Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Saturday, October 31, 2009

Feral Pigs in NY Allegany State Park

feral pig
feral pig (photo from National Forest Law Blog)

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based on a posting in the FLT e-group, original source uncertain

The NY Department of Environmental Cconservation has confirmed that feral pigs (wild boar) are invading Allegany State Park. A road crew saw the pigs last weed whil working, and two visitors managed to take their picture.

The damage these animals do to an ecosystem is considerable. "When they go to the wild they actually go through a morphological change. Their hair turns thicker, darker and courser, and their tusks develop. You wouldn't think that little pink porker could become that razorback type of boar but it does," said New York DEC Wildlife Manager Mark Kandel

There are concerns about the boars invading central New York as well. They can produce three litters a year, and quickly cause problems. They avoid human contact, but will attack if they feel threatened. And an adult boar can weigh 300 pounds.

The DEC wants to eradicate the animals from the state. The New York State Hunting guide reads "Feral swine are a harmful, invasive species. DEC is working to eradicate feral swine from NY's landscape. Hunters with small game hunting privileges may shoot and keep feral swine, at any time, and in any number."

There are areas and times when hunting is restricted in state parks that can override the "anywhere, anytime" directive. The meat of these feral swine is reportedly leaner and healthier than that of the commercial chemical laden pork sold in stores. But NYS law doesn't even require that they be removed. They just want them eradicated before they get established beyond eradication.


Friday, October 30, 2009

Tom Salwasser Blogs about the Chip

Tom Salwasser
Tom Salwasser (photo from his blog profile)

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from Tom's blog

"Hiking and taking pictures. That about says it all. That's what I really enjoy doing. When I get to choose what I'm going to do on any given day it often involves one or the other or both. Taking pictures that I like is great fun but sharing my photography with others makes it real," writes Tom Salwasser of Minnesota.
trail marker
old style NCT trail marker (by Tom Salwasser)
This is what the very first North Country Trail markers looked like- the NCT name first came from the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota. It appears that Tom has found a new version of those originals.

In his blog, entitled "It's Later Than You Think," he shares many images from the forest, talks about maintenance, his hikes, and his love for the Chip. This is a section of trail that has needed someone to love it since the death of famed (to NCT folks) Rod MacRae several years ago. Salwasser has stepped up to the plate!
hiker in orange vest
Tom's wife, Jean (by Tom Salwasser)

"Fall is the best time of year to hike," Tom adds. "Temps are cooler, bugs are gone, colors are out...speaking of which...Here my lovely wife Jean models the latest in chic woods wear."

Check out Tom's blog for more on the Chippewa National Forest

See It's Later Than You Think

Thursday, October 29, 2009

New York Erv Markert Hike

hikers with umbrellas
Erv Markert hikers (photo by Larry Blumberg)

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submitted by Larry Blumberg

Led by John Morris's stand-ins, Alex and Michelle Gonzales, ten of us truly enjoyed a wet, drippy, and at times dreary-looking day out on the Finger Lake Trail's Spanish Loop (FLT Map M19) west of the Greek Peak Ski Resort.

This was the Erv Markert Fall Hike, the third in an annual series of FLTC "named hikes" (just in case you were wondering, the Spring hike is named after the FLTC's first president, which was back in the '60's, Wally Wood; and, the Summer hike is named for Ed Sidote, who currently serves as the FLT's end-to-end coordinator).

While John had planned our hike and had certainly intended to be our leader, knee problems limited him to meeting us at the start and finish of the hike. However, he took on that mission with a zeal - he secured free drink coupons for us for after the hike over at the Gatherings Restaurant near Greek Peak. So, John, feel free to "lead" a hike for us anytime!

hikers with umbrellas
Spanish Loop Trail (photo by Larry Blumberg)

All told, between the Spanish Loop and a couple of side loops off the Spanish Loop, plus some additional mileage on the FLT over to the site of what may have been an old mine of some sort, we covered about 7 wet miles... it was a good test of our rain and foot gear !

See more pictures from this hike
See Finger Lakes Trail

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Infected by the H1-K1-NG Bug

Marilyn Hoogstraten
Marilyn Hoogstraten (photo by JHY)

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by JHY

Marilyn Hoogstraten may have been infected with a serious virus. It begins with a little worm of an idea drilling its way into the brain. There it waits and festers, feeding on the cells of a 9 to 5 job and a “normal” life until one day it erupts into a feverish desire to run into the woods carrying only a pack and two sticks... Yes, Marilyn is one of the many who grew up wanting to hike a long trail.

