Snow re­veals new ter­rain.

Bound­ary Wa­ters, MN

Backpacker - - NEWS -

When bit­ing in­sects re­treat and the fa­mous wa­ters freeze solid, Bound­ary Wa­ters lo­cals break out their skis and schuss through re­mote bo­real forests—portag­ing not re­quired. Cre­ated in 1983 from old log­ging roads, the 16.7-mile Banadad Ski Trail edges ex­panses of shift­ing lake ice and tra­verses the quiet north­ern coun­try be­tween Lake Su­pe­rior and the Canadian border. “I see a lot of wolf prints,” says Ted Young of Bound­ary Coun­try Trekking, who sets the ski track on the Banadad once a week. “In win­ter, moose hang out in the burnt-over area where new brush has grown.” The mostly flat trail sees about 100 inches of snow fall each year, which lingers on the spruce and bal­sam trees that line the way. Shel­ter from tree-crack­ing overnight cold at one of Young’s two yurts that sleep six each (lo­cated at the east­ern trail­head and mile 11.8). Best part: He pro­vides sleep­ing bags, or­ga­nizes the car shut­tle, schleps gear, and warms up the wood­stove.

TRAIL­HEAD 48.053224, -90749988; 43 miles north­west of Grand Marais on Gun­flint Tr. CAMP Two yurt nights plus shut­tles for four peo­ple start at $325; bound­arycoun­try.com PER­MIT Min­nesota Ski Pass ($6/ day; li­censes.dnr.state.mn.us) and BWCA day per­mit (free at trail­head) re­quired. CON­TACT banadad.org

Min­nesota tim­ber wolf

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