TR: 5/30-6/12, 2022 [Hiking] Minong Ridge Trail E>W

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Re: TR: 5/30-6/12, 2022 [Hiking] Minong Ridge Trail E>W

Post by Bobcat1 »

I appreciate the detailed trip report. I was particularly drawn in by a couple of your comments about trail improvements - for years the Minong (originally just a fire cut) was managed as a mostly-unimproved, minimally maintained trail, for the most adventurous and strong hikers. I'm not sure if that philosophy is changing or if the improvements actually decrease the environmental impact of hikers passing through, or if the growing number of hikers is requiring more improvements due to safety for a broader cross-section of the hiker population, and the Minong is going to end up being more like the Feldtmann Ridge, just another alternative trail choice. My congratulations on making that long day's travel from North Desor to Windigo!
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Re: TR: 5/30-6/12, 2022 [Hiking] Minong Ridge Trail E>W

Post by Kelly »

torpified wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 7:20 am What a fantastic TR! It must have been very gratifying to resolve the mystery of Wolfgang.

I count 12 days all together. (I am not a good counter.) Does that mean you scaled the 87 blowdowns on Day 2 with 10 days' (= ?? pounds) worth of food in your pack??

The note card is an excellent idea! Bulletin boards with trip notes thumbtacked to them would be a way to crowdsource trail conditions beta without demanding tons of time/attention from NPS staff. . . .
  • Seeing a wolf would have been most exciting, but we both knew it was probably a fox.
  • Yes, we were on the island all or part of twelve days. We encountered the 79 blowdowns (which could have been 87, depending on my discretion as counter) on the third day of our presence, so we still had most of our food. The sole reason I increased my pack capacity when I bought a new pack this year is so that I can carry more food.
  • I just need to remember all of my ranger questions⁠—they increase in number as the days pass.
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Re: TR: 5/30-6/12, 2022 [Hiking] Minong Ridge Trail E>W

Post by Kelly »

Bobcat1 wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 8:13 am I appreciate the detailed trip report. I was particularly drawn in by a couple of your comments about trail improvements - for years the Minong (originally just a fire cut) was managed as a mostly-unimproved, minimally maintained trail, for the most adventurous and strong hikers. I'm not sure if that philosophy is changing or if the improvements actually decrease the environmental impact of hikers passing through, or if the growing number of hikers is requiring more improvements due to safety for a broader cross-section of the hiker population, and the Minong is going to end up being more like the Feldtmann Ridge, just another alternative trail choice. My congratulations on making that long day's travel from North Desor to Windigo!
I'm not advocating for trail improvements on the Minong, although I'm grateful when they exist. I heard a story while there that the long boardwalk through the swampy part was installed after a hiker got lost going through that section and needed rescue (and I have no idea if that story is true). Whatever the truth, without the boardwalk one would have to wade through that swamp. I imagine boardwalks provide some measure of habitat protection, but they also need to be maintained.

There was a moment shortly before we left when TC wasn't feeling well and I thought that if she didn't go I would drop the Minong plan and draw up a new route. I'm not the right person to do the Minong solo, or at least without a way to communicate with the outside. I still think that's true, and it's probably true for a lot of hikers. Trail improvements don't change my opinion. Parts of it are more rugged than any other trails on the island, and it's definitely more remote from a rescue perspective.

It's funny how daunting the prospect of hiking North Lake Desor to Windigo was to me. On the day I day-hiked to Huginnin Cove, my total distance for the day (including back and forth from Washington Creek to Windigo) was 2.5 km less than the total distance I hiked on NLD-to-Windigo day. My notes on previous hikes indicate that I've hiked similar distances without dying, so perhaps my abilities (although still tortoise-like) are greater than I tend to think.
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Re: TR: 5/30-6/12, 2022 [Hiking] Minong Ridge Trail E>W

Post by Kelly »

dcclark wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 7:31 pm It being a beautiful day to stay inside and read a trip report, I read yours and thoroughly enjoyed it. I love the phrase "the freedom of wet feet" and now I have a name for that. I'm also pinning for the island and reading your report has me planning next year's trip already.
It's never too early to start planning!
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Re: TR: 5/30-6/12, 2022 [Hiking] Minong Ridge Trail E>W

Post by Bobcat1 »

"without the boardwalk one would have to wade through that swamp. "

On previous maps, it looks like the trail skirted the northern edge of that swampy area, maybe avoiding the worst of it. It now appears to go straight across, reducing the total length and probably the route-finding difficulties too!

Thanks for the details - I am hiking the Minong from Windigo to the Hatchet Lake cut-off, then back to Windigo via the Greenstone and possibly the Feldtman loop, next month. The sections from Windigo to the cut-off trail are the focus for me - so I'm doing them first! After that, my route choice will be repeating trails I've done in the past. I can't wait!
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Re: TR: 5/30-6/12, 2022 [Hiking] Minong Ridge Trail E>W

Post by hooky »

Thanks for a great TR. That's part of the island I haven't been on yet. I need to get it planned while I'm still able to do it.

The Hoosier Hiking folks are great resource for those of us in IN. I've never met them, but glad to hear they're the type of folks I expected them to be.
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