Entry Point 74 - Snowbank Lake Trail / Kekekabic Trail (West)
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Entry Point: Snowbank Lake/Kekekabic Trail #74 Last Visited: September 4, 2016
Maps: Fisher F-10, F-31; McKenzie #9 Daily Quota: Unlimited
Fire History:
Nearest Ranger Station: Kawishiwi Ranger Station, Ely, MN on MN Hwy. 1
Portage Length from Parking Lot: None Restroom at Entry Point: No.

OVERVIEW

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Entry Point 74 - Snowbak Lake Trail / Kekekabic Trail (West)

Kawishiwi Ranger District

From Ely, Minnesota, BWCA Entry Point 74 is about 21 miles. Drive 19.5 miles east on the Fernberg Trail (aka Highway 169) until you reach Snowbank Lake Road. Turn left and continue for 1.5 miles to the entry point parking lot which will be on your left. Note that the Kekekabic Trail (heading east) starts on the right side of this same across across the road from the parking lot. The entry point for Snowbank Lake is just a bit further down the road.

This entry point is for both the Snowbank Lake Trail and the west terminus of the Kekekabic Trail. The Snowbank Lake Trail is a loop trail circumnavigating Snowbank Lake. The Kekekabic is a linear trail that has its eastern terminus on the Gunflint Trail about 38 miles away.

The Kekekabic Trail Club maintains both of these trails. They also publish an excellent trail guide for the Kekekabic Trail. For more information check out their website.

Another blowdown occurred in the summer of 2016 which will require some serious trail clearing effort to make both of these trails functional again. I'll try to keep this page updated about the trails status.


Exploring the Entry Point


Sign for the Snowbank Lake and Snowbank Lake Trail accesses along the Fernberg Trail. The Kekekabic Trail also starts/ends at the Snowbank Lake Trailhead.



Another sign along Snowbank Lake Road showing the turn off to the parking lot for the trailheads.



The parking lot is visible on the far left of your view. The Snowbank Lake Trail begins just to the left of those two signs. The Kekekabic Trail starts/ends just to the right out of your view directly across the road from that faintly visible sign posted to the birch tree near the right side of your vision.



The parking lot where your car will hang out while you hike.



There are two bulletin boards at this entry point. The one on the left is the usual board you see at every BWCA entry point. The board on the right is a nice map and description of the Kekekabic Trail. The Snowbank Lake Trail starts just to the left of these two signs (you can see small sign in background). Notice that even at the start of the trail, it is relatively hard to see it. These hiking trails aren't like portages; they are often more overgrown and difficult to follow. There are blazes on the trees to help you follow the path. Also you can look for sawn trees as they are along the sides of the trail because of past trail clearing efforts.



Sign showing "The Kek". You're standing on the very left side of this map by the Fernberg Rd.


The Beginning of the Snowbank Lake Trail


Perhaps 20 feet in from the parking lot is this sign post with a blue blaze attached. The trail is also visible.


Walking from Start of the Kekekabic Trail (West) to Beginning of Snowbank Lake Trail in Parking Lot


The Beginning of the Kekekabic ("The Kek") Trail -- (West end - heading east)


Coming out of the parking lot, just down the road about 30 feet is this small sign for "Kekekabic Trail". As the arrow indicates, the Kek Trail is just to the right.



This is what the beginning of the Kekekabic Trail looks like while standing on the Snowbank Lake Road. As you can see there is a blue blaze and a yellow sign beneath it. The yellow sign is a warning that the trail is in bad shape. Really bad shape. In Summer 2016 a severe blowdown impacted the area and the Kekekabic Trail is nearly impassable. That broken tree fell right into the middle of the trail.



A look back across Snowbank Lake Road while standing about 10 feet down the Kekekabic Trail. The parking lot entrance is on the far left of your view. The sign for "Kekekabic Trail" is faintly visible in profile toward the right of your view.

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