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Kekekabic Trail Photo Essay  Martin Kubik
 Oct 18, 2013 21:02 PDT 
Thinking about hiking the Kek this fall or next year?  You might want to look at this photo essay:  http://bwac.smugmug.com/Outdoors/Kekekabic-Trail-October-2013/32606276_3K4kWz#!i=2843223868&k=5kqSWN6
Good news:  About 80% of the Kek are well cleared, 18% have some or quite a few treefalls and 2% have caused some hikers to turn back, even though they already passed the worst areas.  In summary:  West half of Kek looks great except for one mile long section west of Drumstick that has 100 treefalls in one mile (some have been there so long that there are well worn paths around them).  East half has sections that have driven hikers to tears.  Past fires have burnt off lot of duff leaving rocks to walk on in many areas, slowing hikers to 1.5 to 1 mile per hour (plan for extra time here between Bingshick and Agamok).  Trail around Gabimichigami campsite is all but unpassable with numerous treefalls.  In fact we saw hikers started making new trails because the old trail with rock cairns was obliterated with vegetation and treefalls rendering the path invisible.  The beaver dam west of Agamok can be confusing and hikers have simply hiked off the
trail (actually there is no visible trail along the beaver flooded area).  Another vanishing point is east of Chip Lake where a new beaver dam flooded the trail - and if you have not hiked it before you just might have trouble continuing on.  Other than that, it is a great hike for over 40 miles.  Transportation between trail heads can be by car (186 miles and $250-$400 and 4 hours drive) or by seaplane from Ely to Gunflint Lake ($400 and 45 minutes for four hikers and gear - not bad).  Whether you hiked the Kek or planning to backpack it the future, free trail advice and/or post traumatic stress therapy is available at no cost to you.


Martin Kubik
Boundary Waters Advisory Committee, and Kekekabic Trail Club founder
309 Cedar Avenue S.
Minneapolis, MN 55454
651-214-5849 cell
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