North Country Trail Association


Establishing the North Country National Scenic Trail had to be done in the U.S. Congress. Many, many people advocated that the Trail was important enough to be authorized under the National Trails System Act of 1968 – so Congress did just that in 1980. But we’re not done yet.

As of December 7, 2023, the National Park Service has granted unit status to the North Country National Scenic Trail! See this FAQ-style blog post and press release for additional details, and many thanks to our trail community for their multiple decades of advocacy!

Each year, Congress reviews funding and appropriations bills that benefit the Trail. Other legislation, like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, is also important to the NCNST, our other trails partners and the entire conservation community. It is vital that the NCTA has a presence in Washington D.C. to advocate on these and other issues of concern.

Advocacy is the art of informing policy makers (e.g. legislators, agency administrators) about issues and persuading them to act in your interests. The NCTA’s Advocacy Committee is composed of volunteers who communicate and build relationships with policy makers and their staffs about the importance of NCTA and the Trail’s value to America and its citizens, in an effort to positively influence legislation and management to benefit the NCNST and trail users.

We have learned over the years that if even a few members of our community contact their elected officials, it can make a huge difference. Contact Executive Director Andrea Ketchmark today to learn how you can get involved!

Take Action!

Share our fact sheets and your stories about the North Country Trail with your Senators and House members.

In early 2019, S.47, the John D. Dingell, Jr. Conservation, Management and Recreation Act, passed through both Senate and the House, and were signed by the President. This historic legislation includes the North Country National Scenic Trail Route Adjustment in Minnesota and Vermont. These proposed reroutes were 26 years in the making. The legislation also included the very important permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund. What an honor to announce this success!

Additional Resources

Contact your Senators and House Representatives

American Hiking Society Policy and Advocacy

American Trails Advocacy