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Hecla Island Manitoba Canada snowmobile trail ice snow bank travel story
Hecla Island, Manitoba
HECLA ISLAND, MANITOBA
Lake Winnipeg is the world’s twelfth largest freshwater body and around its southern portion is a vast area criss-crossed with snowmobile trails. Hecla Island along the southwest shore is a largely unsettled provincial park that features the Lakeview Hecla Resort as a destination or lodging base. Two trails connect to the mainland via well-marked ice bridges that provide access to hundreds of miles of routes in the expansive Interlake Region west to Lake Manitoba. These routes traverse flat or gently rolling terrain, with forests and marshes adding interest. Enclosed trail shelters are numerous and spacious. Although nondescript, Diageo’s large Crown Royal distillery at Gimli is a trailside attraction.
Trail Towns: Gimli, Riverton, Arborg. Fisher Branch
Highlights: Crown Royal distillery at Gimli, Betsey Ramsay pioneer grave site outside Riverton
Info: Interlake Snow Trackers club, Snowmobilers of Manitoba (Snoman) provincial association
Multiple Sclerosis Charity Ride snowmobile Wisconsin
Multiple Sclerosis Charity Ride, Wisconsin
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS CHARITY RIDE, WISCONSIN
If you’ve never participated in a multiday charity ride (or even if you have), this is a good one supporting a great cause. Wisconsin’s chapter of the National MS Society has done this for 36 years, so it’s well organized, smoothly run and – best of all – great fun. There’s a cadre of regulars, but newcomers are warmly welcomed. Participants pay a $75 registration fee (waived for first-timers) and must raise a minimum of $650 in pledges (hopefully more!) to receive a ride package that includes three nights’ lodging and six meals, plus two days of guided rides and mechanical support. The 2020 event will be Jan. 23-25 at Lac du Flambeau, Wis. 
Trail Towns: Mercer, Manitowish Waters, Sayner, Minocqua, Woodruff
Highlights: Two days of guided rides, welcome dinner and banquet, trail games
Info: Joe Holtman at 262-369-4407, nationalmssociety.org
International Falls Minnesota snowmobile trail groomer travel story
International Falls, Minnesota
INTERNATIONAL FALLS, MINNESOTA
International Falls has long promoted itself as the “Icebox of the Nation,” the quintessential slogan for a winter destination and the inspiration for Frostbite Falls of Rocky & Bullwinkle cartoon fame. This region atop Minnesota features a lot of snow, plenty of trail mileage and easy access to nearby Voyageurs National Park. Gigantic Rainy Lake straddles the Canadian border and features a shoreline trail as well as an endless expanse of ice and islands. If you like twists and turns, fantastic mid-winter riding is possible on the frozen Rat Root and Little Fork Rivers. If you prefer arrow straight, the Blue Ox Trail runs southwest 75+ miles to Bemidji where there’s a big state of Babe the Blue Ox and Paul Bunyan. Take your pick or trails!
Trail Towns: International Falls, Littlefork, Big Falls, Ranier
Highlights: Rainy Lake, Voyageurs National Park, frozen Rat Root & Little Fork Rivers
Info: Voyageur Trail Society Inc.
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