Snowmobile Trails a Hidden Gem at Lake of the Woods
If you love beautiful snowmobile trails, Lake of the Woods might be one of the best kept secrets around. Known much more for it’s ice fishing vs snowmobiling, the area boasts literally hundreds of miles of well staked and groomed trails. I have to admit, I also spend most of my time in a fish house. This week, I had the chance to experience something I have talked about doing for a long time, snowmobile Lake of the Woods.
We started out at a resort in the Wheeler’s Point area and took the trail along the Rainy River 12 miles to Baudette. The sun was getting low in the sky and along the way, there were groups of fish houses on the river, primarily locals sliding out for the evening bite. The trail was smooth and well staked with black stakes that show up well against the white snow with reflectors on top.
From there, we took the trail through Baudette Bay right past Willie Walleye and made out way down the the shelter they call 7 Mile Shelter, 7 miles from Baudette. The ride was beautiful. Mother Nature gave us a spectacle as the sky was like on of the most beautiful watercolor paintings you have ever seen. The temp on this evening was right around 30 degrees, unseasonably warm for a January evening.
The local snowmobile clubs do a wonderful job taking care of the trails. They are out every week grooming different stretches of the trail. On the south end, it is the Lake of the Woods Drifters. Up north at the Northwest Angle, it is the Northwest Angle Edge Riders. Both clubs are active and take pride in making trails around the lake well taken care of.
Our journey took us through a variety of swamps, different kinds of forests and eventually to Zippel Bay State Park. It would have been tough to be within a mile of the Igloo Bar on the ice without making a brief stop to make sure everyone was doing OK. After showing off the bar, the ice fishing opportunities in the bar, and watching a couple minutes of the MN Wild hockey game on the big screen TV, we headed back to the resort taking the trails that go back to the Wheeler’s Point area.
It is hard to explain how beautiful it was being with friends out amongst the beautiful natural wonders Lake of the Woods has to offer. We put on about 70 miles on our Polaris sleds that evening and saw three other snowmobilers the entire night. Albeit, it was a Tuesday night, we had hundreds of miles of trails all to ourselves.
People who snowmobile the area talk about other areas that get hit so hard with traffic that the trails get bumpy quick, you are constantly passing other sleds and it is just outright busy on the trails. You will not find that on Lake of the Woods. With 10 million walleyes in the lake, most folks are in a fish house miles out on the lake. If you are a snowmobiler, this just might be a destination worth considering!