Great Outdoors: North Country Trail

The Longest Trail In The Nation Runs Right Through The Northland


The North Country Trail is the longest trail in the Nation! It was created back in 1980 and it passes through 12 National Forests. Did you know that this historic trail winds right through our backyard, Northland?

4,600 miles it spans from Vermont to North Dakota, while passing through both Minnesota and Wisconsin.

Backpackers, bird watchers, snoeshoers, hikers and campers trek along the longest trail through meadows, rivers and forests.

“Anyone can hike this trail, it’s an easy entry level trail, it’s in your back yard and it beats sitting on the couch! Especially this time of year.” explained Wayne, the Chequamegon Chapter Trail Volunteer.

The trail runs into Wisconsin from the U.P. and winds through Copper Falls State Park and into the Chequamegon National Forest. It follows the St. Croix River and goes through Pattison State Park. It then enters Minnesota at Jay Cooke on the Superior Hiking Trail and then turns into the Duluth Lake Walk. It continues up the North Shore and heads west through the Boundary Waters. Taking a southern turn it intersects Grand Rapids and heads towards Fargo, North Dakota.


“There has been roughly 100 people that have hiked the whole thing.” explained Wayne.

But thousands enjoy portions of it on a daily basis. Access to the trail is just a days drive from 40% of the Nations population.

“It’s really enjoyable and like I said you can hike a mile or you can hike a hundred… it doesn’t make any difference. There are many access points. There are maps available to pick up and you can enjoy it in different areas.” said Wayne.

This trail is also built and maintained by volunteers.

“We have trail adopters. Different people pick up four or five miles and maintain those. We have group work days once a month. It’s like minded people working in the mud and having a lot of fun!” said Wayne.”

They are always looking for more volunteers. Contact information will be available shortly.

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