North Country Trail Association

Trail Alerts

Any current North Country National Scenic Trail closures or reroutes will be posted here.

Check this page before each hike, or contact the Chapter or Affiliate who maintains the Trail in the area you plan to hike. If you encounter an issue on the Trail, please report it using this form.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updates to their guidance on best practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and many NCNST states are relaxing regulations around travel and in-person gatherings. As a result, NCTA is now encouraging NCTA volunteers to simply follow federal and state and local guidelines when planning hikes, projects and events on the North Country Trail.

  • Volunteer activities are not mandatory. Individuals should be aware that they are participating at their own risk.
  • As always, volunteers must stay home if they have tested positive for COVID-19, are waiting for COVID-19 test results, have COVID-19 symptoms, or if they have had close contact with a person who has tested positive for or who has symptoms of COVID-19.
  • NCTA Chapters should also familiarize themselves with the CDC’s Event Guidance to best understand the risk variables when planning events.
  • Some individual land managers may have more restrictive guidelines in place that NCTA volunteers are still expected to follow.
  • All volunteers should continue to monitor state and local updates about the spread of COVID-19 in the area and adjust operations accordingly. If cases significantly increase, NCTA will issue updated guidance. Check out the map to see county data along the NCNST corridor.
  • CDC guidelines outline that fully vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks or physically distance in most cases, whether indoors or outdoors. Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks and physically distance as recommended by the CDC. Site-specific guidelines may still require masks for all event attendees.

Hunting Season 2022: Various hunting seasons are already underway across the North Country Trail corridor. Wearing blaze orange will help keep you visible to others nearby. Trail users should stay on trail and keep dogs on-leash, and hunters be aware of where the Trail runs in relation to their stand or blind. Before you hike or hunt, check out our online map to learn who manages the land the NCNST crosses and visit the appropriate land manager, state or county websites to learn about hunting seasons, and local rules and regulations. Please note individual Trail sections may be closed due to the wishes of the private landowners who host the NCNST.

North Dakota
  • Garrison Dam The National Park Service has recently certified a new North Country Trail segment within the Garrison Dam National Fish Hatchery that is a X-mile “lollipop loop” off the current roadwalk route on 40 1/2 Ave. and the “diagonal road” up to Hwy 200. The NCNST now follows 40 1/2 Ave. and the Hatchery Rd to the Fish Hatchery parking lot and then parts of the Hatchery Loop, Salmon Run, and River Loop trails. We hope that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will allow for connecting segments to connect with this loop in the near future that will take the NCNST off of the paved road in this area. Stay tuned.
  • Lonetree Wildlife Management Area. The ND Game & Fish is using active cattle grazing along the NCNST as a land management tool and the rancher is employing electric fences.  Some of these electric fences cross the NCNST and most have stretch clip gates.  To pass through, simply unhook the clips from the fence post and walk them away from the post (you won’t get shocked), walk through, and then re-attach the posts.  The Parking area on 19th St. NE has a fence across the entrance but NCNST parking is allowed.
  • Sheyenne National Grassland. NCNST users should expect to encounter grazing sheep and their guard dogs in between May 1 and October 1. The sheep rotate throughout different pastures along the NCNST in between mile posts 10-31 (covered on maps ND-071 through ND-075). The sheep herders are instructed to keep the sheep away from the Trail as much as possible but it’s not always the case. Read the “Do’s and Don’ts” on the U.S. Forest Service sign (posted along the NCNST) about how to safely interact with the guard dogs. If folks are planning a hike on the NCNST and are concerned about specific areas, they can call the Sheyenne National Grassland office at (701) 683-4342 and ask what area the sheep are in at that specific time.
  • McClusky Canal. There is a major trail detour in central North Dakota because of a slide repair project on the McClusky Canal on the McClusky Canal that will be going on for the next 3+ years. The NCNST section to be bypassed is covered on maps ND-009 and ND-010.  https://arcg.is/nPr9H0
Minnesota
  • White Earth State Forest. The MN-DNR has an active timber sale along the NCNST just north of the Elbow Lake Rd (map) trailhead and the Trail is currently closed.
  • Hubbell Pond Wildlife Management Area. Between the Hwy 34 Trailhead and Hubbell Pond Rd. is closed for the next 2-3 weeks because of ongoing salvage logging following a windstorm this summer.
  • Border Route Trail. Sections of the Border Route Trail near Clearwater Lake received tornado damage in the Fall of 2021. Update May 2022: A trail crew cleared enough of the damage to make it passable (with effort).
  • Itasca State Park. The DNR is closing the Gartner Farm Trailhead (on 540th Ave.) within Itasca State Park (map) because of a rough road leading up to it.  Hikers may park at the trailhead on Hwy 113 instead and take the spur trail up to the NCNST, which adds 0.6 miles one-way to reach the NCNST.
  • East of Itasca State Park. There is a very bad blowdown on the NCNST just east of Highway 71, at Minnesota Miles 169.2 – 170 (map). The NCNST is closed here and hikers need to roadwalk around it, as it is unsafe to attempt to follow the Trail. Highway 71 and Spider Lake Road is the suggested route now, but we’re investigating other options and will report them ASAP.
  • Kent. The NCNST on-road route shown on map MN-001 is incorrect as it has not been updated to reflect the reroute of state highway 75 around Kent, MN
  • Superior Hiking Trail. Learn more about the status of campsite closures and find updates at https://superiorhiking.org/trail-conditions/.

