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Kekekabic (Kek) Hiking Trail

...once a trail for firefighters...

The Kekekabic Trail is a rugged, 40-mile interior trail and a point-to-point route that goes from the end of the Fernberg Road east of Ely near Snowbank Lake to the Gunflint Trail.  The trail almost connects to the Border Route Trail, which is only a few miles down the Gunflint Trail.

Length: 40 miles (actually 38 or so)

Entry point: 56, 74

Maps: Fisher # F10-11-12
Click here for a trail overview map
(* GPS data added around 1994 by the Kekekabic Trail Club.)

Campsites:  Most campsites along east half of trail accessible from canoe routes; west half accessible only from trail.

Water: Some long stretches with few water sources; it's a good idea to have an adequate water carrier.

Trip options: Entire trail: 4-6 days.  However, additional loop options near west end (see Snowbank Lake trail and Disappointment/Old Pines trail)

Features: Muller falls, solitude, beaver dams, gently rolling terrain.

Challenges: Rugged, hilly trail with a few steep places and beaver dam crossings. Expect some difficulty in following some parts of the trail. Clearcutting near west end totally obliterated parts of trail (although the tread is now being established better.)  Watch for flagging tape (ribbons) to mark the route in some areas.

History:  Constructed in 1930s as an access trail for firefighting and forest management. A fire tower once stood near Kekekabic Lake. Name was derived from the Ojibwe "Keke-quabic" which means "Hawk's nest on the rocks."

The Rescue:  Almost lost from the trail inventory of the U.S. Forest Service the "Kek Trail Club" is born. KTC maintains the Kek Trail every year. Click here to visit them. Kek Trail Club

Additional InformationKekekabic Trail Guidebook


BWCA Hiking Permits Border Route trail Disappointment trail
Herriman trail Kekekabic trail Powwow trail
Snowbank trail BWCA Maps Angleworm trail

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Published from the edge of the Boundary Waters
Canoe Area by Chad Jones

Updated Aug 26, 2016

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