Archive for the ‘Volunteer Work’ Category.

Magazine Features BTA Volunteers

Silent Sport Magazine featured the Banadad Trail Association’s volunteer trail maintenance in December.  The article entitled, “Voluntees ready Minnesota’s Banadad ski trail for snow.”

Bandad is Ready to Track

Packing the Banadad this year took three “back-breaking” days of hand cutting and removing many down trees across the trail. Most of these tree were on the east end. Thanks to Tom’s crew which, this fall, hiked the entire west end  removing the down trees as the went there was not many trees across the trail on west end.  Finally the Banadad is packed and open. The grooming crew is ready to go as soon as we get another couple of inches of snow.

The Lace Lake, Tall Pine, part of the Banadad’s eastend and the Knopp Trail are tracked.

Association Trail Work Day- October26

This past week members of the Banadad Trail Association, the North Star Ski Touring Club and other friends of the Banadad spend Saturday working on the West End clearing the first mile of trail within the BWCA and along the new reroute.  Among their other accomplishment was erecting a new Kiosk at the at the new West End trail head (see video
Prior to the Saturday Work Day, a four person crew lead by Tom Rice hiked the eight miles western end of the Banadad removing  the down trees they came to along the way.

Annual Meeting and Trail Day- Oct 26

Help Needed! The Banadad Trail Association invites you to help get the Banadad Ski Trail ready for winter. We will first be clearing the rocks and small sticks left by the bulldozer on the new rerouted trail section starting at the western Trailhead. Since this section should not take to long we then enter the BWCA cutting as much brush and stubble as time allows. It is also hoped that we will be able to install a kiosk to be donated by the Gunflint District- USFS at the new western trailheads parking area. Of course this will only happen only if the Forest Service is open for business by then.

Some of last year's crew

Some of last year's crew

Volunteers meet for the Trail Work Day at 9:00 am, Saturday, October 26, at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, 11 Poplar Creek Drive (just off the Lima Grade) Gunflint Trail. Hand tools and lunches will be provided to all volunteers. Wear sturdy clothing and boots.  After the work session volunteers are inviting to return to the Poplar Creek Guesthouse to clean-up and a social hour.

Then everyone is invite- trail volunteers and other friends of the Banadad to the Banadad Trail Association’s forth Annual Meeting followed by a Potluck Dinner. The Meeting and Potluck will be starting at 6:00 pm at the Schaap Community Center – Gunflint Fire Hall #1 – on Gunflint Trail next to Lima Grade.  Bring dish to pass.

For more information on the Trail Work Day and/or the Banadad Trail Association’s Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner contact 218-388-4487.

Crew Opens Remote Section of the Banadad

Five members of the Conservation Corp of Minnesota spent three days working deep into the BWCA portion of the trail. The crew first widened one mile west of the Mid Trail Junction, cleared another one half mile beyond the section widened and then cleared from Mid Trail east another two miles. The last day they widened and cleared the eight tenth of a mile west from the Croft Yurt to Mid Trail. They estimated putting in a minimum of 125 hours of on the trail work. The crew spent their nights at the Croft Yurts. Great Job!Conservation Corp of Minnesota

Volunteer Crew Readies Eastend Trails for Snow

This past weekend, trail activist and former BTA board  member Karla Miller lead a group of  four volunteers mowing the east end trails.   The group came equipped with a Tracked ASV with a brushhog and a hand held brush saw. Over the weekend they mowed and brushed the  Lace Lake, Tall Pines, Knopp trails and one and one-half miles of the Banadad, outside the BWCA.   The ASV did most of the mowing while the brushsaw was used to clear through the swamps where the ASV could not go. All and all, 7.5 miles is now ready for winter.

ASV on road

ASV on road

Of course the weekend was not all work. There crew eat well and had fun during their off hours.

The crew

The crew


The Banadad Trail Association held their annual meeting on Sunday, October 21, 2012 and announced the association has reached its fundraising goal to support a trail construction project on the historic ski trail.  BTA President Linda Bosma made the announcement to members that the organization met and exceeded its fundraising goal to support a reroute of the west end of the Banadad Ski Trail.  The project is the most ambitious effort undertaken by the BTA, which is just over three years old, and will reroute the trail on the west end of the Banadad Ski Trail and improve the parking area to enhance safety for day skiers as they enter and exit the roadway.

The west end of the Banadad crosses private property; a recent change in ownership created the opportunity to explore rerouting the portion of the trail that connects the parking area to the Banadad’s entrance into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.  This section of trail is most frequently used by local day skiers for in-and-out skiing, but is also popular with “thru skiers” who ski the entire 29 kilometer length of the Banadad from end to end, including those who stay in yurts overnight.  The current status of the trail’s west end was in doubt without the reroute and new trail construction.  The BTA also plans to improve the parking area to make it safer for skiers as they enter and exit the Gunflint Trail roadway.  The project budget is approximately $11,340.  To help support this work, the BTA has receive a Trail Connections Grant from the Department of Natural Resources in the amount of $7,500.  The BTA has raised the remaining project funds, which are required to match the grant support.

“We are so grateful to the many people and businesses who contributed to our fundraising campaign.  The outpouring of support we received really demonstrates how many people value the Banadad Ski Trail and its continuation as a recreational and historic resource for cross country skiers who want to experience wilderness skiing in the Boundary Waters,” Bosma said.