For trail alerts along the Superior Hiking Trail, visit the Superior Hiking Trail Association’s Trail Conditions web page. For Trail alerts along the Border Route Trail, visit the Border Route Trail Association’s Trail Conditions web page.

Wisconsin
  • Chequamegon National Forest. Mineral Lake Road will be closed between Hanson Road and the intersection with Beaver Lake Road, a/k/a Pine Stump Corner, from October 24th until December 1st because the bridge over the Brunsweiler River is being upgraded. This will make it more difficult to access the North Country Trail trailheads at Lake Three and Beaver Lake from County Highway GG and Mellen. People coming from the east might consider using Spring Brook Road or Fox Farm Road (FR 387) as alternate routes.
  • St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. There is a short segment of the NCNST along the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway that is flooded because of beaver activity.  This is around MM 53.5. Map: https://bit.ly/2Y3mTKE
  • US 63, Drummond Lake Road to US 2. There will be road construction on US Highway 63 near Drummond from July 5 on that may impact vehicle access to the trailhead parking area in the summer and fall. The NCNST will remain open for use. More info on the project can be found at projects.511wi.gov/us63bc1/.
  • MacQuarrie Wetlands Segment to Pattison State Park. The Nemadji River Bridge on County Highway W is closed due to washout. Detour north on W, east on County Highway C, and south on Dedham Road to regain the road walk toward Pattison State Park. https://arcg.is/aDCeX0
  • Copper Falls State Park. Dogs are not allowed on the Doughboys Nature Trail portion of the NCNST within Copper Falls State Park. NCNST hikers with a dog should plan to take an alternative route. The park can be reached at (715) 274-5123.
Michigan
  • Wilderness State Park. Bridges are closed south of Goose Pond. Follow the trails to the east and north side of the pond to connect to existing trail by the dam. The Michigan DNR hopes to rebuild the bridges by end of summer in 2023.
  • Baraga County, west of Craig Lake State Park. The outlet to Long Lake may become flooded causing a section of the road walk to be under water. Please proceed with caution.
  • Barry County. Deer hunting is occurring on this private parcel until January 1, 2023. Please wear hunter orange, and avoid early mornings and evenings if possible. Trail is closed from November 15-30 during firearm season. Follow the road walk along Sheffield Road to bypass.
  • Grand Traverse County. Flooded sections of Trail between Forrest and Cedar Creek Roads due to a new beaver dam. Areas are at the bridge over Parker Creek and approximately 0.75 miles south of the bridge. Passable, but your feet will get wet. To completely bypass, follow the 4.15-mile road walk utilizing Van’s Lane, Lake Road and Cedar Creek Road.
  • Ontonagon County. Downstream from the Victoria Dam: The river crossing can become impassable at times due to water released from the Victoria Dam reservoir. The dam releases water until June 11 for fish migration. Dam also releases water when there has been significant rain in the day(s) before. You can try to call the dam operators office (906-886-2637) and leave a message for a return call asking if water is being released from the dam. Their answer is rain dependent, so they will not know many days ahead of time. Or visit uppco.com/hydro-water-levels and scroll down to Ontonagon River > Victoria > Total Flow. If the Total Flow is greater than 650cfs they will be releasing water from the dam. The highwater bypass follows Victoria Dam Road and US-45 on this route. This route is only three miles longer than staying on the Trail and takes you into Rockland where there is dining, supplies, a post office (limited hours), and lodging.
  • Ontonagon County, west of US-45. There are beaver dams flooding the Trail crossing Sandstone Creek. Less than a half-mile west is another beaver dam on an unnamed creek flooding the Trail there, too. A temporary reroute was blue flagged on both streams; however more beaver activity this fall has flooded those blue flagged reroutes. Please proceed with caution. We will be looking into further options in 2022.
  • Ontonagon County. The bridge over Bush Creek failed in 2021 and is closed by the Ottawa National Forest. Please use extreme caution when crossing the creek.
Ohio
  • Magnolia. The one mile segment of off-road NCT between OH E 8.7 to OH E 9.7 west of Magnolia, OH has been closed by the landowner. Hikers should follow the road walk blazes on Imperial Rd. NW and Magnolia Rd. NW to bypass this section until the issue has been resolved.
  • Kings Mill. Due to road and bridge construction at the crossing of Grandin Rd, the trail near Kings Mill, OH, along the Little Miami River, will be closed for six months (https://bit.ly/3LohdxJ).  Reroute directions have been posted onsite at the beginning/end of the temporary reroute.  Please see the Buckeye Trail Association’s Trail Alert website for more information.
  • Buckeye Trail/NCNST, Cincinnati area. The BT/NCNST along Round Bottom Road is particularly dangerous from where the trail crosses under I-275 to the Perintown Bridge. There is no suitable detour. Hikers should exercise extreme caution when hiking on this road segment.

