6 - 7
FATMAP difficulty grade
Kab-Ash is one of the longest trails in Voyageurs National Park, and it is accessible year-round without a boat.
More like a network of trails than one single trail, it has multiple variations and trailheads.
Despite the versatility and ease of access, Kab-Ash is not a very popular trail.
It’s primarily a long walk in the woods, best for anyone interested in forestry or ecology.
Those with a discerning eye can appreciate the diversity of forest types, and perhaps find some really huge old-growth trees.
It’s also pristine wildlife habitat.
Birdlife abounds, as do larger residents that may be harder to find.
Look for beavers around their constructed ponds, and search for tracks of other animals like moose, foxes, and even wolves.
There is a pack inhabiting the area, though they are rarely seen. Spring and summer are less than ideal times to be on the trail, when mud and bugs are prevalent, and some parts become overgrown.
Fall is perhaps the best time, when aspens and other deciduous trees light up the forest.
In winter, Kab-Ash becomes a ski and snowshoe trail, and is sometimes more popular after the snow falls.
For the most part, the terrain is easy hiking, but the trail ascends onto rock ridges in several places, creating some more rugged sections.
In the valleys between, mud and roots create some tougher spots as well. The route mapped here is a one-way from Beaver Pond Overlook, through the three different “loops” on the trail, and ending at the trailhead on Salmi Road.
This would require two cars to set a vehicle shuttle at either end.
A more common way to do the trail is to start at one end and complete one or two of the loops before heading back the same way.
One advantage of this trail is the different access points and distances available, so you can easily customize a route.
A hike of any length on Kab-Ash is a trip into the secluded backcountry of Voyageurs National Park. Sources: https://www.nps.gov/voya/planyourvisit/hiking-trails.htm https://www.voyageurs.org/news/2018/01/29/kab-ash-trail-path-wild-north