Sunday, October 01, 2006

Banadad Ski Trail- First Work Days of the Season

Boundary Country Trekking, which own and operate Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B, grooms and maintains the 45 kilometer Banadad and Adjoining Ski Trails. The Banadad is the BWCA's longest tracked ski trail. The Trail is in the center of the 180-kilometer Gunflint Nordic Trail System. Getting the Banadad open each year for skiing require some 450-500 hours of hand labor. Volunteers recruited and supervised by Boundary Country Trekking contribute most of this work.

This year's maintenance began September 29 with three people, Barbara and John Bottger (Hungry Jack Lake) and Ted Young (Poplar Creek Guesthouse). The crew drove out the Moose trail by truck to the Croft Yurt then walked in a mile and one- half to the sagging Banadad Bridge. The decking on the bridge was removed and the rotting beams reinforced and the decking replace. After completing the bridge, the crew widened the approach to the bridge and cut out the over hanging brush along the way back to the truck. It drizzled all day. The work crew encountered three parties of moose hunters along the Moose Trail including one group that had set-up their hunting camp just off the trail and near the Bedew Creek. While working on the bridge two more moose hunters came though the Rush- Banadad Portage.

The next day, September 30, another crew of volunteers- Cindy Tiffany and Margit Jamieson (Gunflint Lake); John Bottger; Mike Nelson and Bryan Straniero Adventuresome Christians' staff and Ted Young tackle the eastern end of the trail. This crew hiked-in from the Poplar Lake Public Landing along the one and one-half mile maintenance access trail- the old Winchell Lake fire trail build by the CCC in the 1930's.

Arriving at the Banadad five of the crewmembers headed west towards the Old Logging Camp cutting brushing as they went. This crew estimate they cleared and widened, at least, another mile of the Trail.

Young walked back east surveying the trail conditions between the access trail to the eastern trailhead and Poplar Creek Guesthouse a distance of 4 1/2 miles. While there were a few small trees that were cut, the rest of this section was in fairly good condition. Two moose hunters were encountered along the way. It was another gray day.

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