• A hiker enjoys the view along the North Country Trail in New York.

    North Country

    National Scenic Trail MI,MN,ND,NY,OH,PA,WI

Frequently Asked Questions

WHAT IS THE NORTH COUNTRY NATIONAL SCENIC TRAIL?

In March 1980 Federal legislation authorized the establishment of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NST) as a component of the National Trails System. It is one of only eleven trails authorized by Congress to be National Scenic Trails. National Scenic Trails are long distance, non-motorized trails.

In many ways, the trail is similar in concept to the more widely known Appalachian Trail--both are NST's. In other ways, it is uniquely different as it crosses a more diverse geographic area.
The North Country NST will extend from the vicinity of Crown Point, New York, to Lake Sakakawea State Park, on the Missouri River, in North Dakota, where it joins the route of the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

As work on the trail has progressed, it appears that the final length will approach between 4,200 and 4,500 miles, instead of the originally estimated 3,200 miles.

HOW LONG IS THE NORTH COUNTRY TRAIL?

The best current estimate is that the North Country National Scenic Trail will be between 4,200 and 4,500 miles long when completed.

WHAT USES ARE ALLOWED ON THE TRAIL?

The North Country Trail is built primarily for pleasure walking and hiking. However, in places other uses such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and bicycling are appropriate and are allowed.

On all public lands, local managers determine the uses that will be allowed in accordance with their management objectives and the capability of the land to accommodate the various uses without damaging the natural resources.

Both the National Park Service (NPS) and the North Country Trail Association (NCTA) have adopted policies encouraging local managers to prohibit bicycling except when the trail is: (1) specifically designed for wheeled vehicles, (2) where the bikes would not damage part of the North Country Trail route, (3) where bicycles could be physically restricted to the designated section, and (4) where bicycle use would not adversely affect the recreational experience of hikers. These conditions generally are not found on the typical, single-track, forested and rural segments of the North Country Trail.

Dirt bikes, snowmobiles, ATV's, and other motorized vehicles are not allowed on the North Country National Scenic Trail.

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Did You Know?

Photo of Mackinac Suspension Bridge

The North Country Trail crosses the Mackinac Bridge which is the longest suspension bridge in the western hemisphere. The bridge can only be crossed on foot once a year.