The key to a successful trip is careful planning and preparation. When planning your itinerary, keep in mind the time of year, terrain, weather, and the physical condition of everyone in your party. Remember you can only travel as fast as the slowest person in your group.
Use the Backcountry Camping Planner (PDF 13.98 MB) - a 16-page pamphlet of important backcountry information - to help plan your trip.
A backcountry camping permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. The permit is only for the dates, locations, and party size specified. Permits must be obtained via www.recreation.gov. or by calling: 1-877-444-6777. International callers: 1-518-885-3635.
A Few RemindersBackcountry campers must stay in specific backcountry campgrounds as noted on their permit. Campgrounds are located at two to five mile intervals along the trail. Each campground has a specific capacity; individual campsites within each backcountry campground are identified by a numbered post.
Do not expect your cell phone to work in the park. Many areas do not receive reception due to cloudy conditions, hilly topography, heavy forest cover, and a lack of towers.
Hammocks are allowed in place of a tent, but you must stay within 15 feet of the numbered post at the campsite. Keep in mind that trees are not available at all sites.
Pets are not permitted. Drones are not permitted. Fires are permitted only in community fire rings at the campgrounds. Fires are not allowed at the Mosquito River and Chapel Beach campgrounds. No bikes or wheeled or motorized vehicles allowed in the backcountry.
Commercial transportation is available for hikers wishing to take a bus to the starting point and hike back to their vehicle. For information, please visit the Shuttle Service webpage.
You may encounter bears and other wildlife in the backcountry. Keep a clean camp and store food in the provided lockers. Insects such as black flies, mosquitoes, and stable flies can be a nuisance between late May and September. Long pants and shirts and insect repellent are recommended.
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is closed to hunting April 1 to Labor Day, but is open to hunting the rest of the year during small and large game seasons. Wear blaze orange or bright colors if you are concerned about being seen by hunters.
For more information:
Backcountry Trip Planner (pdf)
Backcountry Map and Mileage (pdf)
GPS Coordinates - Backcountry Campgrounds (pdf)
Be Bear Aware site bulletin (pdf)
Beaver Basin trail map (pdf)
Beaver Basin Wilderness
For Your Safety
North Country National Scenic Trail
North Country Trail Association
Firewood and Campfires
Last updated: January 16, 2018