Activities by Season
Summer is also time to explore the area’s hundreds of acres of forest. You don’t have to venture out on your own. Instead, arrange a guided and scenic boat trip or shuttle service to a trailhead from one of our 20+ resorts. Hike and explore the interior of the park or contact the National Park Service for a tour schedule. Bring the family and listen to a Park Ranger’s interpretive program each evening at Woodenfrog State Campground. Take the kids blueberry picking – fruits abound on the rocky shoreline and ridges. View the young Eaglets as they stretch and flap their wings, strengthening them through graceful flight.
Of course, summer on Lake Kabetogama means fishing! As the water warms by mid-June, schooling Walleye travel to deeper waters and challenge anglers to follow their feeding habits. When exploring the hundreds of warm water bays and inlets, you’ll run across the savory Sauger, Smallmouth Bass and Jumbo Perch for which these waters are well known. And the Northern Pike always provides an overlooked trophy fish.
In the summer on Lake Kabetogama, the sun doesn’t set until almost 10pm, and oh, my… the sunsets! Imagine yourself enjoying the flaming reds, oranges, pinks and purples as they sink slowly into the calm lake waters, beautifully accompanied by the lonely evening call of the Loon – Minnesota’s state bird. And when the show is over, stay awake a bit longer. You may be rewarded with an encore performance of Northern Lights – yes, the world famous Aurora Borealis – shimmering in flaming green tinted sheets across a starlit sky.
Amazing Colors, Impossible Beauty and Stunning Wildlife
Crisp days and cool nights bring about the change of colors on the lakeshore and in the woods. There’s still lots of warm sunshine for hiking the trails to take advantage of these spectacular fall colors. You think you’ve seen beautiful fall foliage, but until you’ve been on Minnesota’s Canadian border in the autumn, you simply can’t know the array of colors on display.
Whatever you do, don’t forget to bring your camera. As the forest animals are busy preparing for the cold weather, this time of year brings a special awakening of watchable wildlife. Indeed, the woods come alive with color and movement!
The fall fish are hungry too. It’s a great time to plan a trip to catch a mixed bag of fish and have one last shore lunch. And if a fishing/hunting combination works for you, by all means, bring your gun. While there is no hunting allowed in Voyageurs National Park, the Lake Kabetogama area offers hundreds of miles of open country, State Forest land and logging roads that are all open to the public for hunting. Grouse and Deer are plentiful.
Fishing, Snowshoeing, Snowmobiling and More
Behold the works of Jack Frost and the quiet beauty the snow cover brings. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, ice and spear fishing can all be enjoyed in magical winter solitude. While you’re outside, keep an eye out for Timberwolf tracks in the snow and listen for his spine-tingling howl. We’ll greet you at one of our fine lodges with a cup of hot chocolate, good food and friendly conversation. We’ll stoke the fire while you, your family and friends explore this winter wonderland. At the end of the day, as you snuggle into your cozy, warm bed, reflect on your travels over snow-covered trails and know that you are truly in God’s Country.
Ghostly winter quiet and rugged piney shorelines make Voyageurs National Park an ice angler’s dream. From Walleye, Sauger and Northern to Perch, Crappie and Bass, you never know for sure what you’ll pull from the ice of Lake Kabetogama.
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing
Echo Bay Trail, located in the Kabetogama Community, is just one of several groomed ski trails in the area. When the sun sets over this vast, remote and unspoiled area, some skiers and snowshoers are even lucky enough to experience the beautiful, colorful and dancing Aurora Borealis – the spectacular Northern Lights.
Hundreds of miles of groomed, marked trails on ice- and snow-covered lakes and through pine-filled northwoods forests await you for a snowmobiling experience unequaled anywhere. Lake Kabetogama offers many services and great pit-stops and is considered the central entrance to scenic Voyageurs National Park. Hundreds of trails within the park create a large loop that encompasses Kabetogama, Namakan, Rainy, Sand Point and Crane lakes. There are short portages between lakes, but it’s primarily laketop riding throughout the 110-mile network.
A ride on the Chain of Lakes on the Kabetogama Peninsula is a MUST! This 13-mile trail winds naturally through the heart of Voyageurs and is barely wide enough for a snowmobile and will transport you back to the early days of the sport.
The park isn’t the only area with breathtaking snowmobiling. Trails outside the park also provide their own scenic beauty. For example, the Arrowhead Trail stretches 75 miles from the town of Cook to south of International Falls. You will experience just about everything on this ride. From International Falls, it starts with a six-mile jaunt of the flat, straight Blue Ox Trail. Halfway to Littlefork, the Arrowhead ventures eastward toward Kabetogama, and after fording a few streams, it dives south into the rolling, winding woodlands. The hills increase in size, and then slowly decrease into a flatter, lake-dotted terrain as you approach Cook.
While exciting trails run throughout Voyageur country, the best part is the absolute quietness that one finds while stopped in the middle of a frozen lake. It’s a place to take in the solitude and splendor of winter and the sheer beauty of an area where there are truly no roads. This is also a great place for those hardy enough to try winter camping, as campsites dot the shorelines and islands.
Spend the Season of Annual Rebirth in Mother Nature’s Playground
For many, spring is an almost spiritual time. Here in God’s Country, we don’t disagree.
At Lake Kabetogama, Spring is a time of rebirth, a time of renewal. Green leaves sprout, pussy willows emerge from their winter jackets along the roadways and the migratory birds return in all their vocal splendor. We’re reminded once again about the joy of waking to the welcoming whistles of the songbird.
Ice melting on the lake produces strange vibrating squeaks and groans and at the first hint of open water, the Gulls return and the diving birds initiate their spring courtship rituals along the shore. The warm sun starts to heat up the ice-cold water and triggers the fish to begin their annual spawn – the Walleye along the rocky gravel shores and the Northern, Bass and Crappies in the grassy bays.
As you know, the fishing opener is just around the corner. In Minnesota, we treat it as a national holiday, and make no mistake: the fishing on Lake Kabetogama is fabulous in the springtime!