Archive for the ‘Maintenance’ Category.

Some Snow on Trail but Need More

Yesterday eleven members of Minnehaha Academy’s Nordic Ski Team lead by their coach, Anne Rykken, worked on clearing the west end of the Banadad.. The kids on the team thought the work was great fun.-

On the westend there is about 1-2″ of snow. Not near enough snow to get onto that end of trail with equipment. However, on the east end the snow measures 3-4 inches. Four inches is almost enough, but not quite enough, to get out onto the trail and start packing. While the snowmobiles are out  packing the packing crew will work on clearing the down trees remaining on the  remote section of the east end just beyond the Logging camp.

Help Clear the Downed trees on the Banadad

GiveMn-Give to the max day -November 13

A wind storm this summer dropped hundreds of trees down across the Banadad within the BWCA. We are working on clearing these trees .

While the Banadad Trail Association recently received a $5,000 grant from the US Forest Service to help pay for this work, we have to match those funds with 35% of that amount in order to access the funds. The Banadad Trail Association needs your help so we can clear the remaining 3-4 miles of Trail and get the Banadad open for skiing this winter.

We are turning to outdoor enthusiasts, skiers, and other who love the Banadad Trail and asking if you can help support this work with a donation.  If you are able,  please donate to the Banadad Trail at Giving to max day – November 13 –  GiveMN.  Thanks

July Storms Litter Trail With Trees

“Imagine going out for a lovely ski on the Banadad Ski Trail and coming across a very large clump of down birches, balsams and a twenty inch aspen flanked by two other large aspen blocking the trail. And by the way you are in the BWCA. To remove these trees it took six people using hand saws and sweat labor over five hours.” States Linda Bosma, Banadad Trail Association former president write up for GiveMN.

tree clump

These six person volunteer crew started at the Banadad eastern trail early in the morning. According to members of the crew; “We cut some eight down trees blocking the trail before we even got to this intimidating clump.” After removing this clump three more trees were cut by the sawyers as they travel west along the trail. Others in this crew assisted with the down trees then tackled the high balsam and spruce branches on the trails side. After putting in a full day this crew had cleared a little over a mile of the trail’s eastern end.


This was just one of the accomplishments the Banadad Trail Association can brag about when eighteen volunteer attended the Association’s annual volunteer trail work day. In addition to the crew working on the trail’s first mile, two other crews worked on other sections of the trail.

The second group of six volunteers walked two half miles to the Lizz Lake Portage, outside the BWCA where the side brush had not been trimmed for many years. They spent the day cutting back the large alder side brush. Two members of this crew wearing rubber boots waded through a foot and one half deep swamp to trim back the brush further down the trail.  After a day of trimming this group had opened up about a quarter of a mile of the trail beyond Lizz Lake Portage.

The volunteer’s third group brought up the rear trimmed mostly conifer side brush and branches which last year was a major problem when heavy snow made these branches lean down into the trail.

After the day’s work was complete Andy Jenks, the Association’s president stated; “that a lot had been accomplished and it was a great day on the trail today”.

Andy continued, “But there still is much more to do. A storm went through six to eight remote interior miles of the trails eastern section this past summer leaving hundreds of trees down across the trail. This section of the Trail because of the distance can not easily be reached by our volunteers so a paid contractor is working on clearing this section. Thus far the cost to clear two and one half miles has been over $1500 and we still have many miles go. While a $5000 USFS grant is helping to pay for this work we must raise and contribute 35% of the costs in cash ourselves.


Andy emphasized, “We really need you help to pay for this work, please log-in and donate to the Banadad’s trail work at GiveMN.

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

First Skiers of the Season through Banadad

Three intrepid skiers from Duluth were the first to ski the entire Banadad this winter season. After spending a night at the Tall Pine Yurt the trio skied the 19 kilometers to the Croft Yurt where they stayed their second night. The weather cooperated the first day’s ski and the track was fairly good. However by the second day’s ski the temperature rose into the thirties and it began to rain. The trail which had some center stubble showing through even before the rain began to deteriorated.   One of the three skiers remarked that until there is fresh snow on the Banadad, “skiers should plan on using their old skis.”

Snow is forecast for today.