Archive for October 2010

First Snow

1st snow 2011

This winter’s first snow fill last night. About two inches on the ground.

Banadad Ski Trail Survives Forest Service Burns

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.

Burned Old Growth Cedars Burned in the Meads Lake Burn

Burned Old Growth Cedars Burned in the Meads Lake Burn

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.

Banadad Trail Association Board of Directors

Banadad Trail Association Board of Directors

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.”

Fall Banadad Bulletin

Annual Meeting- 5:00 PM, October 29 at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B

Banadad Work Day-Volunteers Wanted- Saturday, October 23

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 access the trail along the old Winchell Lake Fire trail and clear the summer’s accumulation of brush and downed trees west and east of the Meads Lake Portage.

We will meet for a Trail Work Day at 9:00 am, Saturday, October 23, at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B. Hand tools will be provided to all volunteers. The North Stars Ski Touring Club will be joining us this day.

Greetings from the Banadad

Banadad Ski TrailKaren Munsen, Banadad Trail Association, President-Looking back over the first two years of the Banadad Trail Association’s existence, Robert Frost’s famous poem “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening” came to mind…

“Whose woods these are I think I know

His house is in the village though

He will not see me stopping here

To watch his woods fill up with snow…”

We have embarked upon a wonderful adventure in the great Boundary Waters Canoe Area woods – wilderness woods that belong to all of us. Ted Young is our inspiration, guiding light, and amazing work-horse – but his house isn’t in the village. He and Barbara live close to the Banadad trail head. With Ted’s help we have accomplished some significant milestones for the Banadad. You’ll read about many of our activities in this newsletter. For example, 400 new red pine and white pine trees grace the landscape along Lace Lake Trail and Tall Pines Trail. They’re little seedlings now, but one day they will be Tall Pines! Our organization growing too. It is said that it takes a village to care for a ski trail, and we are so fortunate to be that village for the Banadad. We’re anticipating that the BWCA woods will once again fill up with snow, literally, for another great winter of skiing – and we look forward to seeing you here!

Notes From the Membership Committee

Barb Bottger – I’m writing this article from warm and sunny northwest Iowa where I’ve just attended my high school class reunion. I am still reveling in the joy of seeing old classmates and repeating the phrase, “You haven’t changed a bit!” I admit I wasn’t sure I wanted to attend but once I made the decision, I anticipated the event and am so glad to be connected with old friends.

As I considered the reasons the Banadad Trail is so special to me, I saw some parallels to my class reunion. I am anticipating the snow and the return of ski season. The Banadad Trail is an intimate, single-tracked trail that takes me back in time. It fits my image of what skiing in the woods, the BWCA, should be. It is like connecting with an old friend.  Like the phrase “You haven’t changed a bit”, that is only partially true!! The heart of the Banadad Trail is the same but some things have changed. Read about the work that has been done throughout the other three seasons. Our contract with Ted Young of Poplar Creek Guesthouse resulted in another year of improvements and maintenance of our beloved trail.

The biggest change was the formation of the Banadad Trail Association two years ago.  The aim is to keep the trail viable and beautiful for all to experience for the first time or the 35th time, the joy of connecting with the history of the land and connecting with the serenity of the snow under your skis.

This costs money. I paid money to attend my class reunion and I wondered if it were a fair price until I realized I was investing in my own opportunity. Okay, here is the last parallel. Everyone who attended the reunion paid the same amount. It didn’t matter whether you traveled a long distance or lived locally, we all invested in our own opportunity.

The Banadad Trail wants you to come home and ski the trail this winter. When you pay for a membership, you help pay the cost of maintaining and improving the trail. It is an investment in your own opportunity!

Please consider joining us.


Summer Trail Crews

As of October 1st, this years, trail crews worked on fifteen miles of the Banadad Ski Trail System’s. Sixty three percent of the trail system is now ready for the coming ski season.
One trail crew included five members of the Minnesota Conservation Corps. In August, they canoed into and camped on Rush Lake where they accessed the Banadad at the Rush – Banadad Portage. Over eight days, the crew cleared and widened two and one half miles of this remote section of the trail, including clearing several areas where the trail was almost completely blocked with years of accumulation of brush.

The crew was led by Brennen Collins and included Adam Zantello, Dan Bach, James Hann and Micheal Kruempel. According to Ted Young, Banadad Maintenance Supervisor, “The Crew did a great job in re-opening this neglected portion the Banadad.” In appreciation for their work, each member of the crew received a “Banadad Beavers” T-shirt.

In September, BTA’s regular trail maintenance crewmember Jim Raml accessed the trail from the western trailhead and hiked-in three and one half miles, clearing downed trees as he went. Jim camped on the trail for five days and cleared a quarter-mile of a brush-blocked section. According to Jim, the weather during his stay on the trail was good, however, it was this same good summer weather that had helped the brush grow.

On the trail’s eastern end, all downed trees blocking the Banadad east of the Old Winchell Lake Fire Trail, a distance of 3 miles, have been removed. However, there are two – one hundred yard sections where the trail is very narrow that still need to be cleared this fall. Outside the BWCA, all the downed trees blocking the Lace Lake and Tall Pines Trails have been cleared so that all that remains to be done on these trails is the mowing or hand clearing summer’s growth of center brush.

New Trail Crew T-Shirts

For over ten years, Anne Rykken, Minnehaha’s Academy’s High School Cross Country Ski coach, has brought her ski team members up every fall to work on the Banadad Trail. These volunteers have come to be known as the “Banadad Beavers.” Anne, also a graphic designer, created the “Banadad Beavers” logo for the BTA’s Trail Crew t-shirt. Trail Crew t-shirts can be purchased at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B. The cost is $19 and all proceeds go to the Banadad Trail Association.

New Grooming Equipment for This Coming Winter


Thanks to a $6000 Minnesota DNR/Federal Equipment Grant, a new Four Cycle Super Wide 800 C.C. Skandic Snowmobile from Steve’s Sport in Grand Marais and a 4’ wide compactor drag groom (pictured on left) from ABR in Ironwood, MI will be at work grooming the Banadad this winter. A low interest loan from Cook County provides the required matching funds for the grant.

Support the Banadad Ski Trail by Joining the Banadad Trail Association!

Click on membership to join

Association’s Annual Meeting- October 23

The Banadad Trail Association’s Annual Meeting  is scheduled for 5:00 PM,  Saturday, October 23 at the Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, 11 Poplar Creek Dr. Following the meeting a Pot Luck dinner is planned. Everyone interested in the Banadad is  invited.

During the day on Saturday a volunteer work day will be held on the Trail. For this meet at the Guesthouse at 9:00 AM.

For more information on the Annual Meeting and Trail Work Day call 218-388-4487.