Christopher White: NCNST Long Distance Hiker
Central patch + Wisconsin, Michigan, and 1,000-Mile rockers
My journey on the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST) started on July 24, 2021, but I didn’t know it at that time. In June 2021, I had finished the Ice Age National Scenic Trail and had heard a lot about the Superior Hiking Trail, and made that trail the next one I would do. I didn’t know that the Superior Hiking Trail was part of the NCNST, and found that out later as I was doing research on the Wisconsin portion of the North Country Trail.
Much like how I did the Ice Age Trail, I started to section hike the Superior Hiking Trail from the Southern Terminus, working my way north on the trail. In September 2021, as I was finishing up a section of the trail by Silver Bay, Minnesota, I ran into another hiker. After talking for a couple of minutes, I had found out that like myself, he was also from Wisconsin. I had heard about how bad the winters could be on the North Shore, so I knew that eventually I would have to focus my efforts elsewhere in terms of hiking. He told me that the North Country Trail through the Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest was some of the most beautiful hiking that Wisconsin had to offer.
Starting in January 2022, I started at the Southern Terminus of the Superior Hiking Trail and took my first steps on the NCNST in Wisconsin. At that time, I was content to just keep hiking in Wisconsin until the summer and then I would jump back to the Superior Hiking Trail, however I fell in love with the Wisconsin portion of the NCNST and ended up completing it. As I continued on into the upper peninsula of Michigan, I became hooked on the North Country Trail and continued to hike through the UP until I was through the Porcupine Mountains. I ended up jumping around a little bit after that. I completed a section of the Trail between Marquette and Munising, and also did the [Mackinac] Bridge Walk and some of the trail north out of St. Ignace.
Once again, winter came calling and I knew like the North Shore, the Upper Peninsula was no stranger to big amounts of snow, so I shifted my focus to the lower peninsula of Michigan, and started from the Ohio-Michigan state line and worked my way north.
Fast forward to May 20, 2023: I crossed the 1,0000-mile mark about 2 miles before Highbanks Rollway on the Manistee River.
I’ve certainly enjoyed meeting so many people along the journey. I’ve met others while out hiking the trail, have had the opportunity to hike the trail with others and also have had the pleasure of getting shuttles from trail angels and volunteers along the way. We are so fortunate to have the North Country Trail, and I am grateful to those who put in their time and effort to keep the trail in good condition so people like myself can continue to explore and enjoy it.
Learn more about long distance hiker recognition at explorenct.info/NoCoLo/index.htm.