Archive for the ‘Trail Plan’ Category.

BWCA Bridge Built as Fire Continues

Saturday, September 17th – the Banadad Bridge remotely located in the BWCA, midway along the Banadad ski trail, was rebuilt over the weekend by a volunteer crew organized by the Banadad Trail Association (BTA) in conjunction with several North Star Ski Touring Club (NSSTC) members. Grant funds from Arrowhead Electric Cooperative aided the project. The construction crew included Ted Young (Boundary Country Trekking on the Gunflint) & Steve Lenius (Woodbury), both who had been involved with the trail’s last bridge construction in 1996 as well as Tom Rice (Shoreview), Lee Wenzel (Eden Prairie), Lowell Johnson (Lake Elmo), Len Voit (Gunflint Trail), Pete Harris (Croftville) and Karla Miller (Duluth).

The scheduled project was given special permission by the US Forest Service to enter the BWCA since the Pagami Creek Fire east of Ely had forced the closure of most of the B WCA entry points west of the Gunflint Trail including One Island Lake where the crew launched. While the fire had encompassed over 98,000 acres, recent cooler weather & slight moisture allowed for the the crew to proceed.

bridge work -s

The group portaged into One Island Lake from the Moose Trail, two miles west of Poplar Lake, to reach Rush Lake canoing to the far west  end where the bridge is located and they set up camp. The projected involved removing the 3’x6’x8′ rough cut cedar decking and replacing the rotting 24′ log support stringers and abuttments. The total bridge is 40′ long that is made up of a 24′ center span and an 8′ approach on each end supported by cedar timbers. The cedar decking reinstalled on the replacement stringers that were put in place with a series of rollers, levers, pickaroons, a timber jack, cant hook and manual lifting.

The bridge was completed by late afternoon Saturday so the crew cleared about 3 km of trail. They returned from the Boundary Waters Sunday morning. Ted Young expressed relief in completion of the repair project noting, “The bridge previously installed in 1996 was solid until the last few years when the aging support beams rotted out and it became treacherous crossing, especially with the weight of the groomer.”

Front left to right- Pete Harris, Len Voit, Lee Wenzel, Tom Rice, and Steve Lenius. Back- Ted Young and Karla Miller

Front left to right- Pete Harris, Len Voit, Lee Wenzel, Tom Rice, and Steve Lenius. Back- Ted Young and Karla Miller

The BTA ( is a non-profit organization formed to maintain and enhance the Banadad Ski Trail system, preserve the history of the forest and trail as well as promote appreciation and care of the BWCA. The Banadad trail is a 28.8 km linear ski trail of which 22 km is within the BWCA.

NSSTC (, founded in 1967, supports non-motorized outdoor recreation and social events with an emphasis on cross-country skiing and the maintenance of trails.

BTA 2011 Trail Plan – Meeting With Forest Service

Grand Marais- Members of the BTA presented this year’s Trail Plan to the Grand Marais District, USFS on June 7. Representing the Association was John and Barbara Bottger, Pete Harris and Ted Young. Steve Schug and John Benson accepted the Plan for the USFS.

Left to Right- John Bottger, Pete Harris, Barbara Bottger, Jon Benson, Ted Young

Left to Right- John Bottger, Pete Harris, Barbara Bottger, Jon Benson, Ted Young

The Plan requested that (1) the USFS request the service of  a MCC crew for up to eight days later this summer or early fall to clear the west end of the Banadad widening approximately 1  1/2 miles of the trail as they go, and (2) that the USFS provide a “fire crew” to clear the down trees on the Trail’s  east end that have fallen into the trail as result of last year’s Mead’s Lake Prescribed Burn.

Steve and Jon, representing the USFS agreed that they will work on fullfiling these two requests. For minutes of meeting go Meeting Minutes.

For a complete text of the click on Trail Plan.

Plans for 2010

Greyling Brandt (USFS), Ted Young, Steve Schug (USFS), Barb Bottger

Greyling Brandt (USFS), Ted Young (BCT), Steve Schug (USFS), Barb Bottger (BTA)

Forest Service Unable To Offer Financial Assistance For Banadad Trail in 2010

Barb Bottger, Gunflint Trail- Jim Morrison, Ted Young and I met with Steve Schug and Greyling Brandt from the Gunflint Ranger District, USFS, on April 23 to discuss the 2010 Banadad Trail Work Plan.  Steve commended the BTA for the excellent report/plan that was submitted and stated that none of the other trail associations they work with have even submitted a plan yet. (Jim Morrison was paged out on a fire call before we took the photo!)

The tough news from Steve was the fact that they have no funds to offer this year.  In past years, the USFS contributed up $1500 toward the maintenance of the Banadad through the Forest Service’s Cost Share program.

Schug said the only aid would come through the Minnesota Conservation Corp crew (MCC) whose budget comes from federal stimulus funds.  The MCC would work on the interior widening project near the Banadad Bridge with the Forest Service providing two canoes for MCC to travel to the work site. The possibility of another MCC crew for some additional work was left open.

Greyling agreed to assist the Association in preparing large trail maps and to provide map display posts and boards (called “bird cages”) for along the trail.

Schug also informed us that the USFS would no longer be able to provide liability insurance for our volunteer trail crews.

According to Ted Young, “Without finance assistance from the USFS we are confronted with about a $2000 deficit in this year’s $9000 projected maintenance budget. (See Trail Plan– section IV. Projects and Plans)

Banadad Trail Association 2010 Trail Plan

This year’s  Trail Plan was completed on February 25, 2010. You can review a text only version  by clicking on Plan.  A printed copy is available to all Banadad Trail Association members at no cost.