North Country Trail Association


My NCT 2021-22

In this second year of the program, the NCTA is honored to have collaborated with Minnesota painter and beader Leah Yellowbird.

“I’m Anishinaabe, Ojibwe, Algonquin, and Métis,” explained Leah. “What I do in the style I paint is nature, or my interpretation of nature, or the Ojibwe interpretation of nature. I wanted to do a butterfly because to me, it’s just floating around – it’s beautiful; it’s here, it’s there, that’s the Trail.”

Having only launched the My NCT program in 2020, we set an aggressive goal for 2021 of 400 members joining or renewing. Jerry and Nancy Fennell and Tom and Mary Moberg joined the effort by issuing challenge gifts to help achieve success. And you did it. Over 850 members joined or renewed during this drive. Thank you for being here for the North Country Trail and for showing how much membership matters.⁠

NCTA Membership



Each North Country Trail state is represented via the eight different flowers within the butterfly: Wild prairie rose (ND), lady slipper (MN), wood violet (WI), apple blossom (MI), white trillium (OH), mountain laurel (PA), rose (NY), and red clover (VT).
“I decided to really take a look at the full Trail online, just the line of it. It’s so weavy and wobbly. I decided I’d do the inside of the wings of the butterfly that exact trail.” (Leah Yellowbird)
Leah uses a technique called pointillism: This entire image consists of thousands of individual paint dots. “Because I’m a beader, I want to bead with the tiniest, smallest beads so I can get the most detail. So when I paint, I do exactly the same thing.” (Leah Yellowbird)


What’s Your NCT?

My NCT 2020-21

Few things evoke emotion in the same way that spending time on the North Country Trail (NCT) does, and that making a connection with a work of art does. The North Country Trail Association launched the My NCT program in 2020 as a means to bring art and nature together in the telling of our story, and the connection our Trail Community has with it.

“We have been talking for years about the need for a more graphic representation of the Trail,” explained Andrea Ketchmark, NCTA Executive Director. “An artist’s take on what makes each state along the North Country Trail special and tying that all together in one beautiful image.”

The My NCT program incorporates the promotion of the North Country National Scenic Trail and the NCTA through an artist’s visual interpretation of it. The piece selected is displayed through the NCTA for 16 months before it is retired.

What happens when the Association and a woodblock print maker team up? The result is a one of a kind design that proudly tells the “This is My NCT” story and for a limited time, we are making it available to you.

West Michigan artist Erica Lang has captured the spirit of the North Country Trail through her own unique way of storytelling. Erica and her Woosah brand have created a one-of-a-kind woodblock printmaking design made specifically for NCTA.

Header image by Anandhi Chandran