What we're about

Meet other people interested in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This group is for volunteers who want to help maintain the wilderness hiking trails in the BWCAW. What's it like? Visit our website at www.boundarywaterstrails.org and stay tuned on the Meetup/Friends-of-BWCA-Trails site for events and volunteer opportunities.

Upcoming events (2)

BWAC Trip #11 Backpack Clearing the (South) Wilder Parts of the PWT

Needs a location


Contact trip organizers (Tom and Ron) through Meetup message or via email to tomlindsay[at]gmail.com before registering for this trip!

The north segment of the trail between Pose Lake and South Wilder Lake is beautiful, and it becomes increasingly secluded and challenging as one heads west. It takes most of the day to reach South Wilder even on a clear trail, and it sees less clearing than more convenient sections of the trail. No crews are scheduled to clear this section of trail of winter treefall before Memorial Day weekend.

Ron and Tom are looking for several enthusiastic backpackers to bring comfortable boots and make the trip to clear the trail on this Memorial Weekend clearing crew. The six-foot clearing we'll make through this remote part of the trail will bring relief to trail users' long days all season long.

Trip Itinerary: The crew will head north on Thursday afternoon, May 26, and will hike from the trailhead approximately one mile to spend the night at the Lake Isabella campsite. On Friday morning we will backpack between five and seven miles to one of several potential camping spots along this section of trail, where we will set up basecamp. Saturday and Sunday (8am - 4pm) we will be trail clearing between Pose Lake and South Wilder Lake. Monday morning we will hike the seven to nine miles out, arriving back in the metro area in the evening.

Why Volunteer?
The Boundary Waters Advisory Committee has been advocating for and restoring wilderness trails since 2002. We need volunteers like you to transform the Powwow Trail into the hiking and backpacking destination it once was. Your crew leaders promise a productive, rewarding and memorable trip!

What to expect:
This is a trail clearing trip in a designated wilderness area. Spring weather can be unpredictable, and trail conditions can vary substantially. Participants should be in good physical condition and able to backpack 10+ miles. Backcountry camping experience recommended. Must have a "can-do" attitude for unknown trail and weather conditions. Each participant will carry their own pack, shelter, sleep system, cook kit, food, water, personal gear and a BWAC provided clearing tool. Crew leader will provide water purification system.

Volunteers will need to contact the crew leader by email or through Meetup BEFORE registering for a trip.
Trail clearing experience is NOT required or expected. BWAC provides all tools and safety training.

Two weeks before the trip, a local hike will be arranged to meet each other and talk about trip expectations and trail conditions. A gear check will be conducted for major components. Your crew leaders will make sure you bring what you need to be safe and comfortable, and offer advice and suggestions. A sample gear list can be found here: https://www.boundarywaterstrails.org/gear-list-for-trail-clearing-backpacking-canoeing-april

The $25 trip registration fee, payable through Paypal, offsets tool and administrative costs and includes a Mckenzie map of the Powwow Trail. Our trail partner, the U.S. Forest Service, provides the wilderness permit for BWAC volunteer crews.

Small Print:
No pets, tobacco, Bluetooth speakers, or axes. Participants are required to sign a (1)liability release and photo video waiver, (2)USFS self certification health form, and a (3)confidential BWAC medical form prior to trip. Organizer reserves the right to deny participation.

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING TO VOLUNTEER WITH THE BOUNDARY WATERS ADVISORY COMMITTEE. Your time and energy will leave a legacy for hikers now and in the future.

Trip #12 Canoe and Backpack Trail Clearing adventure to N. Wilder Lake

Needs a location


All participants must be approved by the crew leader before registering. This is a remote trip on a wilderness route in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This trip is full. Contact Mark for information and/or to be waitlisted.

This trip will balance first time and experienced participants. Email crew leader Mark Jurmu, at [masked] and let me know you are interested in the trip. I will reply within three days. Do not hesitate to contact me as soon as you can. If approved you will be given instructions for how to register.

Thank you for your interest in helping maintain trails in the BWCAW.

Thursday afternoon we will carpool from the Twin Cities area to Ely, MN where we will spend our pre-trip night at the Fall Lake Campground.

Friday morning it's off to Kawishiwi Lodge on the shores of Lake One for canoes, and to start our paddle through Lakes One, Two and Three. We will stash our canoes at Lake Three then backpack 3.0 mi. to our three-night base camp at North Wilder lake. This is a beautiful campsite which has been restored and has a fire grate and latrine.

Saturday and Sunday we will clear new growth and downed trees from the trail along N. Wilder and towards S. Wilder.

Monday we'll pack out and return to the Twin Cities. It will be a six to eight hour travel day out of the wilderness.

Expect thick brush and tree falls on the trail in a very remote area, cool or hot and possibly wet weather, look forward to working with a good group of people, and to working hard to reopen the Powwow Trail for everyone to enjoy.

Each participant will carry their own pack, shelter, sleep system, food, personal gear and a clearing tool. You should be in good physical shape for full days of travel and working, and have a "can-do" attitude for unknown trail and weather conditions.

Recommended gear list: https://www.boundarywaterstrails.org/gear-list-for-trail-clearing-backpacking-canoeing-april

There is a mandatory safety training and orientation Tuesday evening, April 5, 2022. A required local hike will be scheduled in May to meet each other, conduct a gear check and to hash out trip logistics. Trail clearing experience is not required or expected. BWAC provides all tools and safety training.

All participants must sign the BWAC liability release, BWAC medical health form, and U.S. Forest Service volunteer agreement before trip departure. Review forms at www.BoundaryWatersTrails.org.

The $25 registration fee includes a Mckenzie map of the Powwow Trail and offsets a portion of administrative and tool costs for BWAC. Additional costs will be your trip food, and your share for gas for those not driving.

Our trail partner, the U.S. Forest Service, provides the wilderness permit for BWAC volunteer crews and no-fee camping for volunteers at the Fall Lake Campground. Kawishiwi Lodge is donating use of canoes for this trip.

Thank you for choosing to volunteer with the Boundary Waters Advisory Committee.


Past events (813)

Trip #10: Western Section by Canoe/Backpack w/ Zach and Lane

Needs a location


Photos (5,262)