With a smile and the swing of a hiking stick, Marilyn confessed to a dream from long ago of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Her story seemed an echo of my own. She married, raised two children, still no time to hike. Then retirement arrived and she started a new business as an outgrowth of a beloved hobby, her talents as a photographer. And she did well. But all those summer weddings prevented her from taking hikes beyond the day excursions of her local club the Grand Traverse Hikers (which is also a chapter of the North Country Trail Association). “I was spending a whole lot of time sitting in front of a computer, and I gained weight” she explained with a grimace.

Then one day she knew she had to do it. She decided that her goal would be to hike all of the North Country Trail in Michigan that wasn’t road walk. That idea didn’t last long! If she was going to do a state, she would have to do all of it. Besides, she wanted to start in March and the southernmost Michigan sections are on roads. Now she has only about 150 miles of the NCT’s 600 in the Lower Peninsula yet to walk. “I’ve only started the UP,” she explained. Her hike near Brevort Lake was one of the most difficult with much of the trail knee-deep in water in the early spring. She began to wonder if she was cut out for hiking rugged trails, but, she said, “I always found the next road or trailhead and then realized that I could do it.”

hiker on foggy morning
Marilyn hikes in fog in the Manistee National Forest (photo by JHY)
All of her miles this year have been day hikes. “I want to get a new pack and try thru-hiking,” Marilyn added. “Maybe next year.” She often hikes with friends so that they can put a car at each end of the day’s walk. Tuesday, she walked from Timber Creek on US 10 to 96th St, the Lake / Newaygo County line. She emailed me, and I spotted her in exchange for an interview. Her plan was to camp at Highbanks that night, and friends would be joining her for the next day’s walk. “The logistics of making this hike happen have been challenging,” she admitted.

Her hope was to lose some weight through all the hiking. “But I was so hungry after hiking for three days in a row that I would gain five pounds,” she chuckled. “I lost that, then gained some back. I’m still too heavy,” she admitted. But she also pointed out that she is proof than anyone with a strong desire can walk out their door and take on a long trail. You don’t have to be young and slim, with the limbs and metabolism of a race horse. You just need to have a passion. A map is good too...

Both walking alone and in the company of others give her pleasure. “It’s really nice to camp with one or two friends,” she acknowledged. She really likes the variety of experiences on the NCT. Rural roads can be as interesting as the forests. She’s enjoying the colors of fall the best of all the seasons so far.

As we parted at Wingleton Road she was heard mumbling things like “Maybe I’ll order the Wisconsin maps.” Or, “I could hike most of Ohio in the winter; one of my daughters lives there.” Oh, yes, Marilyn’s infection has become quite serious...

See Marilyn's Journal
See A Hike with Marilyn and Maggie for more pictures from that hike

Adventure Sage, Triskit and a Map

sassafras leaf
a Michigan map (photo by Sage)

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Excerpted from the blog Sage Covered Hills, used with permission

"Trisket and I headed out to the North Country Trail late this morning. It was a perfect day for hiking as we’d had our first freeze of the season overnight."

Sage was hiking in Michigan's lower peninsula west of Hastings, between MI-179 and MI-37, early in October this year.

"My lunch counter was carpeted with fresh pine straw. Leaning up against a tree, I ate my lunch, sharing a bit with the dog. Then I wrote in my journal and read a chapter titled "The Practice of Getting Lost" in An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith by Barbara Brown Taylor. I did not get lost; after all I had my map with me (see the photo). We’ll, at least I didn’t get lost in a geographical sense, but when I hike I do often find myself getting lost in my thoughts and that’s a good thing.

dog on trail
Triskit enjoys the hike (photo by Sage)
"I love the way the dog marches around with his tail flying like a flag."

Sage is a frequent NCT hiker, as he lives only about 10 miles from the trail. Read the rest of this post and see more pictures at Sage Covered Hills

See Sage Enjoys NCT Near Yankee Springs for another of his NCT hikes.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lynn Discovers the NCT

Clarion River
Clarion River (photo by Lynn Haraldson-Bering)

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with excerpts from the blog Lynn's Weigh, used with permission

"Am I, like, the last person in the northern midwest/east to know the North Country Trail existed?" Lynn asked herself after discovering the NCT near the Clarion River in Pennsylvania a couple of weeks ago. She has been on a weight-loss and fitness quest for the past five years.

