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.

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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What is Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail?

January 30, 2015

What is Michigan’s Iron Belle Trail? We’ve been asked this more times than we can count and we’ve wondered ourselves. More than two years ago, the Detroit Free Press ran an article about Governor Snyder’s idea for a “showcase” trail, connecting Belle Isle to Ironwood, and declaring Michigan “THE Trails State”. The map accompanying that […]

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Wild in the North Country – by Michele Oberholtzer

December 31, 2014

Inspired by the book Wild, Michele Oberholtzer backpacked more than 700 miles alone across Northern Michigan from Leelenau to Keweenaw. Here are some adapted entries from her travel journal.   I was a terrible believer in things, but I was also a terrible nonbeliever in things, I was as searching as I was skeptical.         […]


Wild in the North Country – Part Six

By Michele Oberholtzer On Ending Day 44, Mile 700 This morning I decided to wake up early to watch the sunrise from my camp at Moskey Basin on Isle Royale. It was cold and I was tired. I packed up everything but my sleeping bag and curled up in it, leaning against my pack and […]


Wild in the North Country – Part Five

December 30, 2014

By Michele Oberholtzer On Being Lost Day 32, Mile 483 I think I’m in an abusive relationship with the trail. When I lose it, I curse it, swear I don’t need it and I’m better off without it. And then, invariably, as soon as I see a blue blaze I am flooded with relief and […]