National Trails Day work to "spiff up" the NCT in MN's Chippewa N.F.

The National Trails Day crew

The National Trails Day crew

A small group of folks participated in a workday held on National Trails Day with the goal of ATV proofing a section of the North Country Trail within the Chippewa National Forest.  Working were Brian, Barb, and Audrey Pavek of Maple Grove, MN; Matt Davis of Detroit Lakes, MN; and Tom Schackman and Mitch Bouchonville of the Chippewa National Forest’s Walker Ranger District.   We worked on removing ATV ruts and controlling erosion on the section east of the Milton Lake Boat Landing.  Last September for National Public Lands Day we had worked on blockading this section from ATVs.  We also blocked ATV access points and removed ATV ruts by FR 2321B (visit the Wiki Guide for more on this section).

Dropping a spruce tree across the trail to form an ATV barrier

Dropping a spruce tree across the trail to form an ATV barrier

Removing ATV ruts from the trail tread

Removing ATV ruts from the trail tread

Another group of NCTA volunteers spent National Trails Day nearby working on improving their adopted section.  This group included Tom & Mary Moberg from Fargo, ND and Katie Blau from Remer, MN.  Afterwards, most of the group convened at Frosty’s in Longville for an ice cream treat.

This work was part of a larger effort to deter ATVs from riding on the NCT within the Chippewa National Forest and also to have volunteers adopt all of the 68 miles within “the Chip.”  Currently, we have about half of the trail adopted by volunteers.

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  1. len M July 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm #

    why not reroute local atv trails . vs blocking there path . If you just block the route atvers will just find a way through.

  2. Matthew Davis July 29, 2009 at 10:38 am #

    Len – Your suggestion is a good one but it’s not appropriate for this situation. The ATV riders are illegally riding on the NCT as there are not many legal ATV trails in close proximity to the NCT within the Chippewa NF. We’re trying to block access to the NCT from where they’re riding – places like Forest Roads, old logging trails, highway ditches, etc.

  3. robert wright September 10, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    I am on the board of Chautauqua Rails to Trails in NY. We are experiencing a similar problem to yours with ATVs. What was once a nuscience has now become a real problem. Hikers and bikers are in fear as large groups of ATVs continue to tresspass. Some have used their machines to stalk female trail runners. The outcome is loss of membership and landowner support for us. Having said this, I know that most ATV owners are responsible people. Once again it is the few who aren’t that spoil it for the others.

  4. David Halsey February 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm #

    Between State Hwy 371 and County Rd 125, the North Country Trail gives hikers over 15 miles of continuous trail on federal land. Add the Woodtick Trail and other roads and hikers have over 100 miles to hike. Yet in that same area, there is only a single 10 mile road now open to OHVs. By closing the Woodtick Trail, the Chippewa National Forest has denied hundreds of families access to public land and low-traveled roads on their ATVs. This is not multi-use in the spirit in which it was intended. And painting large blue blaze stripes on majestic 70ft. tall red pines instead of adjacent smaller trees is unnecessary, bordering on vandalism of 100+ year old trees.

  5. Michael Batcher April 5, 2010 at 1:44 pm #

    We are beginning to develop a trail. Can anyone provide design guidance on ATV barriers and gates? Thanks.

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