The recent wet snow has wreaked havoc with area trails. Though the snow-covered trees make a winter-wonderland scene from the highways, drooping trees and branches have seriously restricted travel on winter dogsled and ski routes through the woods in the boundary waters.
Most of our dogsledding trails are outside the BWCAW, and therefore we’ve been able to break open trails with a specially-equiped snowmobile, a chainsaw, and a whole lot of physical labor. The above photo shows weighted-down trees obstructing a trail near Ely. Though it is hardly recognizable, a well-used trail runs through the middle of the photo.
The below photo shows the “Mad Max” snow machine Paul rigged to plow through all the down branches on the trails. The blue plastic cage is to tunnel through the obstructions, and help knock the snow off the branches.