Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Snowmobiles on McFarland Lake

Photo Courtesy of the Cook County Star

Northwoods Snowmobiling

Snowmobiles are not allowed in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, but there are a large number of areas to ride in surrounding areas.  In fact, Minnesota has nearly 20,000 miles of groomed trails.  Please keep in mind that the speed limit is 50 mph on any trail, lake, or public land.  Be cautious of other outdoor activity participants and of wildlife.   The penalty for snowmobiling in Federally protected lands, including the BWCA, is up to $5000.00 and six months imprisonment.  

All motorized and mechanized forms of winter travel are
prohibited by federal law in the BWCAW except for the purpose of accessing Canada via the overland portage between Crane Lake and Little Vermilion Lake, and in Cook County, via a specific corridor from Seagull River through Saganaga Lake. Motorized transportation on these routes is restricted to snowmobiles which are 40 inches or less in width, manufactured for ice and snow travel only, and of a type which was in regular use in the BWCAW prior to the passage of the 1978 BWCAW Act. All terrain vehicle (ATV) use is not allowed on these routes or anywhere else in the BWCAW. There is no provision that allows motorized or mechanized travel along the Canadian border within the BWCAW beyond the specific exception for snowmobiles on these two routes.


Click Here for Local Snowmobile Trail Conditions


Snowmobile and Winter Activity Links:

Winter Lodging Gunflint Snowmobile Trails Current Weather
Illegal Snowmobilers Apprehended in the BWCA
Good News for West End Snowmobilers Cook County Snowmobile Club  
Wisconsin Snowmobile Trails Minnesota Snow Depth Skijoring
Winter Weather Precautions North Shore Ski Trails Downhill Skiing
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