For other trail alerts along the Buckeye Trail, visit the Buckeye Trail Association’s Trail Alerts web page.

Pennsylvania
  • Wampum. Mines and Meadows ATV Park is doing construction work along the roadway that the NCNST crosses at Mile PA 23.6, involving widening the road and adding a retention pond. Hikers coming from the east (Wampum) should turn right onto the existing roadway and walk 150 yards down to the kiosk/security trailer, then turn left and walk up through the campground to pick up the trail behind the campsites. Hikers coming from the west (Game Lands 148 side) should walk down through the campground about 130 yards to the kiosk/security trailer, then get onto the road and walk up to where the trail comes in from the left hand side. The Wampum Chapter will update the official trail route once this project is completed at the park.
  • Cherry Run/Toby Creek area. The NCNST is temporarily closed from PA 156.5 to White Oak Drive. The closure is marked. Temporary reroute is as follows: around PA-156.5, continue on Kinbahe Road to the northeast. At first fork in the road, turn left on to Scott Drive. The reroute turns left off of Scott Drive and passes through Helen Furnace Park. Turn left on to White Oak Drive and continue for one mile to the White Oak Drive trailhead
New York
  • Adirondack Park. Navigating the mostly undeveloped route of the NCNST in the Adirondack Park will require special planning preparations.  You can find more information on our Adirondack page.

For trail alerts along the Finger Lakes Trail, visit the Finger Lakes Trail Conference’s Trail Conditions web page.

Vermont
  • Green Mountain National Forest. An official route through the Green Mountain National Forest is still in the planning process. You can find more information on our Vermont page.

For trail alerts along the Trail Around Middlebury (TAM), visit the Middlebury Area Land Trust’s “Trails” web page.

Header photo by Grand Rapids Christian Middle School