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NPS FAQs about hiking and backpacking during 2020

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:12 am
by johnhens
Why is the Minong Trail closed?
Emergency response is limited this summer. The Minong trail is remote and difficult to access in an emergency situation. Minong trail rescues have gone over 16 hours in the past which means SAR (search and rescue) team members need mandatory rest and would not be available the following day. Also, due to COVID-19 guidance, all SAR responders may need to wear respirators which creates more physical exhaustion and requires more rescuers.

Are there stay limits for any campgrounds?
Yes, stay limits are in effect in all campgrounds through Labor Day with some changes from previous years. Changes: Stay limit at Rock Harbor Campground, Three Mile Campground, and Rock Harbor Marina will be 3 nights. See The Greenstone newspaper for details on other campgrounds.

Will the trails and campgrounds be cleared and maintained?
Hikers will likely encounter downed trees and heavy undergrowth due to late opening. Wayfinding may be challenging and travel times increased. Backpackers need to be self-sufficient. When camping, be aware of hazard trees in the campgrounds and select sites accordingly. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings while in the park because emergency response resources are limited.

Will the outhouses be open?
Yes, outhouses will be open, but will not be stocked with toilet paper. Bring your own toilet paper. Use outhouses so human waste can be concentrated. Bring hand sanitizer and/or soap and to ensure good backcountry health.

Is cross-country (off-trail) camping allowed this summer?
Cross-country camping will be allowed for paddlers only along the Lake Superior shoreline in designated zones. All cross-country camping in the interior of the island will be closed to all visitors for the season.

Can I day hike off-trail?
Yes, but all cross-country camping in the interior of the island will be closed to all visitors for the season.