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.
Archive for the ‘trail maintenance’ Category.
Meeting with USFS
Banadad Trail Plan 2012June 29, 2012, 10:00 a.m.
Poplar Creek Guesthouse B & B
Present: Ted Young, John and Barb Bottger, Kate Kelnberger, Pete Harris, Jon Benson (USFS Wilderness Manager), Tom Kaffine (USFS Forestry Technician), (Suzanne Cable, USFS Asst. District Manager)
John opened the meeting with comments that Ted knows the trail and we’ve had a good format in presenting our plan in past years.
Ted reported that, even with the shortened season (March 18 was last day of skiing), the Banadad had 900 skier days. Ted tracks the numbers by counting the day permits and adds 10% for those who don’t fill out day permits. In 12 years of tracking, this is the 3rd highest year.
Jon asked that Ted turn in the day permits to the USFS. The USFS has started preliminary discussions of making the Banadad the primary entry point but that will be a ways off.
Ted reported that the big project of 2011 was building the bridge between Banadad and Rush Lakes done last fall. Three 30’ power poles were put in with the old cedar decking on top. Volunteers also worked opening the trail in that area. We had 174 hours of volunteer time by North Star Ski Club and Minnehaha Academy Ski Team.
Jon asked that we turn in the volunteer hours to the USFS as they are tracking as well.
Power equipment is used outside the BWCA, including the Tim Knopp trail, which is an access trail to the first part of the Banadad.
West End Reroute Mike and Sue Prom bought property on contract for deed with permission from landowner to proceed. We will move the trail off the “Rib Lake Rd” but it is unclear how snowmobiles and fisherman will access Tripp Lake.
We have flagged and GPSed the tentative trail. The south end has already been moved about 50’ to avoid wetlands according to county regulations.
We still need to have the corridor appraised. The BTA will have to pay for this out of pocket. The BTA must also provide 25% of grant provided. A total of $3-4,000 will be the responsibility of the BTA. Our grant deadline is June 2013.
Can the USFS provide a cash grant of $1,500? Suzanne made a note to check this out. This could be under a challenge cost share agreement. Timing – this fall to pay for initial appraisal requirement.
Suzanne would like a letter to Dennis to frame a request for funding to occur on Forest land. If this funding could happen it would have to come from 2013 fiscal budget which starts on October 1, 2012.
The BTA will meet on July 9 and will have made a decision on fundraising. John will contact the USFS with our plans.
Tom has taken on trail responsibilities in this zone.
Jon will ask if Dennis needs to submit a letter of support in this effort.
Volunteer Crew: Within trails remote interior 70-90 hrs. of volunteer time is required to widen 1 mile of trail.
Request: We could use help along with the MCC.
Prescribed Burn Areas: The burn area is a problem, both Ham Lake and the prescribed burn around Meeds Lake with downed, burned trees.
Request: That USFS provide a crew to take on this project. Jon suggested that USFS fire people get in there to see if they can clean some of that out.
Remote Trail Widening: MCC crews are lined up to do this work in July. Ted will make sure this crew gets in to the portage. Tom is working with Chad on this project. Tom will have this crew check on the bridge due to recent heavy rains. This could be delayed due to calls to fires out west.
Outside the BWCA:
1. Chainsaws are used to clear larger trees.
2. A tracked vehicle with a brush hog to mow the stubble.
3. East end of Banadad will be cut with power brush saw.
4. Moose Trail – 4-1/2 miles mechanically mowed.
5. East end parking – widen the parking area.
Conclusion: The partnership remains a good one! Suzanne and Jon will be sure a current letter of agreement is on file.
Delicious “Banadad” cake was served by Barbary Young. Meeting ended at 11:00 a.m.
- The highlight of this fall’s maintenance occurred on October 17 and 18 when eight volunteers rebuilt the Trail’s old dilapidated thirty-six foot bridge over the Banadad Creek between Banadad and Rush Lakes. The bridge was in such bad shape that after the crew arrived at the bridge a portion of it collapsed as one of the volunteers walked across. Since the bridge was located in a remote area of the Trail, the construction crew canoed in, spent a night camping on the trail and canoed out the next day. According to Ted Young, maintenance supervisor, “the old bridge certainly would not have supported the grooming equipment this coming winter.”
