Monday, October 25, 2010 3:10 PM
For Immediate Release
Contact: Martin Kubik, cell[masked]
20th Anniversary of Reopening the Kekekabic Trail in BWCA by Volunteers
Boundary Waters Advisory Committee (BWA Committee) is celebrating 20 years of reopening the Kekekabic Trail in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Join us at Gunflint Lodge, Gunflint Trail, Grand Marais, Minnesota on November 6, 2010.
Dinner 5:30 pm Gunflint Lodge. Buffet ( for reservations, contact Gunflint Lodge directly at (800)[masked] or (218)[masked] or email [address removed]
Joining us at dinner will be USDA Forest Service representatives.
Presentations Gunflint Conference Center are open to public free of charge.
7:30 pm ?History of the Centennial Trail? by Tom Kaffine, USFS Wilderness Ranger
8:00 pm ?Kekekabic Trail from 1990 to present, 20 years of volunteer maintenance,? by Martin Kubik, Kekekabic Trail Club Founder
The Kekekabic Trail is a 42 mile long deep wilderness trail. Built as an access trail for fire fighters in 1930?s, the trail became a recreational trail in the 1960?s. In 1980?s, the Forest Service abandoned the trail due to budget cuts. In an attempt to bring the trail back, Bill Rom, retired canoe outfitter from Ely, put up a reward of $500 to anyone who would clear the interior 20 miles in 1986.
Back then, the Kek as it is called, had between 2,000-3,000 treefalls blocking the path. In 1990, Martin Kubik recruited volunteer co-workers from 3M Company in St. Paul and together they cut a clear path between the two trailheads. Later, Martin Kubik founded the Kekekabic Trail Club and in 2002, the BWA Committee was formed to help maintain historic hiking trails.
The Kekekabic Trail remains a wilderness challenge. The 1999 storm decimated 2/3 of the trail. Following two major fires in 2006 and 2007, much of the path was burned to the rock bed and made it extremely difficult to follow even by expert hikers. The trail gained nationwide attention in 2008 when two hikers from Duluth were lost on Kek for four days. Today, the Kekekabic trail is regenerating itself and is ready for those willing accept its challenge. It is currently maintained by several volunteer organizations working with the USDA Forest Service to keep trail over-growth in control.
Boundary Waters Advisory Committee is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserve existing, historic and intrinsically beautiful wilderness hiking trails of the BWCAW in the Superior National Forest. It accomplishes its mission by organizing trail clearing trips in cooperation with the USFS, increasing awareness about the wilderness hiking trails, and by lobbying to preserve existing trails.
Martin Kubik works as an engineering specialist at 3M Co. in St. Paul, and is a recent recipient of 3M Community Volunteer Award. Martin has volunteered his time to bring back several wilderness trails in the BWCA in the past 20 years. Martin can be reached at [address removed] com or on cell[masked]-5849.