So what is the North Country National Scenic Trail? It's one of the eight NST's, commissioned in 1980. Over 4000 miles long, its western terminus is Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota, and the eastern end is Crown Point Bridge on Lake Champlain, in New York. Almost 1800 miles are certified, with 600 to 1000 more which can be hiked off-road (depending on how direct a route you want to follow). The rest--- well, for now, road miles.
Ten people have covered the entire trail. I would like to join this elite group. I plan to finish in 2010! My current mileage total is 3657 miles. I most recently hiked 135 new miles in the Minnesota Arrowhead
Some of you know that I have writen about these experiences in a collection of essays called North Country Cache: Adventures on a National Scenic Trail. It turned out that the first half of the trail is one book. If you are one of the people who has encouraged me in this effort, thanks! The book is now available! Go to Books Leaving Footprints
The North Country National Scenic Trail home page contains lots more info.
The trail is administered by the National Park Service and they too have created a page about the NCT. NPS North Country Trail Page has short overviews of each state and info about how it fits in to the national scheme of things.
Click pictures to see my pictures. Click links to reach link lists. Explanation is below graphics.
Click on the images to see a few favorite pictures from my hikes in the following states. Each state also has a page of links to sites which are especially helpful (in my subjective opinion) for planning hikes. I like to find sites that are high quality, but perhaps not as well known as the big commercial sites. There are links with some info on local geology, history, and wildlife; I've tried to find non-technical sites- preferably with lots of pictures. Finally, there are links to personal pages of folks who have visited or hiked near/on the NCT, and have shared their experiences on the web. The links are on a separate page, so you can use this site as a resource without having to wait for all my pictures to load. You can access the link lists from this page, or from the state pages. Please continue to be patient, not every state has all these categories yet, and it takes a lot of searching to find some of these.
Some hikes do not have pictures posted, but there are some images from every state.
I have built a resource for muscle-powered outdoor recreation in four West Michigan counties. This link will take you to Get Off The Couch Check it out!
Want to be part of a local trail club? A chapter of the North Country Trail Association has been formed to cover Mason, Manistee, Lake, and Oceana Counties (Michigan). Current info on Spirit of the Woods activities.
Links to places I like with general hiking info and resources. It is not my intent on this page to collect links to create an exhaustive how-to for hiking. But some other folks have done so.
Contribute to a book of Short Stories from Long Trails. You can enter a story and short bio here for publication. Their first effort, a cookbook, is now in print
A good reference to lots of links is The Backpacker (Matt Johnson).
Chuck's Backpacking Bonanza page is also a super trailhead. In addition to how and who links, he has philosophy of the wild, and poetry. Easy to use site- index allows you to trek only where you want.
Chet Fromm is one of the NCT end-to-end-ers. His home page is chock full of links to nearly every kind of hiking site you can imagine, and a huge list of links to personal pages of hikers. If you like to "hike the net" his site is a great trailhead (but it takes a long time to load). Chet's Home Page Chet has a campaign under way to have National Scenic Trails stamps issued by the USPS. Wait for his page to load and find out how to participate.
The L.L. Bean home page which leads not only to their catolog but to great info about Federal & State Lands. Easy to find what you are looking for (click on "Outdoors"), and a standardized legend of available opportunites at the various locales.
Johns Hopkins offers superb color relief maps of each state in a nice size. This link gets you to the state list. There are lots of great weather images to look at too, and all kinds of technical stuff if you back up to their home page..
Because you may encounter black bears in every state on the NCT, the North American Bear Center page is a great resource.
Also look at the Bear Den Guide to Backcountry Wisdom. There is a great deal of info here on sharing the woods with bruins.
This links to a list of my favorite books on Outdoor Skills