I Like to Hike in the BWCA
Anyone who knows me knows how much I like to hike. The Boundary Waters is one of my favorite places to hike in spite of the fact there aren’t too many trails to choose from. One trail in the BWCA I have never hiked is the Pow Wow Trail. It’s not in my area and I’ve heard it is a somewhat difficult trail to follow. After listening to a scenario at an EMS Conference regarding, "Searching for Jason" I was less than enthusiastic about trying the trail.
But then the Pagami Fire happened and it destroyed a portion of the Pow Wow Trail. The USFS closed the trail for safety reasons after the fire and when I thought I would never be able to hike the trail I decided I really wanted to be able to hike it.
The USFS did some clearing and re-opened it minus some of the original campsites. The future of the trail is unknown due to the time and money involved to keep the trail maintained. The USFS doesn’t think they will be able to maintain the trail due to budget constraints.
Enter keeper of hiking trails Martin Kubik. He helped keep the Kek Trail open and is interested in keeping the Pow Wow Trail open for future generations. He recently met with a group in Duluth and will hopefully generate enough interest and enthusiasm to keep the Pow Wow Trail open for me and others to enjoy.
Dave Orrick: Can the Pow Wow Trail be saved?
Work is underway to restore a popular trail in the BWCA, burnt up by the Pagami Creek wildfire of 2011.
On Wednesday night, a group of outdoor advocates get at Duluth’s Hartley Nature Center getting an update on the Pow Wow Trail in the BWCA from the Boundary Waters Advisory Commission.
Commission President Martin Kubik said eight of the 31 mile trail was turned to charred dust during the massive wildfire.
"The Pagami Creek fire was so intense that it burned all the soil, or a lot of the soil, and there is noting but dust or gravel in the ground," Kubik said.
Kubik said now the commission is working with the U.S. Forest Service to create a comprehensive restoration plan for the years ahead.
"Our goal is to have a plan to bring it back. That will include marking the trail, cutting all the tree falls, restoring the camp sites and replacing the latrines that burned in the fire," Kubik said.
He said in the more-than two years since the blaze, the Forest Service has done a lot of work to cut those fallen trees in about 24 miles of the trail. But overall, he said much of the trail remains unmarked.
"We need to make a plan that will work with the hikers so they can use so they can use the trail again like they’re used to," Kubik said. "We realize that there will take more than one generation before the trail comes back."
If you have an interest in volunteering, click here or call Kubik at (651) 214-5849