Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Gunflint Trail Forest Planning - Draft Plan

The Gunflint Trail Scenic Byway Committee is in the process of
developing a Vegetation Management Plan which will be referenced by
various agencies in managing the vegetation along the Gunflint Trail
in the future.

The public is invited to an open house at the Gunflint Conference
Center on Gunflint Lake on Thursday, August 27th, at 3:30.

The purpose of this open house is to give the public an opportunity
to share ideas about the visual appearance of trees and plants along
the roadway.

The draft of phase I of the plan can be found by clicking on
"Vegetation Management Plan" on the right column at

For more information call 388-2273.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Conservation Corp takes on the Banadad

A five-person crew from the Minnesota Conservation Corp (MCC) spent eight tough days widening the remote interior of the Banadad Ski Trail. The crew hiked in from the west end trailhead, setting up camp at the bench midway to the Bedew Lake Yurt Camp. After several days clearing the trail on either side of their camp, the crew then moved onto Bedew where the sent several more days widening the trail from the yurts to the midtrail junction. When they finally hike out from Bedew the crew had widen two full miles and cleared many down trees blocking the eight miles of the trail they covered.

It is speculated that the down trees were the result of a nasty hail-wind storm cell that hit the western end of the Banadad on August 13. Luckily it appears the storm missed the trail’s eastern end.

Now with this year’s work by MCC some eight remote interior miles of the Banadad have been widen over the last four years. Yet to be widened is about one and one-half more miles some of which it is anticipated will be taken-on this fall.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Gunflint's Bridal Falls Adventure

Looking for an adventurous hike along the Gunflint? You might want to consider going into Bridal Falls. Recently guests from Taunton, Minnesota, and staying at the Little Ollie Cabin took on the challenge. Bridal  Falls is located on the far south eastern end of Gunflint Lake. It is long hike in along the Border Route Trail. Plan a full day if you want to take in this adventure.

Locate just to the east of the falls is the remains of the old "cord-wood" railroad trestle . First used by the Pigeon River Lumber Company as part of a railroad side spur called the Gunflint & Lake Superior Railroad from Little Gunflint Lake, 3 and ½ miles to Crab Lake in 1903. For several years this logging venture succeeded in shipping a rich harvest of timber from the Crab Lake area onto the mills in Port Arthur. In more recent times the trestle became part of the snowmobile route between Loon and Gunflint Lake. The trestle began burning in the recent Ham Lake Fire and is still smolders. Remains of the trestle are still visable.

Saturday, August 01, 2009


July 29, 2009 -- People picking berries on the Superior National
Forest should be aware that spot application of herbicide to control
invasive plants may occur on some roadsides within the Forest. As
part of a Forest Service-wide effort to manage exotic and
rapidly-spreading (non-native invasive) plants, Forest Supervisor
Jim Sanders signed a decision in 2006 that allows for management of
non-native invasive plants using a variety of methods including
herbicide, hand-pulling, and biological controls. Locally, the
Superior National Forest has been working with partners such as the
counties and state to control non-native invasive plants. When ever
possible, we choose to use non-chemical means. However, herbicide
spraying is often the most effective control for invasive plants that
grow within the rights-of-way of roads. Through the end of August
2009, we plan to use two approved herbicides, Milestone and Escort,
both of which have low toxicity to people and wildlife. Although we
control the spray to stay within 25 feet of the road's edge, we
suggest that if you do pick next to a road, you move 50 feet from the
road before you start picking. This will help ensure that your
berries are from outside the treated area and that you are safe from
traffic hazards.
As always, we urge berry-pickers to confirm identification of plants
they are harvesting from and to be aware that some forest plants bear
poisonous fruits. There are many excellent printed and pictoral
guides to wild and edible plants that can help.

Maps showing herbicide treatment sites for this summer are available
at district offices in Grand Marais, Tofte, Aurora, Ely, and Cook,
MN, and on the Superior National Forest
website: To learn more about non-native
invasive species of concern on the Forest and what you can do to help
slow their spread, check out the "Non-Native Invasive Species" section.