Snowbank Lake Trail
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Nearest Entry Point: Snowbank Lake Trail #74 Fishing: Snowbank Lake: Northern Pike, Lake Trout, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass; Disappointment Lake: Largemouth Bass, Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Walleye; Parent Lake: Northern Pike, Rock Bass, Walleye, Smallmouth Bass, Largemouth Bass
Maps: Fisher F-10, F-11, F-31; McKenzie 9 Trail Water Views: Snowbank Lake, Boot Lake, Disappointment Lake, Parent Lake and two smaller lakes.
Fire History:
Wildlife Seen on Visit:
Campsites: 8 (5 campsites are specifically for hikers, the other 3 campsites are for paddlers or hikers) Highest Trail Elevation: About 1,580+ feet just west of North Bay of Snowbank Lake. The surface of Snowbank Lake is at 1,425 feet.
Last Visited: September 4, 2016 Scenic Overlooks: Views of Snowbank Lake from the ridges
  Trail Connections and Trailheads:
Connections: Kekekabic Trail, Benezie Loop, Old Pines Trail, crosses several BWCA portages
Trailheads: On Snowbank Lake Road

OVERVIEW

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Snowbank Lake Trail

Kawishiwi Ranger District

Warning: Much of this trail was heavily impacted by the July 21, 2016 storm. Hiking the trail is not recommended until it is cleared.

The only part of the Snowbank Lake Trail that is on this website so far is the section from BWCA Entry Point #74 (Snowbank Lake Trail) which is just north of the Snowbank Lake Road north about 3/4 miles to where the trail comes right next to Snowbank Lake. The same entry point is also used by the Kekekabic Trail (west) which begins across Snowbank Lake Road from the parking lot.

The trails is named for Snowbank Lake. The trail circumnavigates the lake.

The Snowbank Lake Trail is a 24 mile loop. The trail is marked with blue blazes.


Hiking the Snowbank Lake Trail

Here is a brief overview of the hike starting from BWCA Entry Point #74 and heading north (clockwise) around the lake. So far only have footage of the first 3/4 mile up to the place where the Snowbank Lake Trail comes to the western tip of Snowbank Lake. (Note: Will fill out this web page as soon as we can get the data.):

The entire route is on McKenzie Map 9:
1) BWCA Entry Point #74.


The Snowbank Lake Trail starts just to the left of these two bulletin boards. The Kekekabic Trail begins across the Snowbank Lake Road from the parking lot where you are standing.



Very beginnign of the trail. These blue blazes (blue triangle) are used along the entire trail to help guide the way. They are much less frequent when you get further away from the entry point.



Snowbank Lake Trail from the entry point parking lot to about 1/3rd mile down the trail.



Typical cairn along the route to help you find the way. This is just down the trail from the entry point parking lot.



Blue blaze along the trail not far from the entry point. These blue blazes get farther and farther apart as you get more distant from the entry point.



The old logging road. Notice cairn just left of center marking where the Snowbank Lake Trail enters/exits this section.



From about 1/3rd mile north of the entry point parking lot, continue along the Snowbank Lake Trail until it intersects with the old logging road (also a ski trail in the winter).



This rock cairn marks where you turn off the old logging road and get back on the normally graded Snowbank Lake Trail.



The old logging road makes for easy walking in this section. Continue until you come to a rock cairn that marks the turnoff to the regular trail grade. This is about half a mile from the parking lot. Keep an eye out as it is easy to walk right by this cairn.



Covering about another 1/10th mile of the trail. There was some blowdown that had to be carefully hiked around.



Trail passing through denser foliage near western tip of Snowbank Lake.



Working through some heavy storm damage caused by the July 21, 2016 windstorm. Once past the wind damage, get first glimpse of Snowbank Lake. This is the very western tip of Snowbank Lake. It is about 3/4 mile from the entry point parking lot.



View of the western most tip of Snowbank Lake from the Snowbank Lake Trail.

Continuing further along the trail, here are the key landmarks:

1) Another 1/2 mile past where the trail passes just west of the western most tip of Snowbank Lake, the trail crosses the Flash Lake to Snowbank Lake portage. This is a 140 rod portage. There is a campsite on the Snowbank Lake end of the portage on a peninsula. The turnoff to this campsite / portage is marked by a cairn.

2) Just another 1/2 mile up the trail is another campsite that is specifically reserved for hikers use (marked by a red triangle on McKenzie maps). This campsite's view is not as good as it is located in a small bay with its view blocked of the rest of the lake by a peninsula. This campsite is just east of Griddle Lake.

3) For the next couple of miles the trail gives glimpses of Snowbank Lake as it stays close to the lake. The next noteable landmark is where the Snowbank Lake Trail goes around the north side of Wooden Leg Lake about 3 1/2 miles past the campsite by Griddle Lake.

4) Another 1/2 mile further on, the trail comes back to Snowbank Lake just north of Half Burnt Island. There are a couple of campsites along Snowbank Lake in this next 1/2 mile section north of Half Burnt Island until the trail makes its way over to Bass Bay.

5) From Bass Bay, the trail goes around Grub Lake's north shore. Another campsite is found on Grub Lake and is reserved for hikers.

6) Past Grub Lake the trail makes a sharp turn south and heads for about 1 mile in that direction back to the shore of Snowbank Lake. You are now near North Bay on Snowbank Lake.

7) From North Bay, continue southeast for about 3/4 mile until you reach the Boot Lake portage. There are two campsites near the portage reserved for hikers. You can walk the portage for about 80 rods over to Boot Lake. The trail goes over a small stream on a foot bridge. This stream drains Snowbank Lake into Boot Lake.

8) Just south of the Boot Lake portage, perhaps a 1/4 mile away, the Snowbank Lake Trail intersects with the Old Pines Trail. At this point down by Snowbank Lake is another campsite reserved for hikers.

9) From the Boot Lake portage it's about 1 mile to Birseye Lake. The trail passes along the west side of this tiny lake.

10) A 1/2 mile after Birdseye Lake the trail reaches Disappointment Lake. There is a campsite here if canoeists haven't already grabbed it.

11) About 1/2 mile further you come to an intersection where two portages cross the trail. One is the 140 rod Snowbank Lake to Disappointment Lake portage. The other is the 85 rod Disappointment Lake to Parent Lake portage. You want to follow the Parent Lake portage to continue on the Snowbank Lake Trail. There is a wood post that marks where the Snowbank Lake Trail turns off from the portage so that you can continue the hike.

12) Another 1 mile and you reach a three-way junction. This is where the Snowbank Lake Trail intersects with the combined Kekekabic Trail / Old Pines Trail. Stay right on a westward heading (assuming you are doing this route clockwise). This is near the south side of Parent Lake.

13) The next 1/4 mile brings you to another trail junction. This trail (heading left and south) is the Benezie Loop trail.

14) The last stretch of the trail leaves the BWCA in about 1/2 mile and then continues for another 4 miles back to the trailhead where you started.

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