|The Kekekabic Trail needs your help!
(download flyer with more details)
Please join the Kekekabic Trail chapter of the North Country Trail Association for a volunteer trail crew leader training session in early October 2017 in Ely, Minnesota. The Kekekabic Trail runs 41 miles through the heart of the Boundary Waters and is a vital link in the 4,600-mile North Country National Scenic Trail.
Register (required by 9/28) and pay registration fee ($50 / $20 for students)
online at northcountrytrail.org/special-events/
Because of its remote nature and frequent natural disturbances, the Kek needs a lot of annual maintenance and spring trail clearing trips are the normal vehicle for making that happen. Fortunately, it's not hard to recruit volunteers to participate in these trips as people love visiting the BWCAW and helping out when someone else organizes the logistics. Unfortunately, it's become increasingly hard to find enough crew leaders to pull together the trips required. Hopefully, that is where you come in! We want to train more people to lead trail clearing trips on the Kek by offering a training session.
Training session details:
When: October 6-8; Friday evening through late Saturday afternoon with an optional Sunday field session hiking/working on the Kek
Where: BSA’s Northern Tier Canoe Base northeast of Ely, MN (meals and lodging included)
What: We'll go over everything you would need to know in order to lead a trail clearing trip on the Kek, including:
- Introduction to the Boundary Waters and Northwoods ecology
- Trip logistics – e.g. volunteer recruitment and communication, planning your trip route, buying food, gear packing, etc.
Read the blog post about the 2017 spring trail-clearing trips
Crews finish their hard work to restore the Kekekabic Trail (click to read more)
Kekekabic Trail Status as of October 2015 – 25 years after reopeningKekekabic Trail Club founder Martin Kubik led two groups of hikers – one crossing east, the other west, exchanging car keys as they passed midway – to celebrate 25 years since the trail was reopened.
Kubik reports: “The Kekekabic Trail is in better shape than it has been for years. The portion of Kek east of the Kekekabic Tower was very well cleared of brush over past several years, and treefalls were very few (1 to 5 per mile). In the Cavity and Ham Lake areas that where the trail was indistinct after the fires, now a nice visible corridor lined with poplars is defining the trail with unmistakable tread. The west segment from Snowbank Trails head to Thomas Lake portage needs tree fall clearing—there are 285 falls in ten miles, indicating that it has not received maintenance for number of years. Thank you for keeping the Kekekabic Trail open and committing the American Hiking Society Crews to clearing the trail. You, Kek Chapter of NCT, and AHS crews have done a great job."
Above: The September 18th Ely event hike participants pose at the Snowbank Lake Trailhead
Above: Kekekabic Trail Club founder Martin Kubik (left) and Mark Stange (right) talk Kek at the October 20th event
Above: Terry Bernhardt and Bruce Anderson share Kek stories while enjoying cake at the October 20th event
Above: Let’s all celebrate 25 years on the Kek!
Above: Bruce Anderson talks about the history of the Kek, his experiences hiking the Kek, clearing the Kek in the 1990’s.
Above: Mark Stange welcomes the group to the October 20th event at Midwest Mountaineering
Above: September 18th Ely event hikers heading down the trail near the BWCAW boundary
Above: September 18th Ely event hikers pose at the Room for a View interpretive sign
Kekekabic Trail Guide—NOW AVAILABLE!
Trail Guide distributors include Midwest Mountaineering and Piragis Outfitters, and Stone Harbor Wilderness Supply. Contact them directly to purchase a trail guide in person or order over the phone.
See the North Country Trail Association map of the Kekekabic Trail. Note: data used to make this map is not up-to-date so use the map for reference purposes only.
Sulfide Mining Documentary
The Friends of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness have posted a 25-minute documentary regarding sulfide mining, online at www.preciouswaters.org. The website also lists connections for taking action.
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