Three new warming huts are going up in Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota thanks to a donation from a major player in the snowmobile industry.
Polaris Industries Inc. and Voyageurs National Park Association recently partnered to enhance snowmobile safety and trail access in the national park. Polaris is funding the construction of three new warming huts, which will keep snowmobilers, snowshoers, and cross-country skiers warm and safe and house trail maps and other park educational material. Polaris is also donating two new FS IQ WideTrak snowmobiles to assist park rangers with winter environmental field studies and maintenance activities.
"We greatly appreciate Polaris’ support and generosity and the partnership we have with VNPA," said Voyageurs Superintendent Michael Ward. "This donation will strongly enhance safety and access on our trails and our service to the public."
Snowmobiling, skiing, and snowshoeing trails offer winter access across Voyageurs’ 218,000 acres. Voyageurs National Park has more than 110 miles of snowmobile trails that help visitors see the beauty of the park all year round – similar to other national parks like Yellowstone, Grand Teton and those in Alaska that feature snowmobiling and winter recreation.
The donation marks the first collaboration between Polaris and Voyageurs and VNPA is pleased that the focus has been on park access and safety. Temperatures often dip below 30° F in northern Minnesota and prolonged exposure to the cold and elements makes warming huts a necessary component of trail access. Snowmobiles also provide vital access for park rangers who work year round on park stewardship.
“Safe, responsible snowmobiling is an excellent way to experience the beauty and grandeur of our national parks, and we are proud to partner with the VNPA to promote such access,” said Scott Wine, Polaris CEO. “We began as a snowmobile company, and our passion for riding remains strong. As such we are honored to support both the park’s rangers, as they maintain the park’s facilities, and its visitors, as they enjoy them.”