Lynn, we are sad to say that many people do not know about the trail. But we are very happy that you found it! Following are some of Lynn's comments. Follow the link to read her full entry and see more pictures.

"When I was obese, I didn’t seek out activities that required exertion. I even avoided sporting goods stores and bought tennis shoes online just so I wouldn’t be reminded of all the things I couldn’t – but deep down wanted – to do. Within that mindset, I definitely wouldn’t have noticed a new sign along the road for a North Country Trail trailhead. Whenever I saw or heard the word “trail” I’d immediately recoil knowing my back, knees and lungs couldn’t handle a hike, even though I longed to see the forest from a place other than my car.

wooded trail
NCT (photo by Lynn Haraldson-Bering)
"But we were curious about the trail and where it would lead us, so we (literally) hoisted ourselves onto the trail and started our ascent. This is what it looked like along the way

"I’m all over this North Country Trail thing and ready for the next leg, hopefully before the snow falls. I’m even considering planning a long weekend next year around the trail and hiking it for hours at a time."

Read the full entry at Changes in Attitudes, Changes in Latitudes

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Annual Community Fall Hike - Wampum, PA

gateway ribbon cutting, Wampum The Gateway Commerce Center Reroute is officially opened (photos by Bob Cody and G. Warren Smith)
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submitted by Bob Cody

The Wampum Chapter of the NCTA October hike began with a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony to celebrate a recently rerouted section of the NCT near Wampum, PA on land owned by the Gateway Commerce Center, Inc. The reroute offers hikers several scenic views of the Beaver River Valley. With fall foliage in full color hikers were able to see the valley at its best.

At least 60 people attended the ribbon cutting. Chapter President Lee Fairbanks introduced Wampum Borough Mayor Jeff Steffler, Borough Councilman James Ferrante, and representatives form Gateway Commerce Center, Inc. Co-Owner Mr. Dan Bruce, Vice President and Chief of Operations Officer Mr. Tom Roth and Office Manager Ms. Deborah Sudano who cut the ribbon to officially open the Gateway Commerce Center, Inc. Reroute.

Once the ribbon was cut, 39 hikers took off into the woods following Hike Leader Bob Cody who is also Wampum’s Co Trail Work Coordinator. The trail traversed land owned by Gateway Commerce Center, Inc., Mines and Meadows, Inc., the PA Game Commission- SGL #148 and the Edwards Family. John Edwards served as Sweep and faithfully maintains his family’s section of the NCT.

Wampum’s Gail Blakeley organized the event. Gail has always organized our hikes and, as usual, everything ran smoothly. There were drawings for two NCT T-shirts. Snacks and hot beverages were served before the hike and at the 3-½ mile stop. Car shuttles were available at the 1 ½, 3 ½ and 4 ½ mile stops. JoEllen Sokoloski, Joyce Abels and Tom Snarey staffed the registration and refreshments tables and placed directional signs, balloons and ribbons where needed. Ron Justi was in charge of parking and helped shuttle hikers to their cars. Terry Jones permitted us to use his property for registration and parking.

gateway ribbon cutting, Wampum scenic view of Chewton, PA (photos by Bob Cody and G. Warren Smith)
Special thanks go out to Wampum Police Officer Terry Bush who did an excellent job of directing traffic and protecting hikers on the road walk portion of the hike. And, we thank Wampum Borough Council for their help and cooperation.

Good fellowship and fine weather made for a great day on the NCT!

Plans for next year’s hike are already underway and will include a newly opened 2-mile section of the NCT in the Darlington, PA area.

See Wampum Chapter of the NCTA

Friday, October 23, 2009

NCT Hikers Volunteer Adventure Success

volunteers building trail
trail crews grubbing trail (photo from NCT Hikers Chapter)

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from the Fall 2009 Newsletter of the North Country Trail Hikers Chapter of the NCTA

From Wednesday evening, September 16 through Tuesday morning, September 22, the Marquette, Michigan, North Country Trail Hikers Chapter hosted a NCTA Volunteer Adventure east of County Road 510 approximately 11 miles north of US-41/M-28. Primitive camping at the site was home for the week for 10 of the 24 participants.

