North Country Trail Association

Trail Alerts

Any current North Country 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.

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 NCT states are relaxing regulations around travel and in-person gatherings. As a result, NCTA is now encouraging NCT 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 NCT 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 NCT 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 (10/2021)

Various hunting seasons 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 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 NCT 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 NCT.

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 NCT 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 NCT 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 NCT as a land management tool and the rancher is employing electric fences.  Some of these electric fences cross the NCT 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 NCT parking is allowed.
  • Sheyenne National Grassland. NCT 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 NCT in between mile posts 10-31 (covered on maps ND-071  – 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 NCT) about how to safely interact with the guard dogs. If folks are planning a hike on the NCT 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 NCT section to be bypassed is covered on maps ND-009 and ND-010.  https://arcg.is/nPr9H0
Minnesota

 

  • Border Route Trail. Sections of the Border Route Trail near Clearwater Lake are currently impassable due to wind damage from recent storms.
  • Superior Hiking Trail. Learn more about the status of campsite closures and find updates at https://superiorhiking.org/trail-conditions/.
  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.   The Superior National Forest has fully re-opened the BWCAW and the Kekekabic Trail is open. Find the latest on https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/superior/alerts-notices.”
  • Itasca State Park. 4WD vehicles are necessary to reach the Gartner Farm Trailhead (on 540th Ave.) within Itasca State Park because of a rough road.  Hikers may park at the trailhead on Hwy 113 instead and take the spur trail up to the NCT.  Map: https://bit.ly/3hAZU0O
  • Superior National Forest. As a result of increases in human-bear interactions with negative outcomes this year, a food storage order is in place for the entirety of the Superior National Forest. All visitors to the Forest, including the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, will need to store their food properly to help protect wild bears and humans alike. Proper storage reduces the chance of bears being rewarded when in campsites, trails, portages, landings or other recreational areas. Proper food storage can be done in two ways: Using a bear canister or bear-resistant container and placing it 50 feet away from your tent on the ground (preferred method) or Hanging your food pack at least 12 feet above the ground at all points, six feet horizontally from any pole or limb and four feet vertically from any pole or limb.

 

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
  • St. Croix National Scenic Riverway. There is a short segment of the NCT 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
  • Brule River State Forest. Due to dry conditions, the water source at the Paul Schoch Campsite may be low for the rest of 2021.
  • 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 NCT within Copper Falls State Park. NCT hikers with a dog should plan to take an alternative route. The park can be reached at (715) 274-5123.
Michigan
  • Baraga County. Road walk south of US-41/M-28 – There is a difficult beaver dam crossing on the road walk about a 1/2 mile west of Lateral Creek. To avoid, follow US-41/M-28 between Herman Nestoria Rd and Old US-41.
  • 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. Do not call more than 24 hours in advance. If you’re hiking west to east and you can see rushing water straight below the viewpoint just south of the gate on the gravel road south of Victoria Dam Rd, you will need to take the bypass. This route is only 3 miles longer than staying on the trail and follows back up Victoria Dam Rd into Rockland (where there is dining, supplies and lodging) then south on US-45 to where the trail continues east to O Kun de Kun Falls.
  • 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. Due to flooding caused by a beaver dam on Spring Creek, located east of the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River, please follow the blue flagging downstream to the north for a good crossing over the dam.
  • Hiawatha National Forest, southwest of Munising near Valley Spur trailhead. A section of Trail just west of County Road 540 is flooded due to beaver activity. To bypass (from west to east) follow Anna Marsh Road south to Buck Bay Road, east to CR 540/Cole Creek Road back to the Trail.
Ohio
  • Oak Openings Metropark and Maumee State Forest.The NCT has been rerouted in Oak Openings Metropark and Maumee State Forest for a distance of 5.5 miles between .2 miles east of Springbrook Trailhead and about .5 miles north of the crossing of Archbold-Whitehouse Rd. The new trail is paint blazed in Maumee State Forest and marked with triangular NCT emblems in Oak Openings Metropark.
  • Buckeye Trail/NCT, Cincinnati area. The BT/NCT 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
  • Clarion. Hunting Closure in effect until Dec. 11. The NCT is closed on a private parcel where the trail crosses Myers Rd (close to PA 152.5) to Doe Run Rd (154.25-ish).  See map area. Hikers can follow Myers Rd east and turn north on Doe Run Rd and meet the trail where it crosses Doe Run Rd.  The closure is signed.
  • State Gamelands 95. Due to Abandoned Mine Drainage (AMD) remediation projects and trail improvement work in PA State Gamelands 95 between the Kohlmeyer Rd Trailhead and the Leonard Rd Trailhead, hikers should use caution and discretion. At times, heavy equipment will be working very near the trail. Hikers should be sure to make eye contact with equipment operators or other workers before passing near the equipment.
  • Cherry Run/Toby Creek area. The NCT is temporarily closed from PA 156.5 to White Oak Drive. The closure is marked. Temporary reroute is as follows: t 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 NCT 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