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1 The North Country National Scenic Trail Its blue blazes someday will stretch 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota.

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Presentation on theme: "1 The North Country National Scenic Trail Its blue blazes someday will stretch 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 The North Country National Scenic Trail Its blue blazes someday will stretch 4,600 miles from New York to North Dakota.

2 Already half-finished. The NCT will become America’s longest hiking trail, dwarfing the Appalachian, Continental Divide and Pacific Crest Trails.

3 3 National Park Service

4 4 North Country Trail Association

5 The trail links 10 national forests and shows old growth giants in the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota...

6 …or dark cedar swamps in Upper Michigan’s Hiawatha National Forest.

7 7 Throughout its length, the trail encounters Historic and familiar landmarks Some examples…

8 8 Fort Stanwix National Monument in Rome, NY, and three other national park areas…

9 9 Dayton Aviation Heritage National Park and Wright Brothers Memorial in Ohio

10 Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in the Upper Peninsula

11 …and the Saint Croix National Scenic River Waterway in Wisconsin, made up of the Namekagon (left) and the Saint Croix Rivers. The trail links many other historic and scenic landmarks. Among them…

12 12 McConnel’s Mill in Pennsylvania

13 13 Miami Canal in Ohio and the Erie Canal in New York State

14 In Michigan, Fort Custer National Cemetery…

15 15 …the Showboat on the Flat River here in Lowell, site of the Association’s national headquarters…

16 Covered bridge in Fallasburg Park in Ada Township

17 17 Fort Michilimackinac on the Straits of Mackinac

18 Father Marquette National Memorial in St. Ignace

19 19 AuSable Lighthouse in the Upper Peninsula

20 20 Flora and Fauna add spice for the trail’s hikers..

21 21 Chipmunk peers warily out of his lair.

22 22 Suspicious snake risks a look from its hiding place.

23 23 Wild columbine, a showpiece of the Northern forests.

24 Showy lady slipper along the trail in Michigan’s Wilderness Park.

25 25 Mushroom breaks through an acorn-littered sod…

26 26 …and shelf fungi cling to an hospitable oak.

27 It’s late Spring along the trail in the Lower Peninsula: the season for Canada geese to introduce their offspring.

28 The Manistee River is a premier trailside habitat, a fine spot for spotting a Bald Eagle on patrol high above the River…

29 29 …or a dying Salmon that had come up the River to spawn.

30 30 Enormous White pine in Taquamenon State Park would provide enough lumber for five houses.

31 31 Starting from the East In New York State

32 32 The current Eastern Terminus: Crown Point, NY, on Lake Champlain.

33 33 Along the present route in New York State, the spectacular Watkins Glen State Park is one of the reasons the trail was named the North Country National Scenic Trail.

34 34 Much of the route, like this section in Hoffman’s Notch, follows the Finger Lakes Trail.

35 35 Next: the Northwest Corner of Pennsylvania

36 36 Blue blazes mark the trail throughout as here where it crosses into Pennsylvania.

37 37 View of Kinzua Creek from the North Country Trail in the Allegheny National Forest.

38 38 Through hikers can overnight at our cabin in Davis Hollow State Park.

39 39 Ohio

40 40 Old Man’s Cave State Park, a favorite stopover on the Buckeye Trail section of the North Country Trail.

41 41 Two sections of the Wayne National Forest mark the southernmost portion of the Buckeye Trail section.

42 42 An abandoned railroad bridge provides a crossing in northern Ohio.

43 43 This is actually a modern bridge, built by Ohio trail volunteers.

44 44 Michigan has the most completed miles

45 45 Downtown Lowell, site of the North Country Trail Association’s national headquarters, marks the approximate halfway point between New York and North Dakota.

46 Out on the trail, Winter doesn’t stop activity.

47 …or on foot. Whether on snowshoes…

48 There’s warm shelter in the old Birch Grove School near White Cloud.

49 49 The historic schoolhouse, built in the lumbering era and restored by the Western Michigan Chapter, serves as an overnight stop, training facility and jumping off point for many favorite day hikes along the trail.

50 50 Back on the trail, along Highbanks Lake in Newaygo County…

51 51 …and Conlon Lake, another among the scores of lakes in the Manistee National Forest, visited by the trail.

52 52 Farther north, bench in the High Rollaways section, high over the Manistee River Valley, was built by volunteers…

53 …and this is their view of the River.

54 54 The route finds peaceful wetlands in the Lower Peninsula…

55 …and enters the Valley of the Giants in the Pere Marquette State Forest.