Oct 2012 peter- karlaTrail Crew on Banadad- Peter Spink, Sue Abrehamsen, Jim Raml, Paul kelnburger, & Karla Miller

Bosma also thanked the crew of 15 volunteers who cleared trail and readied it for the upcoming ski season.  Fifteen volunteers, including Cook County skiers as well as representatives from the North Star Ski Association, spent much of the weekend working on trail maintenance.  The Minnehaha Ski Team has a maintenance weekend scheduled in November to complete maintenance for the winter.  The annual meeting and maintenance work were hosted by Boundary Country Trekking.  Trail coordinator Ted Young directed the work crews, who cleared 17 miles of trail over the weekend.

The other item of business at the annual meeting was election of new board members and officers.  Andrew Jenks (Stillwater) was elected President, John Bottger as Vice President (Grand Marais), Linda Bosma (Minneapolis) will move to Treasurer, and Barb Bottger (Grand Marais) was re-elected as secretary.  New board member Flannery Delaney was elected and Chris Matter (Hudson, WI) was re-elected for another term, to join continuing members Peter Spink (Poplar Lake), Kate Kelnberger (West Bearskin Lake), Anne Rykken (St. Paul), and Wayne Monson (Stillwater).  Board members thanked outgoing board members Anne Berberich and Karla Miller, who are not renewing their terms.

Vice President John Bottger summed up the outlook for the coming year: “We have an ambitious workload for the coming year, but we have great cooperation and participation from the new property owners and a dedicated board, so this is a great partnership and an exciting project.”

Banadad Trail Work Day and Annual Meeting

The Banadad Trail Association invites you to help get the Banadad Ski Trail ready for winter. This work day we plan to hike into the Banadad along the Old Winchell Lake Fire Trail. This trail begins near the Poplar Lake Public Landing then winds through the BWCA to the Banadad just west of the Meads’ Lake Portage. Part of the area where we will be working was heavily damaged by the 2010 Meads Lake Prescribed Burn This burn left many burnt-out trees fallen or precariously close to falling into the trail. We will be removing some these tree then clearing the summers accumulation of brush and down trees along the 3 mile section of the Trail back to the trail’s eastern Trailhead.

According to Ted Young, Banadad Maintenance Coordinator,  “since most of the Banadad is within the BWCA where we can not use any power equipment, it take a lot of volunteers working with  hand tools to get the Trail ready for skiing. Please join us; we really need your help!”

Volunteers meet for the Trail Work Day at 9:00 am, Saturday, October 20, at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, 11 Poplar Creek Drive (just off the Lima Grade) Gunflint Trail. Hand tools and lunches will be provided to all volunteers. Wear sturdy clothing and boots.

Friends of the Banadad are also invited to the Banadad Trail Association’s Annual meeting at 1:00PM, October 21 at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B. Following the meeting a social hour and Potluck Dinner is planned.

For more information on the Trail Work Day and/or the Banadad Trail Association’s Annual Meeting and Potluck Dinner contact 218-388-4487

Rain, Banadad Ski Trail, and Moose

mcc rush lake

Rush Lake Calm after the storm on day one, July 6 2012.

For our third trip this summer, my crew and I ventured out to the Banadad Ski Trail in the Boundary Waters.  On day one,  we encountered a massive rainstorm, which didn’t let up for more than five minutes at a time. Somehow, the crew’s spirits weren’t dampened, despite the wet and cold that we encountered.

In the mornings the crew would groggily rise out of sleeping bags and under the group tarp for breakfast, getting ready for the day, and silently paddle across Rush Lake to the ski trail.

The first section of the trail that we worked on did not require much maintenance and soon enough, my crew and I ended up in a burn area. Our whole goal of the trip was to clear the burn area. According to our project partner Ted, it was the area most in need of work. Trees were scattered all across the trail, brush was beginning to grow, and dead trees were leaning into the trail corridor.

mcc fish

Twenty-pound Northern Pike caught in Rush Lake, BWCAW.

The  Banadad Ski Trail and the Kekekabic Trail (our second trip), were both burnt in the Ham Lake Fire of 2007. Although the fire was the same, the remnants of the Ham Lake Fire at both trails  were vastly different. Instead of brush taking over most of the trail, trees on the Banadad were still standing, although dead. There is something liberating about pulling a tree right out of the ground and chucking it into the woods.

MCC before

Section of Banadad Ski Trail, before clearing.

One morning, my crew leader Joel and another crew member paddled back to our truck in order to pick up a tool that we needed. During that time, myself and my two other crew members hiked in the mile and half to our work site. While we were hiking, we happened upon two moose, a cow and a calf. They were absolutely beautiful and ran off into the woods, thankfully not charging us. I had mentioned earlier in the week that if we were to ever see a moose or two on trail, it would definitely be on this trip–moose scat and hoof prints scattered the cleared area. I was ready to see a moose and I’m so glad I did!

The Banadad Ski Trail was a beautiful trail before we arrived to it, and as we were

mcc after]Section of Banadad Ski Trail, after clearing.

hiking out on day seven, I was amazed by the beauty of it all. The battle in the work that we’re doing is staying positive–something that I strive to do everyday. Every morning I wake up and breathe in the fresh air of the wilderness and realize that I’m truly in a wonderful place; a place where most people will never venture to, a place where wildlife is thriving, the air is crisp, and nature is truly wild.

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  1. Pingback: The Banadad Bulletin- News Updates » Blog Archive » Minnesota Conservation Corps Report from the Trail

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Remote Interior Clearing Underway

It might be summer and warm but no matter work on the Banadad is in full swing. Five members of the Minnesota Conservation Corps set out on June 6 to clear a remote interior section of the trail. Camping on Rush Lake the crew plans to send seven day on the trail clearing from the Banadad Bridge east 2-3 miles. They will concentrate on area burned over by the Ham Lake Fire.