- West end of the Trail Cleared – Again this year five members of the Minnesota Conservation Corps widened one and half miles of the trail’s west end and then walked the entire eight miles of the west end trail clearing down trees as they walked.
- Half Mile of East end Widened, – BTA’s regular trail maintenance crew member Jim Raml and his dog Blanca “ATVed” up to the BWCA line at the Meads Lake Portage. From there he hiked-in three and one half miles, clearing down trees as he walked. Jim camped on the trail and spent four wet-buggy ten-hour days widening about three-quarters of a mile of the brush-blocked trail. Great job Jim!
- LaceLake, Tall Pines and Knapp Trails – Located outside the BWCA where mechanical equipment is allowed, chainsaws were used to clear all the summers’ accumulation of down trees. Later the center brush was mowed with a brush hog equipped track Bobcat on the trails outside the BWCA. “The swampier” sections of these trails we plan to clear by hand with a brush saw.
- Volunteers – working over two weekends twenty-five volunteers from the Banadad Trail Association, Minnehaha Academy Ski Team and North Star Ski Touring Club logged 174 hours clearing 2 ½ miles of brush and down trees at the trail’s two ends. This year volunteers worked exclusively within the BWCA which required that all work be done by hand.
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There is now 4-5 inches of snow on the Banadad. Yesterday the east end of the trail was packed up to the Old Logging Camp – about 9 kilometers. Previously the Lace Lake, Tall Pines and Seppala Trails were packed. Packing will continue the remainder of this week and should have it completed by mid next week. Then it simply waiting until there is enough snow to track.
Anne Rykken. one of the founding Board members of the Trail Association and Minnnehaha Academy’s Nordic Ski Coach has an article in the November issue of Cross County Skier magazine. The article tells of trip with members of her ski team skiing the Banadad. The article is not yet on the internet so you will have to go directly to the magazine to view the article.
The several members of the Minnehaha Ski Academy’s Ski Team and parents will be spending this coming weekend working on the Banadad.
There was about an inch of snow last night; still snowing lightly now. More snow is expect this week while Anne’s team is here. The team should enjoy this!
Banadad Work Day-Volunteers Wanted
In the morning prior to the Banadad Trail Association’s Annual Meeting (BTA), you’re invited to help get the Banadad ready for winter. Weather permitting, we will be clearing the summer’s accumulation of brush and downed trees between the BWCA line on the west end of the Trail and the Dawkins Lake Bridge.
Meet for the Trail Work Day at 9:00 am, Saturday, October 22, at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, 11 Poplar Creek Drive (just off the Lima Grand). Hand tools and lunches will be provided to all volunteers. The North Stars Ski Touring Club will be joining us this day.
After the workday plan to stay-on for the Association’s Annual Meeting and Potluck Get-to-Gather
Greetings from the Association’s President!
Despite the warm temperatures the past couple weeks, it is Fall, which means work crews are on the Banadad Trail preparing for the Winter ski season. This past year has been an ambitious one—many trail improvements, including replacing the Banadad Bridge.
The Banadad Trail Association continues our work to preserve and maintain this wonderful trail so that skiers will continue to be able to experience the truly unique experience of skiing in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness! If you have skied the Banadad, you know what a special experience it is—its single track goes deep into the BWCA. Some days you may not meet another soul while skiing—there are few places that provide that experience. Whether you are going for a short ski, skiing the entire trail in a day, or breaking up a through ski with a stay in a yurt, the Banadad takes you deep into the woods where your privacy may only be disturbed by a lynx, grouse, or moose. I’ve been skiing the Banadad for nearly twenty years now, but have yet to find another ski experience that equals this trail!
We hope you’ll experience the Banadad this winter—and will love it as much as we do. We also hope you’ll consider joining the Banadad Trail Association if you’re not already a member. Volunteers like those of us in the BTA are essential to maintaining the trail and preserving it for future generations. In addition to volunteering time to work on the trail, members of the BTA write grants and raise funds to support the trail, develop membership, and help educate the public on the Banadad. We are always happy to have more people involved—please contact me if you’d like to join us and have an idea to suggest or want to join us for a working weekend in the woods. We’d love to have you!
This has been a great year for the BTA and a special thanks to all our many members and friends who have supported us again this year! Have a great ski season—see you at the annual meeting and on the trail!
