Thursday, May 29, 2008

Becoming a Boundary Family

The Gunflint Trail Outfitter Association has announced a new program entitled –“Becoming a Boundary Waters Family.” The purpose of the program is to introduce families to the Boundary Waters and assists them in gaining the skills needed for a successful family BWCA canoe adventure. Participating canoe outfitters will offer a variety of canoeing and camping seminars from June 16 through July 9. See complete schedule of seminars at
The seminars are free and open to anyone interested in attending.

Boundary Country Trekking will be offering a seminar entitled – “Canoe Culture- Dug out to Kevlar,” on Sundays, 4:30-5:30, on June 22, 29 and July 6, 13. This seminar will take place at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B.

Monday, May 26, 2008

BWCA's Water Falls Less Traveled

Alder Lake last week. Our plan was to canoe into the Canoe - Pine Lake Portage the next day; hiked not portage into Pine Lake and into Johnson Fall. If you have not been on that portage, it is one I do not normally recommend as a portage. It is killer!

When you go there be sure to take-in both the lower falls and then climb up to the upper falls right beyond the lower falls.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Caution on Winchell to Brule Lake BWCA Canoe Route

If you are planning a trip from Winchell to Brule Lakes the following report from a USFS Wilderness Ranger should be noted:

I was just out in the Brule/ Homer area and have a couple things to report:

there is a lake north of Brule on the way to Winchell called Grassy
(between Mulligan and Wanihigan). It is essentially running out of water.
So I would advise people travelling in that area to take a
different route (Cones, Cliff, etc.). Though most everywhere else is experiencing
very high water conditions, Grassy is a shimmering shallow mudflat
that was difficult for our lightly-loaded daytripping canoe to pass
through. It will be virtually impassible for a fully-loaded boat. Also,
this is the time to head into the Pipes. High water = good travelling
on the Vern river to that destination.

that's it. thanks.

Tammy Cefalu
Wilderness Ranger


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Banadad Ski Trail Carbon Offset Award Announced

Seagull Lake Resident, Jim Raml was the recipient of this year’s Banadad Ski Trail Carbon Offset Award of $134.44. Raml is planting some five thousand trees on his property ravaged by last Spring’s Ham Lake Fire. The planting of his property got underway this week.

“This award,” according to Ted Young, Banadad Trail Manager, “should at least help Jim plant a small portion of the tree needed to reforest his burned over property.”

According to calculation made at the end of the ski season this year’s maintenance and snowmobile grooming of the Banadad released 1.733 tons of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. The CO2 was produced by five mid size cars and one large van traveling some 3900 miles with volunteers maintenance crews to and from the Twin Cities to the trail, and 995 miles of snowmobile trail grooming.

In calculating the cost of off-setting this carbon the Chicago Climate Exchange's "Forest Accumulation Tables” for the amounts of CO2 that can be sequestered/acre by age group of white and red pine surviving for a least ten years was used. This was then multiplied by the amount of CO2 the Trail produced times the number of trees planted/acre times the cost/tree. From this it was determined that in order to sequester the carbon the Banadad produced this past year 335 trees would have to be planted at cost of $.134.44.

“It should also be noted” Young went on to state “that, Raml was the driving force behind and the author of a quarter of a million dollar Scenic Byways grant application, that if approved, will provide much of the funds necessary for the Gunflint Ranger District to implement their proposed Ham Lake Fire reforestation program.”

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mid-Gunflint Lakes Ice Out

Poplar Lake Ice, according to Chrisy at Windigo Lodge went-out yesterday afternoon, May 10. Hungry Jack and other mid sizes lakes are also open. Clearwater which is normally one of the last lakes in the mid-trail area for the ice to go out was clear this morning. For Poplar Lake this year's ice out is the latest since 1996 when the ice went out on May 22.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Ice Out on Smaller Gunflint Trail Lakes

The ice went out on Little Ollie Lake yesterday (May 7) and two days ago ice was out in Wampus and about out in Aspen along the Clearwater Road. Jim Raml on Seagull Lake reported the that Meditation Lake was free of ice two days ago also. Seagull was beginning to open in the bay infront of Raml's house but the main part of the Lake was still ice covered.

However, even the mid size lakes in the mid Gunflint Trail area, such as Poplar, West Bearskin, Hungry Jack, were still socked-in and it is unlikely that most of them would be open before the fishing opener this weekend.

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Gunflint Green Up in spite of the Weather -Thousands of Trees Planted

Saturday morning as the Gunflint Green Up was about to begin and in spite of four inches of fresh snow, which had fallen during the night, an estimated four hundred and seventy five tree planter armed with planting equipment fanned out over the site of last springs Ham Lake Fire. By noon as the planters stopped for their lunches the sun had come out the temperature risen and most of the snow had melted. Nancy Seaton, Gunflint Committee Chairperson proclaimed, "that the weather had turned into a great day for planting."

Vicki Grassl, from Pine City Minnesota, and who was staying at Poplar Creek Guesthouse B&B claimed that she and her friend Debra Erickson from Wyoming Minnesota planted well over three hundred trees. Another guest at a Poplar Creek, Steve Alderson, from Minneapolis, and who in the 1960's was a fishing guide on Sag Lake felt that by participating in the tree planting help him to reconnect with his earlier life, "I feel like I really belong to the Trail," Alderson said after a day of tree planting.

While the final number of trees planted has yet to be totaled it is estimated that the Gunflint Green resulted in the planting of some 40,000-50,000 young red and white pines trees.

According to Dennis Neitzky, Gunflint District Ranger-USFS, who assisted the Gunflint Green Up Committee in coordinating the tree planting, "the project was a huge success and a was great start in renewing the forest burned over by last year's Ham Lake Fire."

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