Superb meals prepared by John Forslin and Sue Holtzmann were enjoyed by all. Jan Lindstrom Wester served as our Marquette based emergency contact person. Work building new trail took place on Thursday, Friday, Sunday and Monday from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm for a total of 52 person days contributed.

Saturday was a day of recreation where some participants hiked, visited the Maritime Museum, stopped in at the Sands Model Airplane Club’s Annual Fun Fly, took a tour of Presque Isle, or just relaxed. Each evening campers circled the campfire and shared stories of hiking and other adventures.

completed new trail
Gold Standard Trail (photo from NCT Hikers Chapter)
Our chapter had scouted and marked the trail prior to the arrival of the Volunteer Adventurers. Our goal was to get a pathway cut to allow hikers to get from County Road 510 east to some two-tracks and road walk towards the Little Garlic River area. Bill Menke, our Regional Trail Coordinator, scouted and marked additional trail that, along with our marked trail, was completed during the VA. Through chain sawing, throwing off debris, lopping, grubbing, leveling, benching, and step building, almost two miles of new trail was opened up to hikers.

A portion of the segment was fine-tuned to meet the Gold Standard of trail building with benching along hillsides and the building of stone steps. Blazing was begun and will continue later this fall. Overall, we more than accomplished our goal thanks to all the volunteers’ efforts.

North Country Trail Hikers Chapter

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Lost Nation - Plenty of History to Fuel Hikers' Dreams

alt text
Lost Nation Lake (photo from Baw Beese Chapter)

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based on a news article in the Toledo Blade

"There aren't a whole lot of places in southern Michigan you can hike two miles without a road," declared Ryan Bowles. But the Lost Nation State Game Area near Hillsdale is one of those places. Ryan is president of the Chief Baw Beese Chapter of the North Country Trail Association.

Chief Baw Beese of the Potawatomi Nation once inhabited the area, and frontier bad-man legend, Silas Doty, may have tread the paths.

Seven miles of off-road North Country Trail are located in Lost Nation, a gem in the center of many road miles in southeast Michigan. A hiker is surrounded by woods, and can walk the bluffs above the St. Joseph River- the one that flows south to Ohio.

The local chapter plans to soon open another stretch of trail near Litchfield that will follow the other St. Joseph River- the one that runs west to Lake Michigan. The village owns this former wastewater treatment property; a campsite is also planned for the property.

SeeChief Baw Beese Chapter

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Davis Hollow Cabin History Program

Davis Hollow Cabin
Davis Hollow Cabin (photo by JHY)

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from the Davis Hollow Cabin Committee

The Davis Hollow Cabin Committee of the North Country Trail Association will have a potluck dinner and program on the history of the North Country Trail's Davis Hollow Cabin starting at 6 p.m. Oct. 30 at the former restaurant at the Davis Hollow Marina in Moraine State Park.

The cabin is just one of two belonging to the Association along the 4,600-mile trail. The other is the former Birch Grove Schoolhouse at White Cloud, Michigan.

Chuck Book will present "A History of the Cabin" and its owners, including many photographs of the Davis family. Meat, beverages and rolls will be provided; guests should bring a dish to share. Space is limited, and reservations are required by calling 724-654-4918 before Friday.

North Country Trail

Monday, October 19, 2009

Farmers May Be Surprise Ally for Hikers in Pennsylvania

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based on a news article in the Patriot News

Pennsylvania, for years has had a "no Sunday hunting" law. In March 2009 State Representative Ed Staback introduced HB 779. This law would not of itself allow Sunday hunting, but it would give the Pennsylvania Game Commission the authority to decide whether it wants to allow Sunday hunting.

Proponents say that Pennsylvania loses revenue to neighboring states which allow hunting. They argue that hunters leave the state on Thursday for hunting weekends, so more than just one day of hunter spending is lost. Sales of hunting licenses in Pennsylvania have declined steadily in recent years.

Most landowners, farmers in particular, oppose the bill. The Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, the largest farm organization in the state says they have 46,000 families that oppose the bill. Their largest concern is that they will need to spend the time policing their farms the extra day. Individuals have mentioned several reasons for maintaining the status quo. Examples include wanting to have a day they can ride their horses without concerns about people in the woods with rifles, and wanting to continue to have one day a week when they could relax slightly from concerns for livestock.

