Lake of the Woods area isn’t known as your cosmopolitan snowmobiling destination which is perfect for those who would prefer to have the trails to themselves. The trails are beautiful, provide a variety of different snowmobiling experiences and are very well maintained. Those who have experienced snowmobiling in these parts usually come back.
If you like snowmobiling, a destination on your list needs to be Lake of the Woods. The two snowmobile clubs, the Lake of the Woods Drifters in the south and the NW Angle Edge Riders on the north end of the lake, are active and do a great job of maintaining the trails. The trails go through some of the most breathtaking natural landscapes around.
There are seven shelters along the trails to stop and take a break. These, for many, are nice places to stop, talk about the trails, plan on next stops and just pause for a moment to appreciate the beauty of being in the woods.