This project is officially closed. It was too hard to find a why to get the material to the site. I'm looking into a private retreat center that might be easier to work with.
Proposal to build a raise walk in the swampy areas along the north shore of Mine Lake on the Kekekabic Trail.
When I walked this trail for the first time in 1993, there was a raised boardwalk through the wet sections of the trail. Through rot, general wear and tear and fire, that walk is gone. This boardwalk was located in the middle of this map, where the words "Kekekabic Trail" are. The picture on the right is an example of a boardwalk at a differenct location on a portage elsewhere in the BWCAW.
Currently, the biggest obstacle to this project is getting approximately 100 8 ft. boards from the trailhead to the site. A snowmobile could be used on the Kek trail for about half the distance, then steep banks and narrow passages over rock and near water make that impossible. Approaching from the west will get closer, but you are going through the BWCA so sled dogs would have to be used. I have not had a someone familiar with sled dogs review this route yet. A route from Tuscarora Lodge on Round Lake directly northwest to the lake is a possibility, but there are many unknowns and that is potentially damaging to the wilderness.
Any option will involve some hand carrying of very heavy material. Using the Kekekabic trail from the east, with some help from snowmobiles leaves a mile long carry. The other options should reduce that consiberably, but are a trade off with the coordination of additional equipment and skills.
This is what hikers currently face on this trail in a couple sections, each about 100 feet long. This picture was taken in July, not a particularly wet time of year. There are also some places where the water is running downhill on the trail. Those will not be conducive to a boardwalk. This project is not intended to make the Kek a walk in the park. Many challenges will still be found, but this one muddy section will be a bit more enjoyable.