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Spring 2022 Trail Clearing Schedule

Trip Type Name Dates Trip fee
Wilderness Crab Lake April 28 - May 1 $0
Wilderness South Lake April 29 - May 2 $0
Wilderness SLT-Mucker May 20 - May 23 $0
Wilderness Pine Lake FULL $0
Mechanized Gunflint End Maintenance April 29 - May 1 $25
Mechanized East End Maintenance CANCELLED $25

**Due to the depth of snow on the Border Route Trail and its access trails the Crab Lake and South Lake trail clearing trips have been canceled.


**Due to heay flooding and bride wash-outs, the East End Maintenance trail clearing trip has been canceled.


About Mechanized Trips

Trips depart from the Twin Cities the evening of the listed start date and return the evening of the listed end date. A combination of hand and power tools are used for maintenance of the portions of the trail outside of the BWCA wilderness.

About Wilderness Trips

The wilderness sections of the Border Route Trail run above and along several border lakes and provide spectacular overlooks to those lakes. Trail clearing consists of removing brush and downed trees and in the wilderness is done with hand tools: crosscut saws, loppers, and manual brush cutters.

All paddling equipment (Kevlar canoues; paddles; and PFDs) and hand tools will be provided. Once registrations start coming in, trip leaders will send out a trip organizing email to registrants with more information. To register go to the signup page. Registration consists of selecting your trip, answering some basic experience questions, and reading and signing the liability waiver and agreeing to the Medical Certification Addendum.

COVID 19 IMPACT: The Forest Service and the NCTA recommend following the current protocols set by the CDC. Each crew should discuss concerns about COVID-19 and the protocol rules established by the CDC. See the COVID-19 Community Level information for Cook County (search with “CDC county covid tracker”). It currently shows a low community level and provides information on what to do to protect yourself. This spring we will continue to not use bunkhouse type lodging for our crews so we will drive up to campgrounds or to trailheads and go directly out to campsites on the trail to establish our base camps.

These all will be Bring Your Own (BYO) trips meaning that participants are responsible for bringing their own food and drink and plan on separate eating, cooking, and water filtering. There is no trip fee for BYO trips. Contact your trip leader if you need help determining what to bring. Keep receipts for all your trip related expenses that are not reimbursed as they are tax deductible.

If you have questions about wilderness trail clearing or any of the trips contact Tom Suter trsuter@aol.com Acting Director until the end of march then contact Charlie Soqui, Director of Wilderness Maintenance charlie.soqui11@gmail.com

Wilderness Trip Summaries

Crab Lake
Date: April 28 - May 1
Type: Hike-in

On Thursday April 28 the crew will drive up to Grand Marais and travel up the Gunflint Trail to the Iron Lake Campground and set up a base camp. On Friday the crew will drive out on Loon Lake Road (HWY 51) past the Loon Lake Lodge to the parking lot at the Crab Lake Spur Trail trailhead. The crew will then hike out 1.7 miles to the junction with the Crab Lake cutoff trail which was cleared last year. The 0.8 mile BRT segment of the Crab Lake Section and the 0.9 mile northern segment of the Crab Lake Spur trail will be cleared. The crew will return to base camp. On Saturday trail clearing will continue including the 0.5 mile BRT segment between the junction with the Mayhew Road access trail east to the Sock Lake Camp trail junction. Sunday May 1, the crew will return home.

The trip will be limited to 9 people. For more information, contact trip leader Greg Swanson gswans3@gmail.com

To register go to the signup page

South Lake
Date: April 29 - May 2
Type: Backpack-in

On Friday April 29 the crew will drive up to Grand Marais. The crew will drive to Rockwood Lodge for parking and backpack in to set up a basecamp at the campsite on the southeast bay of South Lake. On Saturday, clearing will be done on the South Lake Trail between the wilderness boundary to the South Lake camp. Clearing will continue Sunday including the 1.2 miles segment of the BRT from the South Lake Trail east to the junction with the Partridge camp trail. The crew will hike out on Monday and return home.

The trip will be limited to 9 people. For more information, contact trip leader Chris Fothergill csfothergill@gmail.com

To register go to the signup page

SLT-Mucker
Date: May 20 - May 23
Type: Backpack-in

On Friday May 20 the crew will drive up to Grand Marais. The crew will drive to Rockwood Lodge for parking and backpack in to set up a basecamp at the campsite on the southeast bay of South Lake. On Saturday, clearing will be done on the BRT from the South Lake Trail to the Mucker Lake flow. Clearing will continue Sunday including if needed on the 1.2 miles segment of the BRT from the South Lake Trail east to the junction with the Partridge camp trail. The crew will hike out on Monday and return home.

The trip will be limited to 9 people. For more information, contact trip leader Brian Hanson brianbhanson@gmail.com

To register go to the signup page

Pine Lake
Date: May 27 - May 30 (Memorial Weekend)
Type: Paddle-in

On Friday May 27 the crew will drive up to the McFarland Lake campground and set up camp for the night. Saturday the crew will paddle out on McFarland Lake and setup a basecamp. The crew will access the BRT using the McFarland/East Pike portage trail. Clearing will start at the junction of the portage and the BRT heading west. Day hike in to clear the segment from the John Lake overlook west to the McFarland/East Pike portage. Clearing will continue Sunday and the crew will return home on Monday.

This trip is full. For more information, contact trip leader John Taylor johnwtaylor3@gmail.com

Mechanized Trip Summaries

Gunflint End Maintenance
Date: April 29 - May 1
Type: Car camping

Hiking and end of winter deadfall sweep on the Border Route Trail west end just outside the BWCA Wilderness. Using hand and some power tools. Lots of hiking on the BRT overlooking famous Gunflint Lake is expected. As an added bonus we will install the New North Country National Scenic Trail signage along the BRT from the Magnetic Rock trail head to Bridal Falls and the entrance to the BWCA portion of BRT. This section should be in good condition after last fall’s epic 18 person clearing and brushing expedition. Vehicle based Camping at a designated USFS site along the Gunflint Trail near the work area. Breakfast and dinner from Friday morning to Sunday morning included ( three breakfasts, two dinners). Lunch and snacks are on your own. Be prepared for cool evenings and moderate day work conditions near the Canadian border.

For more information or to sign up, contact trip leader Gary Carlson grc70mn@gmail.com

East End Maintenance
Date: May 20 - May 22
Type: Car camping

Hiking and end of winter deadfall sweep on the Border Route Trail East end just outside the BWCA Wilderness. Using hand and some power tools. Lots of hiking on the BRT overlooking famous Pidgeon River and South Fowl Lake is expected. As an added bonus we will install the New North Country National Scenic Trail signage along the BRT from the eastern terminus trail head to McFarland Lake and the entrance to the BWCA portion of BRT. This section should be in good condition after last springs multiple clearing and brushing expeditions. Vehicle based camping at a designated USFS or DNR site along the Arrowhead Trail near the work area. Breakfast and dinner from Friday morning to Sunday morning included (three breakfasts, two dinners). Lunch and snacks are on your own. Be prepared for cool evenings and moderate day work conditions near the Canadian border.

For more information or to sign up, contact trip leader Gary Carlson grc70mn@gmail.com