56 The valley was never logged and quite wet so the giants survived Michigan’s great forest fires in the early 1900s.

57 The valley is populated mostly by old growth red and white pines and this one giant oak. Foresters estimate its age between 500 and 600 years.

58 58 Farther north still, the trail winds high above the Jordan River…

59 …and reaches Wilderness State Park in the farthest northwest corner of the Lower Peninsula…

60 …where it meets Lake Michigan at Sturgeon Bay.

61 61 Upon arriving at the Straits, walking across is permitted just once per year, on Labor Day. For other times, there is a bus.

62 62 The stretch through Pictured Rocks is a favorite among trail hikers.

63 Too old for the Lake Superior’s big bluffs? Not this veteran hiker.

64 64 Throughout its 320-mile, East to West width, the Upper Peninsula abounds in exciting waterfalls.

65 65 Overlooking Rob Falls in Presque Isle County.

66 66 Sandstone Falls carves a path in the Hiawatha National Forest.

67 67 The Black River is punctuated by falls on its way to Lake Superior.

68 68 The Presque Isle River’s final plunge before emptying into the big lake.

69 Overlook Falls in Porcupine Wilderness State Park.

70 70 And, of course, mighty Taquamenon Falls, Michigan’s patriarch.

71 71 Two last vistas in Michigan: the Porcupines’ Lake of the Clouds…

72 72 …and the shore of Lake Superior.

73 The trail heads westward for 200 miles in northwestern Wisconsin. More than 120 are finished and ready to hike.

74 As in the UP, trailsides in Wisconsin abound in quiet lakes and rushing rivers. Atop, a resting place along a lily pond. At left, the path skirts Upton Lake in the Iron County Forest.

75 The route also brings the gift of solitude and the evening hush at Morris Pond…

76 …and follows the Brule River into Minnesota.

77 In Minnesota, much of the NCT follows the existing Superior Hiking Trail along the big water and the Kekekabic Trail heading into the Boundary Waters.

78 Another rushing river, the St. Louis in Jay Cooke State Park greets the North Country hiker.

79 Trail passes Lake Itabasca, source of the Mississippi River.

80 Once clear of the Border Route, the Itasca-Moraine section offers rocky challenges on the way to North Dakota.

81 With 223 miles complete, the trail in North Dakota is just about half finished.

82 Prairie, grasslands and man-made lakes describe most of the trail in North Dakota.

83 Fields of sunflowers, waving in the wind, display their blooms along the trail.

84 The lakes and sloughs dotting the prairie and grasslands provide ample habitat for wildlife as here at Lake Audubon.

85 The trail’s western end…for now.

86 The trail is being constructed by the volunteers of the North Country Trail Association.

87 A trail crew from the Western Michigan, one of 25 chapters and nine affiliate hiking organizations creating and maintaining the North Country Trail. Like this trail crew from the West Michigan Chapter.

88 Most of the construction is accomplished with hand tools. Crosscut saws are a favorite even with big logs because U.S. Forest Service rules prohibit the use of chain saws except by certified sawyers.

89 A significant number of these certified sawyers are women who have completed the Forest Service’s rigorous training program.

90 Volunteers not only have to build trail but clean up and repair it like in this flood aftermath project...

91 …or removing eyesores from the trail side like this junker tossed into a ravine in the Lowell State Game Area.

92 Yet the volunteers persist, even building a bridge through a driving rain storm.

93 93 Partnerships

94 94

95 NCTA affiliates: In New York: Finger Lakes Trail Conference In Pennsylvania: Rachel Carlson Trails Conservancy Butler Outdoor Club In Ohio: Buckeye Trail Association NW Ohio Rails to Trails Association In Michigan: Friends of the Jordan River Hatchery In Minnesota: Superior Hiking Trail Association Border Trail Route Association Kekekabic Trail Club Parks and Trail Council of Minnesota

96 96 Source: Source:

97 97 Source: Hillsdale County, Michigan

98 98 Lost Nation State Game Area

99 99 Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

100 100 Source: Michigan Department of Natural Resources

101 101

102 102 Baw Beese Trail

103 103 NCTA Membership

104 104 Chief Baw Beese Chapter Members

105 105 Your help is needed!

106 106 Please join! Get involved! Have fun! Meet some interesting folks!

107 Photographs by Dave Alexander Jo Anne Baron Clare Cain Mike Dallos Matt Davis Tom Gilbert Paul Haan John Heiam Dave Kenyon Bill Menke Roger Meyer Lynn Moore Corey Morse Peggy Muzzall Andrew Mytys Aaron Phipps Sharon Phipps Ryan Sim Bart Smith Candy Stackable Werner Veit Joan Young Maps by Matt Rowbotham


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