Happy Skiing—Linda Bosma
BTA Applies for Grant to Solve West end Easement Problem
The Banadad Ski Trail was built by the United States Forest Service during the summers of 1981 and 1982 at the urging of the Gunflint Nordic Ski Resorts. This 31-kilometer trail serves to connect the Central and Upper Gunflint Nordic Trail Systems.
The Banadad’s western trailhead, since opening, has passed through private land on an old logging road. The previous owner had no interest in this land or where the trail was located on their land. Another party has now purchased this land. The new owner is willing to sell deeded easement to the Banadad Trail Association for the trail provided the trail is moved east of its present location. The new owners plan to build a home on this land and will be using the existing trail as an access road to this home.
The only other place to relocate the Trail’s western trailhead would be on Federal land to the west. However building a trail on this land would be quite challenging. Any trail built over this land would have to cross a large wetland, bridge a stream and then negotiate a very difficult hill.
The most feasible place to relocate the trail would be just to the east of the old trail on the privately owned land.
With this in mind, the Banadad Trail Association Board of Directors voted to work towards acquiring easement and relocating the west end trailhead. A grant application has been submitted to the Minnesota DNR for this project. If approved the grant is approved the Association will have to raise an additional $2000 as their local share of the grant.
Getting the Trail Ready for Skiing- It is a big job!
- Banadad Bridge Rebuilt-The Big News is the on October 17 and 18 eight volunteers rebuilt the Trail’s old dilapidated thirty-six foot bridge over the Banadad Creek between Banadad and Rush Lakes. The bridge was in such bad shape that when the crew arrived at the bridge a portion of it collapse as Lowell Johnson was walking across it. The old bridge certainly would not have support the grooming equipment this coming winter. In addition to Lowell the crew consisted of Tom Rice, Steve Lenius, Lee Wenzel, Karla Miller, Len Voit, Pete Harris, and Ted Young. Funds to help support the project were provided through a grant from Arrowhead Electric Coop. For more information concerning click on bridge.
- West end of the Trail Cleared – Again this year five members of the Minnesota Conservation Corps widened one and half miles of the trail’s west end and then walked the entire eight miles of the west end trail clearing down trees as then went.
- Half Mile of East end Widened, – BTA’s regular trail maintenance crewmember Jim Raml and his dog Blanca “ATVed” up to the BWCA line at the Meads Lake Portage from there he hiked-in three and one half miles, clearing downed trees as he went. Jim camped on the trail and spent four wet-buggy ten-hour days widening about three-quarters of a mile of the brush-blocked trail. Great job Jim!
- Lace Lake, Tall Pines and Knapp Trails – Located outside the BWCA where mechanical equipment is allowed, chainsaws were used to clear all the summers accumulation of down trees. Later this fall the center brush will be mowed with a-brush hog equipped track Bobcat on the trails outside the BWCA. “The swampier” sections of these trails we plan to clear by hand with a brushsaw.
Get Set For Winter – Join the Banadad Trail Association
Peter Spink, Membership Chairperson -Just like squirrels storing nuts for the winter, we have been feverishly working to get set for another ski season on the Banadad! Trail clearing has continued to widen overgrown sections, a bridge in the middle of the trail was totally rebuilt in September (see photos), and plans are continuing to improve and reroute the western end of the Banadad Trail where it connects to the Gunflint Trail. These efforts are funded both by DNR, federal grant funds, and a special grant from Arrowhead Electrical Coop for the bridge and by membership dues along with significant volunteer labor. To continue maintaining the Trail in excellent fashion requires more members, more donations and grants and more volunteers.
Just like squirrels storing nuts for the winter, we have been feverishly working to get set for another ski season on the Banadad! Trail clearing has continued to widen overgrown sections, a bridge in the middle of the trail was totally rebuilt in September (see photos), and plans are continuing to improve and reroute the western end of the Banadad Trail where it connects to the Gunflint Trail. These efforts are funded both by DNR, federal grant funds, and a special grant from Arrowhead Electrical Coop for the bridge and by membership dues along with significant volunteer labor. To continue maintaining the Trail in excellent fashion requires more members, more donations and grants and more volunteers.
Please join us in membership to support the Trail that you love. Membership categories range from $15 upwards for annual membership. Please see our website at http://www.banadad.org/ for more information and to sign up to become a member. We need your support, your muscle, and your pocketbook! The Banadad Trail Association is a 501 (c) (3) organization and your donations are tax deductible.
