Yes, that is right…if you hike miles on the NCT in Minnesota State Parks during 2016 you’ll earn double the miles.
Unfortunately, no we haven’t found a major airline partner to co-sponsor the program and give away free frequent flyer (“hiker?”) miles. But we do have two great programs and rewards for your effforts!
Every NCT mile you hike in a Minnesota State Park in 2016 will count towards both our Hike 100 Challenge – recognizing the National Park Service’s Centennial – and also the Minnesota State Parks & Trails’ Boot, Bike, and Boat 125 Challenge in honor of Itasca State Park’s 125th anniversary.
You’ll earn a special Hike 100 Challenge patch and certificate from us, as well as a limited edition 125 Finisher sticker from the Minnesota DNR. Plus, you’ll have loads of bragging rights.
The second oldest State Park in the U.S., Itasca was “set aside” by the Minnesota legislature back on April 20, 1891 to protect the remaining old growth pine forest and the headwaters of the Mississippi River at Lake Itasca. In honor of Itasca’s anniversary, the Itasca Moraine and Laurentian Lakes Chapters of the North Country Trail Association have scheduled a monthly event in conjunction with the Park. The Itasca events are listed online here.
Despite the fact that the “Arrowhead Re-route” hasn’t been enacted by Congress yet, miles hiked on the Superior Hiking Trail® will count towards the Hike 100 Challenge. #NotLettingCongressHoldUsBack
To participate in these two unique challenges, simply register for the Hike 100 Challenge on our website here and track your miles hiked on the NCT. Then download the Minnesota DNR’s mileage tracking sheet here. Be sure to check out the DNR’s calendar of events to see which guided hikes are already been scheduled.
Minnesota State Parks where you can earn the “Double Miles” include:
Maplewood State Park – features a 3 mile NCT segment from the Trail Center south to Maplewood Church: Map.
Itasca State Park – features 13 miles of the NCT crossing the Park’s southern tier: Map.
Judge C.R. Magney State Park – features ~7 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail along the Brule River and past the Devil’s Kettle: Map.
Cascade River State Park – features ~6 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail along the Cascade River: Map.
Temperance River State Park – features ~8 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail over Carlton Peak and along the Temperance River: Map.
George H. Crosby-Manitou State Park – features ~6 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail through the Park’s backcountry: Map.
Tettegouche State Park – features ~10 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior: Map.
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park – features ~5 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail on the ridgetop and along the Split Rock River: Map.
Gooseberry Falls State Park – features ~6 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail along the Gooseberry River and past numerous waterfalls: Map.
Jay Cooke State Park – features ~10 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail: Map.
There are also several sections where the Superior Hiking Trail is co-located on the Willard Munger and North Shore State Trails. These (roughly) 10 miles count as well.
Be sure to share photos of your hikes on social media using the following hashtags:
#Hike100NCT, #MNStateParks, #OnlyInMN