Blogging the North Country Trail

Welcome! The NCTA’s Insight blog is your source for extended coverage and inside information on what’s happening on and around the North Country Trail.

11 Interesting Things about Trail Advocacy

May 26, 2015

by Bruce Matthews, Executive Director Advocacy, or “lobbying” to some, is the art of persuasively educating elected representatives about issues and legislation of concern.  Advocacy is typically done in hopes the officials then vote or act appropriately.  It is part of my job at North Country Trail Association to help build relationships with these Members […]


Join us for National Trails Day

May 12, 2015

National Trails Day is coming June 6. This nationwide event, created by the American Hiking Society, is the country’s largest celebration of trails. You can participate in events in every state across the country, including locations all along the North Country Trail. Events will include guided hikes, tours, trail maintenance, trail town celebrations, opportunities to learn more about […]


3 Reasons to Hike the Allegheny 100 Challenge

May 7, 2015

Pre-registration closes in just one week for this year’s Allegheny 100 hiking challenge. Last year, 86 hikers challenged themselves to hike 25, 50, 75 or 100 miles of the North Country Trail in the Allegheny National Forest (ANF) in a 50 hour time period. The Allegheny 100 Challenge (A-100) is unsupported, so hikers are responsible for supplying their own food, drinks and […]


Help us build trail with the beavers!

May 4, 2015

The beaver is probably the most common animal our trail workers and trail users see evidence of when they are out on the trail. Nocturnal by design, the beaver is not an animal you see very often but you sure know where they’ve been. And sometimes the evidence of where they’ve been is the very […]


Hikers’ Challenge 165 set to begin in northcentral MN

April 8, 2015

The Laurentian Lakes and Itasca Moraine Chapters are co-sponsoring a new hiking challenge event this year….the Hikers’ Challenge 165.  The challenge is to hike as much of you can of the NCT between State Hwy 34 (east of Detroit Lakes) and State Hwy 6 (northeast of Remer) – the trail section featured in the Guide to […]


Hike the Hill 2015 – Red Plaid Nation Goes to Washington

February 17, 2015

So, I walk the halls of Congress wearing a red buffalo plaid vest, and carrying a red plaid scarf. Why? Glad you asked! You may be aware we’re branding our North Country National Scenic Trail community as the “Red Plaid Nation.” My blog of December 4, 2013 details the rationale for why we believe the […]

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Hike the Hill 2015 – It’s a Wrap!

February 13, 2015

Wrapped up Hill visits Thursday afternoon and got a late flight back to Michigan. Good to be home! In spite of what some folks think who live there, Washington DC is not the center of the universe… However, it is the seat of our federal government and if we hope affect federal policy change—as we must do […]

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Hike the Hill 2015 – Day 3 Update

February 12, 2015

Today’s focus was on the Senate side. If you imagine the U.S. Capitol from the Mall, facing north, the Senate is on the left and the House on the right. The respective office buildings (Rayburn, Cannon, Longworth for the House , and Russell, Dirksen and Hart for the Senate) are located on either side of […]

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Hike the Hill 2015 – Day 2 Update

February 11, 2015

So far I’ve visited with 5 Senate offices (Klobuchar, Peters, Baldwin, Sanders, Leahy) and 7 House members (Nolan (D-MN), Cramer (R-ND), Huizenga (R-MI), Welch (D-VT), Thompson (R-PA), Duffy (R-WI). Our strategy is to (1) try to get as many Republican co-sponsors as we can (we only have Paulsen from MN as an “R”); and (2) […]

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Hike the Hill 2015 – Day 1 Update

Each February the National Trails community converges on Washington DC for a series of meetings on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress, and with the federal agencies that administer the trails. For our North Country National Scenic Trail community, that means meetings with as many of the 46 Senators and Representatives, in the states and […]

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