Spring 2013 Update
Snowpack is unusually deep this year. Gunflint has three feet of snow as of April 22 and ice on lakes is two to three feet thick. BWAC is rescheduling its earfly May trips as a result. For complete list of BWCAW trail clearing trips, see our meetup website.
Spring BWCA Trail Maintenance Trips
Spring trips are being posted and filled currently. See our meetup website for details and to sign up. LEARN MORE >
Pow Wow Trail Status
The 31 mile long trail burned down in the 2011 Pagami Creek Fire. Forest Service has had Minnesota Conservation Crews clear 24 miles of the trail. The parts fo the trail that lie on the former logging roads were easy to follow as was the west segment of the Pow Wow marked with numerous rock cairns. However, most of the northern segment between Horse and Pose Lake is either uncleared or unmarked. The fire has burt so completely as to vaporize any trace of the path. To navigate on the former trail, hikers will need the GPS trace of the Pow Wow Trail. Fortunatly, US Forest Service has a track recorded before the fire.
Coalition and the BWAC has met with the US Forest Service several times, but received little information other than that "no plan for restoration is needed because trail requires only routine maintenance." The USFS also stated that it will mark north segement with flagging but has not provided completion date.
www.bwac.smugmug.comWhile the USFS officially reopened the Pow Wow in August 2012, what is still needed is a restoration plan for the Pow Wow Trail so that hikers can anticipate when they can safely enjoy the wilderness path as the land is healing. This plan needs to include a vision for trail marking, timeline for clearing the trail, restoring the campsites, replacing the latrines and plan for funding trail clearing. Brush will be growing profusely for tghe next 7-10 years until the canopy is re-established. Good news: BWAC survey crew that backpacked the Pow Wow Trail last Labor Day weeked spotted jackpine coming up along the trail. It is hoped that new district ranger at Tofte Ranger District to be appointed after retirement of John Wytanis will be open to developing goals, plan, and time line. For photo essay of that trip see our website at . For more information about the Coalition to Bring Back the Pow Wow Trail contact Martin Kubik at wtrails2atyahoodotcom.