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Saturday, February 6, 2010

NCT Memorabilia - Part 2 - Early Patches

early North Country Trail Patch
first North Country Trail patch

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by JHY

Anyone who knows me in real life knows that I am a patch freak. I love embroidered patches, and have a fair collection. I don't quite have all the ones ever issued by the NCTA, but I'm close. Today, I'll feature the earliest series of patches.

To my knowledge, the patch above was the first one ever offered by the NCTA. It was available when I first got involved in 1995. All of these patches, except two, first appeared for sale in the Winter 1990-91 issue of the NCTA magazine. I speculate that they were designed to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Trail, although if so, they should have been first available in the summer of 1990. But perhaps they just didn't make it into the magazine.

early North Country Trail Hiker Patch
first North Country Trail hiker patch

I do not know where this patch came from. It has never been offered for sale through the NCTA. I purchased it at the annual auction, I think in Marquette in 2003. I do own a couple of other never issued patches from the NCT, but I know their history. This one is a mystery, but I treasure it!

early North Country Trail Association Patch
first North Country Trail Association patch

This one first shows up for sale in the August 1997 North Star, in an expanded Trail Shop, to promote not only the trail, but the supporting Association. Note that on all three of these designs the trail still heads straight across Minnesota, not yet having moved toward the Arrowhead reroute.

early North Country Trail states patches
first North Country Trail states patch

When the very first patch was offered, state patches also were made available. As you can see, the shapes of the states are shown, but no attempt is made to indicate the route of the trail through them.

early North Country Trail Volunteer Patch
first North Country Trail volunteer patch

Also as part of the early series, a volunteer could order this strip.

early North Country Trail Association mileage patches
first North Country Trail mileage patches

The final set which was offered in the early series were patches which could be ordered if you demonstrated (mostly honor system) that you had hiked any of these mileages in one day. There was also a patch for 25 miles and one for 35 miles. I do not own those, and would really like to add them to the collection. I wouldn't be able to wear the 35-miles-in-one-day patch! But I'd really like to be the holder of a complete set. If anyone knows of the 25 or 35 mile strips that they would be willing to give up, please contact me!

Tomorrow, we'll cover some newer patches.

See North Country Trail Association to buy current patches at the Trail Shop

See NCT Memorabilia - Part 2 - Early Patches

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