Wednesday, November 16, 2005

New this Winter at Gunflint Trail Cross Country Ski lodges and Trails

Grand Marais, MN- With the Gunflint Trail receiving its first major snow of the winter- four to five inches now on the ground and more on the way, the Gunflint's cross country ski trail managers and lodges are busy getting ready for the opening of the 2006 cross country ski season.

The Central Gunflint Ski Trail System operated by Golden Eagle and Bearskin Lodges have added a new ski trail. According to Dan Baumann, Golden Eagle Lodge, "Our new Ridge Run Trail should quickly become a favorite for all ages. It follows the southern ridges and features many vistas overlooking Flour Lake. The trail goes through birch, aspen, cedar and then to high country with virgin white and red pines." According to Baumann, "The trail will be groomed for classic and skate skiing."

Baumann went on to state that Golden Eagle has modify several cabin, "in order to better accommodate asthmatics and people with certain allergies. We have replaced our wood stoves with smoke-free LP gas fireplace and we have also designated them as pet-free"

New along the Boundary Waters' (BWCA's) Banadad Ski Trail, operated by Boundary Country Trekking, skiers will find that a new eight-foot wide bridge has replaced the old-narrow Dawkins Creek Bridge. Skiers approaching the bridge down the hill from the west will no longer have to fear running into the old bridge's narrow side rails. Another enhancement along the Banadad that skiers will notice is the improved maintenance on the trail's remote wilderness interior. This fall crews from the Forest Service and North Star Ski Touring Club, armed with hand tools, cleared and widened three miles of the trail's most remote and difficult to maintain section.

At the eastern end of the Banadad, skiers on Yurt to Yurt trips will be treated to the rustic luxury of the new twenty-foot diameter Tall Pine Yurt and sauna. According to Barbara Young, owner of the yurts and Poplar Creek Guesthouse B& B, "A recent yurt guest dubbed this new accommodation the Martha Stewart Yurt."
Along the Upper Gunflint Trail Systems at Gunflint Lodge skiers will be greeted to several changes. Taking charge of the day-to-day operations at Gunflint Lodge will be the new management team of Lee and Eva Kerfoot. Lee and Eva are the 4th generation of Kerfoot hosts at the Lodge.

According to Lee Kerfoot, "beginning December 1, Gunflint Lodge will open, an Adventure Concierge office. Guests that need a little know-how, or a tip to get them on the right trail, or recommendations on the activities they might be interested in, will now have a knowledgeable staff member here to answer their questions and get them pointed in the right direction." The Adventure Concierge office will be operated 7 days a week.
Also at Gunflint Lodge two popular cabins are being remodeled. Upon completion these cabins will have a rock-wall fireplace, new Knotty Pine paneling, tile in the bathrooms and kitchens, the addition of a washer and dryer, complete new cabinets, and carpet.

The one hundred and eighty-kilometer Gunflint Nordic Trails consist of three separate ski trail systems - the Central Gunflint and Upper Gunflint Trail Systems connected by the Banadad Trail System. For additional information on the Gunflint Trail cross country ski lodges and trails contact - Gunflint Trail information (www.gunflint-trail.com) or phone 800-338-6932.

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