What is the Arrowhead Re-route?
The Arrowhead Re-route is an effort to officially designate a revised route for the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCT) in northeastern Minnesota. This change, which requires the approval of Congress, would replace a 100-mile stretch of trail route identified in the National Park Service’s 1982 Comprehensive Plan for Management and Use of the North Country Trail. The 1982 route lies between Jay Cooke State Park southeast of Duluth and the eastern end of the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest near Remer. Since the NCT was authorized by Congress 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.
Minnesota hiking and trail advocates proposed using the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail, and Kekekabic Trail as components of a more feasible and scenic alternative to the originally planned route. The new route was evaluated and identified as the “preferred alternative” in the National Park Service’s “Northeastern Minnesota Route Assessment,” approved in September 2004. The revised route would be approximately 500 miles long (about 400 miles longer than the original route) and be located in exemplary “North Country” areas with world-class scenery, including Lake Superior’s North Shore and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Over 375 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail, and Kekekabic Trail would be incorporated into the new route. The NCTA anticipates approximately 140 miles of new trail construction to link Ely and Remer, Minnesota.
For a lot more background information, visit the National Park Service’s North Country National Scenic Trail web site to download the Northeastern Minnesota Route Assessment and Environmental Assessment. Learn more about the Re-route area by visiting “Windigo Doug’s” online Trail Journal photo gallery from the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail, Kekekabic Trail and the Kek to Chippewa National Forest gap. Note: Windigo Doug walked the multiple-use Mesabi Trail from near Ely to Grand Rapids. The post Re-route NCT will not follow the Mesabi Trail.