3. North Country Trail

Directions:  

The 71-mile section of the North Country National Scenic Trail that runs through the Chippewa National Forest starts on the southwestern edge of the Forest near Walker, Minn. and leaves the Forest on the southeastern edge near Remer, Minn. Watch for North Country Trail (NCT) signs off Highway 34 south of Walker and along Highway 200 between Walker and Remer.  


Access: Check with the North Country Trail Association Itasca Moraine group for updates on seasonal trail conditions and events. The NCT is a great way to spend a spring day!

The North Country Trail passes through the Chippewa National Forest as part of the larger North Country National Scenic Trail. 


The trail covers over 4,600 miles from Crown Point, New York to Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota. Eventually the trail will link the Appalachian Trail to the Lewis and Clark and Pacific Crest Trail. 


The hiking trail parallels the southern border of the Chippewa National Forest, leading hikers through white pine forests, river banks and backcountry lakes. 


Many visitors plan out a series of short hikes covering different sections of the NCT through the Forest.   There are designated backcountry sites located along the trail as well as a developed campground located on Mabel Lake. 


Check with the Walker Ranger District for specific backcountry site information and trail conditions.   Another great resource is the North Country Trail Association (NCTA). The U.S. Forest Service and NCTA Itasca Moraine Chapter team up to maintain the 71-miles of trail.  

Events: The Itasca Moraine Chapter of the North Country Trail Association hosts various hikes and events throughout the year. Check out their website for more information. National Winter Trails Day is set for January 19 at the Shingobee Hills Recreation Area. Warm up at the chalet, open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.


Related Sites: The Woodtick Trail parallels a section of the North Country National Scenic Trail. This well-maintained gravel road is a great opportunity to view wildlife and northwoods scenery for those unable to hike the NCT. Located between Longville, Minnesota and Hackensack, Minnesota.


The North Country trail meanders through the Shingobee Hills Recreation Area. The Forest hosts winter events and grooms the trail for cross-country skiers.