Summer 2015 News
Partnership for the Pow Wow Trail - $5 Rebate
BWA Committee has initiated Partnership for the Pow Wow Trail with the Stony River Cafe at Isabella, Minnesota. What is the partnership about? BWAC will pay $5 rebate to anyone (exceptions apply - see rebate rules in the Rebate Form) who order a meal worth $10 or more at the Stony River Cafe. By doing so we hope the people will visit the area, eat at the restaurant and hike on the Pow Wow Trail. While the rebate may not be significant, it is a symbol of our commitment to a small family run business affected by the Pagami Creek Fire and to the Pow Wow Trail. Please consider a trip to Isabella's Stony River Cafe and Pow Wow Trail this summer fall.
BWAC Volunteers Help to Paint Stony River Cafe
BWAC members Doug Rude and Lynn Schwartz (volunteer of the year 2013) led the effort to paint the guest cabin at the Stony River Cafe. How is painting a cabin connected with trail advocacy for Pow Wow Trail? The answer is simple. Both the Stony River Cafe and the Pow Wow Trail were gravely affected by the impact of the Pagami Creek Fire. While the fire suppression costed more than 22 million dollars, the economic cost to the surrounding communities is estimated, according to one federal government study, to be ten-fold, or in this fire, 220 million dollars. BWAC approach to mitigating the effects of fire and restoration is comprehensive: helping the surrounding communities and advocacy for the Pow Wow Trail. This effort has synergy: If more people hike on Pow Wow Trail, it is likely that some of them will eat at the Stony River cafe - we did and food is great! To see photos, visit our Meetup web site - Friends of the BWCA Trails.
Pow Wow Trail Update
Not much happened on the Pow Wow Trail in 2014. I hiked it on Memorial Day weekend 2014 at counted 1,803 treefalls. A Forest Service employee hiked it in July and told me and my associate that she counted 100 treefalls. Yet when duo of hikers contacted the USFS Tofte Ranger District for information on the Pow Wow, they person there steered them to hike elsewhere because of, and I am quoting the FS PWT webe page at that time, "there may hundreds, possibly thousands of treefalls." I actually met these two hikers on the PWT in October 2014 and they told me of their conversation with USFS.
On Memorial Day Weekend, a trio of hikers ventured hoping to circumnavigate the PWT and came back after one day, unable to find the trail in vicinity of Myth Lake and Superstition Lake. On Labor Day Weekend 2014 my friend and I tried to hike 400 yard spur trail between Quadga Lake and PWT in vicinity of Campfire Lake and it took us 2 hours, that is an equivalent of 8 hours per mile. The area has been hit by Derecho (high winds) in July 2014 and USFS never cleared it and does not have any plans to do so any time soon.
Good News for Pow Wow Trail. The USFS has finally utilized Federal Recreational Trail Program grant (available in 2014 but, collecting dust, until BWAC wrote to Senator Klobuchar and Representative Nolan in February. Two days later the US Forest Service signed contract with MN DNR to use the grant and in May 2015 Conservation Corps of Minnesota and Iowa cleared from Trailhead to Pose Lake and from Pose Lake to Lake 3/Horseshoe Lake portage.
In addition to Forest Service work, for which we are thankful, present and past members of BWA Committee led by Monte Gomke from Duluth cleared a section for the above said portage to Rock of Ages Lake.
BWA Committee plant several "Fact Finding Trips" on the Pow Wow Trail to establish how much more work needs to be done to make the Pow Wow passable. For now, we recommend that you contact the USFS for GPS track of the trail. Although the trail is marked with rock cairns, these are not of much use later in season when they are obscured by vegetation often 2-3 times taller. A sound approach, would be to head north from the trail head and take the west trail at the loop intersection. That way you are likely to have enough food for the return trip when unable to find the trail near Superstition Lake.
Until then "Enjoy the Hike!"
- Martin Kubik, editor