Monday, February 13, 2017

Voyageurs National Park: Sphunge Island Sledding Hill and the Kabetogama Lake Ice Road

Today was forecast to be a beautiful, warm winter day, so Noelle, Sierra, Mom T and I took advantage of it and headed out for some adventure on Kabetogama Lake. We stopped at the visitor center to use the restroom and then headed out on the ice road to the Sphunge Island Sledding Hill.
Sphunge Island Sledding Hill
We immediately hit the slopes. Sierra insisted on sledding down the steepest, highest part of the hill, but Noelle and I did not allow her to, for fear of her safety. She shed a few tears and then finally got on a sled and started to have an awesome time.
Sierra mommy and grandma
there she goes
The hill is fairly steep, but not so steep that we felt injury was likely to happen. The most difficult part of the sledding was hiking back up to the top of the hill.
hiking up
Grandma came along, but mostly she was a spectator.
grandma watching

We made several runs (probably about 20) before stopping for a snack and then moving east on the ice road to Ash River. At Ash River we decided to go for a short snowshoe to the Beaver Pond Overlook. It's only .15 miles, but with untracked snow, it was pretty more difficult for Sierra, especially since she insisted on breaking trail.
snowshoeing ladies
We passed some interesting looking ice formations that had frozen to the rock cliff off to the side of the trail.
icicles
When we arrived at the overlook, we relaxed a bit
BP Overlook 2
and Noelle built a "snow beaver"
snow beaver
Sierra and snow beaver
since there was no way we would be seeing a real beaver this time of the year.

Eventually, we started to make our way back to the car
snowshoers
and said goodbye to Grandma, who headed back to Wisconsin. It was a slightly sad ending to a wonderful day!

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