Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

Hiking trail upgrade in progress

Pfeiffer Lake has its own 2.2-mile interpretive trail. Who knew?

Marshall Helmberger
Posted 8/22/18

PFEIFFER LAKE— The recent dry weather made it the perfect time for work on a 2.2-mile-long interpretive trail here late last week. The trail extends from the popular Pfeiffer Lake Campground around …

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Hiking trail upgrade in progress

Pfeiffer Lake has its own 2.2-mile interpretive trail. Who knew?

Posted

PFEIFFER LAKE— The recent dry weather made it the perfect time for work on a 2.2-mile-long interpretive trail here late last week. The trail extends from the popular Pfeiffer Lake Campground around the east side of this small lake tucked away deep in the Superior National Forest’s Laurentian District.

Most of the trail travels on high ground, but a handful of boggy stretches, which can be quite wet in spring or after significant rain, have been enough to limit use of the trail. “We’re building short sections of boardwalk over those wet areas,” said Dave Poppema, who works for the Forest Service out of Aurora.

The trail starts near the Pfeiffer Lake beach and passes through the camping area, but most folks pick it up near the facility’s boat landing, where there’s available parking for non-campers.

The looping trail is gently rolling and passes through typical north woods terrain, including a mix of pine, birch, and aspen in the uplands, and black spruce in the boggy sections. Much of the trail runs along the lakeshore and provides access to two remote, rustic hike- or boat-in campsites, which are available at no cost on a first-come, first-served basis.

Ashley May-Klick, trail technician on the Laurentian, said the latest upgrades to the trail are part of an effort to boost usage of the trail. The trail hadn’t been well-maintained for a few years and that limited usage considerably.

In addition to brushing and the installation of board walks, the Forest Service is planning to use gravel fill in some areas to even out area of rough trail tread. “Eventually, we would like to get this trail in a condition where people can really use it,” said May-Klick. “It wasn’t getting much use, so we figured making it an easier walk for more people would encourage more of it.”

Funding for the roughly $500 boardwalk project came from federal erosion control dollars. A few Forest Service employees, a three-person fire crew, and the campground host who volunteered his time, all provided the labor.

If you’re looking for a relatively easy hike through scenic forest and lakeshore, check in out. With autumn just around the corner, the best of the hiking season is upon us.

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