Support the Banadad Ski Trail by Joining the Banadad Trail Association!
Click on membership to join
This fall we are looking for a crew to assist in rebuilding the Banadad Bridge. The bridge is located eleven miles out on the east end of the Banadad Ski Trail. To get to the bridge the crew will canoe into Rush Lake early Saturday, September 17 then spend that day working on the bridge, camp on Rush, finish the bridge the next day Sunday return. Tools, canoes and camp food furnish. If interested call 218-388-4487.
Our first major snowfall of the season on November 13 dumped 5 inches on the trail. Since then we added another six to seven inches of snow. And it is still snowing. Trail crews are out rolling the Banadad and removing any remaining down trees. When this is completed we will start tracking. While the east end trails should be tracked and ready to ski within days, the remainder of the Banadad we anticipated to be open by mid-December.
Please get your ski pants and boots on and head to the mailbox to renew your membership in the Banadad Trail Association. Form are available on our website at www.banadad.org. If you have not joined the Association before- Now is your chance!
Your membership funds this year supported extensive clearing of the trail along with keeping it in tip top shape through the winter season (we also were able to purchase a wonderful new snow grooming machine with a DNR grant). This summer and fall work crews from the MCC (MN Conservation Corps), the USFS and North Stars ski club along with groups of Association members cleared most of trail’s 41 Kilometers.
Key projects for 2011 include:
- rebuilding the ____ bridge
- finishing clearing the final __k of trail needing attention
- rerouting the west end and parking area
The Banadad Trail is in its best shape in years thanks to you. Let’s keep it that way! Join today.
Gunflint Trail -Banadad Trail Association members and volunteers were out in force clearing the Banadad Ski Trail this past weekend. Twenty-five volunteers, worked 250 hours, clearing over thirteen miles of trails, including the seven miles within the Forest Service’s Mead and Dawkin prescribed burn areas. Trail clearing work was coordinated with the Forest Service. Volunteers report only one 2000-foot section along the trail suffered any major fire damage. On the remainder of the trail, only a few scattered small spot burns were found. The trail for the most part is in excellent shape.
However, one crew did report that along side the trail a large beautiful area of old growth cedar just north of the 2000-foot burned-over area was destroyed by the fire.
In addition to the Banadad Trail Association members, work crews included several local residents, business members, and members of the Twin Cities North Star Ski Touring Club, who have helped maintain the trail for many years. Joining the volunteers on Saturday were two Forest Service crews charged with the responsibility of removing the down trees across the trail within the burn areas. Ten miles of the Banadad, the one-mile Tall Pines Trail and most of the three-mile Lace Lake Trail were cleared and pronounced ready for skiing.
The Banadad Trail Association’s Second Annual Meeting was held at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B in conjunction with the trail clearing. Officers elected at the Annual Meeting were Linda Bosma, Minneapolis, President, Andrew Jenks, Stillwater, Vice President, Kate Kelnburger, West Bearskin Lake, Treasurer, and Barbara Bottger, Hungry Jack Lake, Secretary. Rounding out this year’s Board as At-Large members are: John Bottger, Hungry Jack Lake; Wayne Monsen, Stillwater; Chris Matter, Hudson, Wisconsin; Peter Spink, Poplar Lake; Tom Rice, Minneapolis, Anne Rykken, St. Paul and Karla Miller, Duluth. Association members thanked Karen Monsen, the Association’s first president, for leading the organization through its initial two years.
As part of the Annual Meeting’s program the Association’s web manager, Tom Rice, treated those presented to a slide show on the weekend’s trail clearing. Ending the meeting was an outrageously hilarious skit entitled “the Loony Divas” staged by two members of the Association. Following the meeting a potluck dinner was held.
The Banadad Trail Association formed two years ago to preserve, maintain, and protect the Banadad Ski Trail, the longest tracked ski trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Association’s growing membership is made up of skiers, businesses, and individuals who want to ensure that the Trail continues to be a resource for skiers into the future. According to Bosma, the Association’s new president, “I look forward to working with all our neighbors and partners in the coming year to implement the Banadad’s Trail Plan, increase our membership, and continue the work of the Association. We are very grateful to all the volunteers who worked on the Trail this weekend. The Banadad is in great shape! We are ready for the snow and this year’s ski season.”