North Country National Scenic Trail
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The North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) was authorized by Congress in 1980. This premier footpath stretches more than 4,800 miles across eight northern states from upstate Vermont to its western terminus at Lake Sakakawea State Park.
Of the eleven National Scenic Trails, the NCT is the longest and is the only one found within North Dakota. It is open for year-round use but it is best to check the weather and trail conditions before using the trail. In North Dakota, approximately 225 miles (of an estimated 475) of the NCT are completed. This includes longer (backpackable) segments within the Sheyenne National Grasslands, along Lake Ashtabula, along the New Rockford Canal, within Lonetree Wildlife Management Area and along the McClusky Canal.
Shorter, (day-hike) segments may be found within the Ekre Grassland Preserve, between Colfax and Walcott, the Sheyenne State Forest, at Fort Ransom State Park, from Kathryn to Clausen Springs Recreation Area, within Valley City, at Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, and at Lake Sakakawea State Park. A map showing the route of the NCT and the location of completed segments is available online at https://northcountrytrail.org/the-trail/north-dakota/.
Since there are multiple spots to access the North Country Trail, here are several contacts:
- For the Lake Sakakawea State Park, Garrison Dam, Audubon National Wildlife Refuge, Chain of Lakes, and Lonetree WMA segments, contact the Central Flyway Chapter email: [email protected], website: http://www.northcountrytrail.org/fly
- For the Lake Ashtabula, Valley City, Clausen Springs to Kathryn, Fort Ransom State Park, and Sheyenne State Forest segments, contact the Sheyenne River Valley Chapter email: [email protected], website: http://www.northcountrytrail.org/srv
- For the Lisbon, Sheyenne National Grassland, Ekre Grassland Preserve, Colfax to Walcott, and Fort Abercrombie segments, contact the Dakota Prairie Chapter email: [email protected], website: http://www.northcountrytrail.org/dpc
Lake Sakakawea State Park: phone: 1-701-487-3315; email: [email protected]; website: https://www.parkrec.nd.gov/lake-sakakawea-state-park
Lonetree Wildlife Management Area, North Dakota Game & Fish Department: phone: 1-701-324-2211
Lake Ashtabula, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: phone: 1-701-845-2970; email: [email protected]; website: https://www.mvp.usace.army.mil/Missions/Recreation/Lake-Ashtabula-Baldhill-Dam/
Sheyenne National Grasslands, U.S. Forest Service: phone: 1-701-683-4342; https://www.fs.usda.gov/wildflowers/regions/northern/SheyenneNG/index.shtml
For general info about the North Country Trail, contact North Country Trail Association, 229 E. Main St. City: Lowell, MI 49331 phone: 866-HIKE-NCT; email: [email protected] website: http://www.northcountrytrail.org
- Open Year 'Round
- General Information
- Free Admission