Fish and Wildlife services report that Pennsylvania Wildlife Watchers spent a Total of $955,903,000 last year and hunters Spent a Total of $936,459,000. The number of resident and non-resident wildlife watchers was reported as 4,688,000, while 926,892 hunting licenses were sold.

See PA HR 779 official information

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.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Ithaca's "Emerald Necklace" Includes FLT/NCT

hills south of Ithaca
hills south of Ithaca on the FLT/NCT (photo by JHY)

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based on a news article in the Ithaca Journal

The Emerald Necklace Greenbelt is the name for the long-term conservation plan for 50,000 acres surrounding Ithaca, New York. This plan, recommended by the Finger Lakes Land Trust, includes nine state forests, Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area and Cornell University's Arnot Forest.

Wending through that area is the Finger Lakes and North Country Trails. Andy Zepp, the Finger Lakes Land Trust Executive Director, says that the sprawling development patters of the area will create problems.

Preserving a 300 foot wide corridor, for recreation and wildlife, to be obtained through purchases and easements, would help protect 78 miles of the trail. Currently, very few of the FLT trail miles are legally protected. A great many handshake agreements exist, but when land changes hands such casual agreements fall apart.

The Land Trust seeks to protect the entire FLT through conservation easements, donation or purchase of land, and simple easements. No land is claimed through eminent domain, rather the land trust works with land owners.

One goal of the Emerald Necklace is to develop four gateways to a trail system, which includes the FLT/NCT. Proposed locations are:

- In the Town of Hector, Schuyler County, along Route 79, somewhere between the Finger Lakes National Forest and Texas Hollow State Forest.
- In the Town of Ithaca, on state land on the east side of Route 13 across from
- In the Town of Danby, within Jennings Pond Park on Bald Hill Road, near Route 96B.
- In the Town of Richford, Tioga County, along Route 79, somewhere near the Tompkins/Tioga border and Robinson Hollow State Forest.

Finger Lakes Land Trust

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mother Goose Back on the NCT

Bonita Curtner 'Mother Goose'
Mother Goose (photo by mikendyan)

from Mother Goose's Journal

On October 10, "Mother Goose" wrote "I will be going back to Upper Mich to finish the UP miles about 130 then down to Battle Creek, That puts me back on the schedule I was on before I had to go home early.

"I may only get half of Ohio done, down to Cincinatti, if it gets toooooo cold I will go back out to NM and finish the Grand Enchantment Trail that I started last fall. For even in the fall they have pretty sunny days just really cold nights. I can only stand the gloom of the eastern winters for so long lol. "

October 13, "Sue picked me up at the Escanaba bus station at 430 am and we head to Paradise"

Where Are the NCT Long Distance Hikers

Surface Upgrade - NY Canal Way Trail Segment

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from the Central New York Chapter Newsletter, October 2009

The Canal Way Trail, Old Erie Canal State Park segment, is scheduled for a major upgrade of its stone dust surface and related needs, plus some information kiosks at key points that will provide both an overview of the trail segment and local historical information. A three sided kiosk is planned for installation in Canastota near the Canal Town Museum on land owned by the Canal Corporation.

Reportedly, the engineering specifications for the needed work were bid, with results that were at or below initial project cost estimates. Completion in 2010 is expected. The only concern could be a delay attributable to ongoing budget gap issues at the State level

Central New York Chapter

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Long Distance, Single Use Foot Trail

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by Bill Coffin: condensed from the Finger Lakes Trail News, Fall 2009

Single-track trail mileage limited to hikers is the backbone of the Finger Lakes Trail, and it needs better protection from mechanical impact. Last year there was a proposal in Albany for a statewide multiple use trail system, which would be a disappointment to hikers since it fails to recognize the value of single use hiking trails. Something must be fundamentally wrong if conservation does not encompass saving a continuous track solely for the foot traveler.

Seeing nature at its very best, which is a major purpose of hiking, requires a foot trail with a wilderness character. To often the hiking experience gets lumped with other types of trail usage. It is wrong to believe that the woods should look the same to everyone and that multiple use trails are the answer. Wilderness is the experience hikers seek.

The heaviest and fastest trail usage determines the final shape and appearance of a multiple use trail and also dominates the experience of other when they are on the trail. Unfortunately, on multiple use trails the hiking experience comes last.

