Archive for July 2012

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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The Banadad Trail Association announced today that it is undertaking a fundraising campaign to construction on new section of the trail and enlarge the parking on the trail’s west end.  The project will reconstruct the west end of the Banadad Trail, which crosses private property, secure a permanent easement, and ensure continued access for skiers from the west end.

“We are so excited to undertake this project,” said BTA president Linda Bosma, who has been skiing the Banadad Trail for 18 years.  “A change in property ownership creates the opportunity for us to improve the west end of the trail, which is popular with day skiers who want to ski in and out, as well as the through skiers, who ski the entire 29 kilometers of the trail in one day.” 

The project cost is $11,340.  The BTA has been awarded a Trail Connections Grant from the Department of Natural Resources that will cover $7,800 and the Association must raise the balance.  

“This is the most ambitious project we have undertaken as a new organization,” said John Bottger, BTA Vice President and Gunflint Trail resident.  “We’ve secured grants and donations to cover maintenance and grooming costs of the trail since 2009, when we formed, and last year we rebuilt a remotely located bridge within the BWCA.  So, while this new project is significant, we feel up to this challenge.  But we’ll definitely need the support of our members, skiers, and other supporters of the trail.” 

Bosma enthusiastically noted that people have already begun donating, even though the campaign is just getting off the ground, with over $1,000 in donations already received this week.  “We’re extremely gratified by the early show of support we’ve received—we love this trail and construction of this new section on the west end is vital to ensuring access to the trail in the future.”

 Those interesting in donating can do so through the Banadad Trail Association page on

or by sending a check directly to the Banadad Trail Association, P.O. Box 436, Grand Marais, MN  55604.


The BTA hopes to reach their fundraising goal by September 15, 2012.

Minnesota Conservation Corps Report from the Trail

Last week five members of the Minnesota Conservation Corps spent seven days clearing the area just east of the Banadad Bridge where the Ham Lake fire had burned across the Banadad.  One of the crew members reported on his experiences.

The Banadad prior to brushing

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.