Snowshoe Construction: Up the Trail

Snowshoe Construction: Up the Trail

November 8-12, 2017

A workshop led by John Beltman, a veteran instructor with the North House Folk School 

Carve, bend and lace your own pair of wooden ash snowshoes style up the Gunflint Trail! Part of the Up The Trail series hosted at historic Gunflint Lodge, this class is designed to allow North House Folk School students ample opportunity to not only make snowshoes but also partake of the many recreational opportunities available on the Gunflint Trail. Pointed at both ends, the traditional Ojibwe snowshoe design is efficient for travel through both wooded areas or across frozen lakes and open expanses.

This class begins with an evening session, where students will steam bend the ash frames. The following day will be a break as the snowshoe frames dry, allowing students to pursue their own activities. This is a perfect opportunity for wildlife viewing on your own or exploring our many hiking trails. On Saturday & Sunday, class will resume as students shape ash frames and mortise in crosspieces with simple hand tools. They will then learn traditional techniques for lacing their shoes using lightweight, hollowed nylon cord. Traditional bindings will also be provided and their uses will be covered in detail. Course discussions include a variety of binding types and their application. The end result is a satisfying reflection of craftsmanship and skills handed down through the generations. Most students do not completely finish lacing in 2 days, but leave with the knowledge to do so on their own. For those students who desire, an optional 5th day is available on November 12 to complete the lacing.

Participants must register with North House Folk School in advance. A special cabin package is available for this course. Registering for this package is a two-step process.  You can register for the course directly with North House here. Then you can call Gunflint Lodge for a cabin reservation at: 1-800-328-3325 and ask for the Snowshoe Making Class special package. You do not have to stay at Gunflint Lodge to participate in the class.

The Snowshoe Construction Class Package includes

Accommodations in a lakeside fireplace cabin, some with sauna or spa tub, full kitchen, and washer/dryer

Package pricing

  • $ 99.00 per night in a Classic Cabin
  • $ 119.00 per night in a Romantic Cabin or Gunflint Lake Home
  • Prices based on double occupancy; minimum cabin occupancies apply

Sales Tax and Service Charge are additional