The FLT [and great portions of the North Country Trail] is a long distance, single track hiking trail, reflecting the only kind of long-distance land travel that existed in North America 500 years ago. The Finger Lakes Trail brings back a semblance of wilderness pre-history. It is a highly valuable conservation and recreation resource that merits protection as a single-use footpath.

Finger Lakes Trail

Monday, October 12, 2009

A Pleasant Pennsylvania Hike

NCT sign ANF
(photo by Dave Schmude)

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submitted by Dave Schmude

Pennsylvania NCT miles include many pleasant forest walks. Dave Schmude enjoys hiking the trail in and near Cook Forest State Park, which is about 32 miles from his home. It's always good to find trail that is marked, and mileages noted. Dave says this is where the trail crosses Route 66 near Marienville.

Whenever Dave and his family get the chance, they check out the woods. This photo was taken in July.
NCT sign ANF
(photo by Dave Schmude)

Feel free to submit text and pictures of your adventures on the North Country Trail to

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Frazee, MN Seeks $100K to Bring NCT Through Town

NCT and Heartland Trails
off road portions of both the NCT and the Heartland Trail do not currently continue through Frazee

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based on an article from the Frazee Forum

The Frazee, Minnesota, Economic Development Authority voted to pursue a Lessard Heritage Legacy Grant for up to $100,000. This is a 25-75 grant, meaning that Frazee would supply $25,000 of the funds to match with $75,000 from the Lessard Fund.

The money would be used to bring the North Country Trail and the Heartland Trail to a meeting point in Frazee. The Heartland Trail is a multi-use, paved trail, which currently ends in Park Rapids.

Mayor Hank Ludtke has been active in promoting both trails. "It will be important to have amenities available, plus easy access to Frazee," he stated, referring to the time when the trails will reach Frazee.

See Map of the Heartland Trail

See Western Minnesota Trail High on Vergas/Frazee Agendas

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Nimblewill Nomad Completes His NCT Thru-Hike!

Eb Eberhart
Nimblewill (from his journal)

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received in an email from Nimblewill, and from the hiker e-group

Nimblewill Nomad officially completed his thru-hike of the North Country National Scenic Trail today, at Two Harbors, Minnesota. Just after he hopped back on the trail with a mostly recovered knee injury, there was a huge blowdown of trees on the Superior Hiking Trail.

He called Gayle Coyer, Ex Dir of the SHTA. She reports, "He was really tired from climbing over all the trees but doing fine. He reported that the trees breaking at the Devil Track River were like shotgun blasts all around."

Matt Davis, Regional Trail Coordinator for MN & ND, North Country Trail Association, also heard from Nimblewill. "He said it [the wind storm] was like nothing he's ever experienced. He just prayed that a tree wouldn't fall on him and fortunately, one didn't. His NCT thru-hike will be done when he reaches Two Harbors, but he'll be finishing up the certified segments in North Dakota that he missed this spring because of the horrible conditions."

Nimblewill also said that he really appreciated knowing that others in the hiking community were thinking about him.

See Nimblewill's NCT Journal

Friday, October 2, 2009

Young Passes 4000 Mile Mark

Joan Young
taken at the Milford Trail Junction Festival

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by JHY

Wednesday, Sept 30, yours truly passed the 4000 mile mark hiking the North Country Trail. I can hardly wrap my head around the idea that I have now hiked that many different miles of the trail. The momentous event occurred within a mile or so of Brown Bridge near Mt. Orab, Ohio.
Brown Bridge
Brown Bridge

I still have another 60 miles to go to finish Ohio, and I'll be headed back out tomorrow to work on those. Today I've enjoyed a restful day, out of the rain, at Steve and Sharon Boller's home in Milford. Those who attended the North Dakota Conference may remember meeting them, and they are part of the group working to develop the Trail Junction Park.

There really is something emotionally magical about that 4000-mile mark. Although I've been saying for months that I plan to finish the trail soon, I finally feel like it is really going to happen!

For some stories about my Ohio adventures, visit My Quality Day
See Milford, Ohio- Embracing the Trail Town Concept

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Wisconsin Public Television Segment

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from the NCTA

In coordination with PBS's Ken Burns special on the National Parks, Wisconsin public TV did a segment on the Ice Age Trail and the North Country National Scenic Trail.

Next year's annual conference will be in Ashland, Wisconsin, August 5-8. Trips to see the places highlighted in the video are being arranged. North Country Trail Association