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Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Beauty of North Dakota

Lake Audubon
Lake Audubon, the east end of Lake Sakakawea, ND (photo by JHY)

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based on a news article in the Minot Daily News

Kevin Stankiewicz, State Parks Scenic Byways and Trails director, says, "We are trying to increase the interest in the state." He is referring to the North Country Trail. Stankiewicz added thatthe Sheyenne National Grasslands segment of the North Country Trail is the most utilized of North Dakota's four longest certified segments. He does believe that interest in the trail is growing, particularly as state residents take notice of other hikers who have made the trip to North Dakota to walk the trail. This past summer, over 100 out-of-state people traveled to Valley City, for the annual NCTA conference, and to hike.

Nimblewill Nomad has been back in North Dakota, to hike trail that was too snow covered in April. At that time Nimblewill walked the roads, but came back to more correctly hike the actual trail. He reported, "North Dakota has a secret that, hopefully, other folks will find out about. [They've] got 200 miles of trail and ... in places that are incredibly beautiful."

John Tunge, Lake Sakakawea State Park manager, loves the NCT. He tries to meet every long-distance hiker who comes to the western terminus of the trail. 30 years ago "we started laying that [trail] out in conjunction with the National Park Service," he explained. "There's a group of people who ... make it their life goal" to come hike the North Country Trail.

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