State support needed for North Country National Scenic Trail's 'Arrowhead Re-reout'
By Matthew Davis NCTA Regional Trail Coordinator for Minnesota and North Dakota Do you enjoy hiking? Would you rather walk through extensive wetlands and bogs or outstanding scenery that exemplifies the essence of Minnesota's great outdoors? The ...
By Matthew Davis
NCTA Regional Trail Coordinator for Minnesota and North Dakota
Do you enjoy hiking? Would you rather walk through extensive wetlands and bogs or outstanding scenery that exemplifies the essence of Minnesota's great outdoors? The NCTA needs Minnesotans to tell Congress that they support the "Arrowhead Re-route" of the North Country National Scenic Trail. The Arrowhead Re-route is an effort to officially designate a revised route for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) in northeastern Minnesota.
The NCT is a premier hiking trail that, when complete, will stretch more than 4,600 miles, linking communities, forests, and prairies across New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and North Dakota. When complete, the NCT will be the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States.
The change, which will require an act of Congress, would replace an approximately 100-mile stretch of trail route that was first identified in the National Park Service's 1982 Comprehensive Plan for Management and Use of the North Country National Scenic Trail. The 1982 route lies between in Jay Cooke State Park southwest of Duluth and the eastern end of the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest near Remer, Minn. Since Congress authorized the NCT in 1980, there have been no efforts to construct trail along this route because it contains extensive wetlands. It also lacks the outstanding scenery found along the Arrowhead Re-route.
The National Park Service, in their Northeastern Minnesota Route Assessment and Environmental Assessment that was published in 2004, identified the new route as the preferred alternative. It would include over approximately 500 miles of trail (400 miles longer than the original route), including the designation of existing trails and new trail construction. The route will also be located in exemplary "North Country" areas with world-class scenery, including the North Shore and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In addition, over approximately 380 existing miles of the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail, and Kekekabic Trail will be incorporated into the new route. The NCTA anticipates that another approximately 140 miles of new trail would have to be constructed linking the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely and Remer, Minn. The Superior National Forest, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Superior Hiking Trail Association, Minnesota Rovers, and Kekekabic Trail Club support the new proposed route.
For a detailed map and more information on the "Arrowhead Re-route," visit the North Country Trail Association's (NCTA) Web site at http://www.northcountrytrail.org/route_adjustment/RA_index.htm .
If you have questions, contact at Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (701) 388-1883, or John Leinen, president of the NCTA board of directors, at email@example.com .