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.
North Dakota
  • Statewide. There is a burn ban along most of the NCT across North Dakota. For the latest, visit https://ndresponse.gov/burn-ban-restrictions-fire-danger-maps#burnbanmap.
  • 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
  • Superior Hiking Trail. Learn more about the status of campsite closures and find updates at https://superiorhiking.org/trail-conditions/.
  • Statewide. More information on fire bans and campsite closures can be found here: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/forestry/fire/index.html. All NCT hikers in Minnesota are asked to be very responsible and to respect any closures and restrictions in place.
  • Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Superior National Forest has partially re-opened the BWCAW.  The Kekekabic Trail is still closed. Find the latest on https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/superior/alerts-notices.
  • Itasca State Park. The three backcountry campsites along the NCT within Itasca State Park are currently closed to all camping because of the fire danger.  Find the latest info at https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/park.html?id=spk00181#homepage.
  • 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
  • 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
  • Calhoun County. A bridge west of Battle Creek just west of Stringham Rd has been damaged and will need to be completely replaced. From west to east, please follow River Rd to Stringham Rd where the trail continues east.
  • Lake County.  Baldwin area: There have been numerous reports of down trees primarily in the southern part of Lake County. The local Spirit of the Woods Chapter volunteers are working hard to clear the trail. Be aware that the trail may be difficult to follow and be cautious with all the tree hazards.
  • 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 is a beaver dam at the Trail crossing Sandstone Creek. A temporary reroute downstream has been identified and is flagged with blue flagging. Less than a 1/2 mile west of this crossing is another new beaver dam on an unnamed creek, a temporary reroute for that is also marked with blue flagging. Both crossings now allow for an easy step-over to cross the creeks.
  • Ontonagon County. Due to flooding caused by a beaver dam, Spring Creek, located east of the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River, is getting wider and deeper. Follow the pink flagging to the south for a better crossing of the creek, but still proceed with caution.
  • M-115 road bridge west of Mesick – Although this does not impact the NCT itself, the road bridge over the Manistee River along M-115 west of Mesick is going to undergo major repairs. The town of Mesick from M-115 will be inaccessible for thru-hikers, so please plan accordingly. According to MDOT, “This work will require a detour for all through-traffic on 9 Road, 4 Road and M-37. The intersections of M-115/9 Road, 9 Road/4 Road,and 4 Road/M-37 will have temporary four-way stops during the project. Access will be maintained for local traffic on M-115 between 9 Road and M-37 on either side of the bridge. For project details and a map, visit Mi Drive.” Expected start is May 10th with an estimated end date of September 3, 2021.
  • 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
  • Wabash Cannonball Trail. The Wabash Cannonball Trail is temporarily closed between St. Rt. 64 and Girdham Roads. Detours as follows:  Westbound (Northbound) at the corner of Reed and Manore Roads, go west on Reed (.5 miles), then north on St. Rt. 64 (.5 miles), then continue west on the Wabash Cannonball Trail. Eastbound (Southbound) at the intersection of the Wabash Cannonball Trail and St. Rt. 64, go south on 64 (.5 miles), then east on Reed Road to the corner of Reed and Manore Roads (.5 miles) and pick up the NCT.
  • 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.
  • Beaver Creek State Park Campground. The Trail between the campground and the Pioneer Village remains closed until construction is completed later in 2021 (date undetermined due to complications with the ongoing reclamation project). The Family Campground is scheduled to reopen in June 2021 and will be available to hikers for overnighting. Information about campground reservations can be found on the ODNR website. The park’s suggested detour while the NCT is closed, from east to west, is to follow Echo Dell Rd. north from the village, then turn left onto Leslie Rd., and reunite with the NCT at the Pine Ridge Trail opposite the campground entrance.
  • West of Beaver Creek State Park. As of September 2020 the NCT from Leslie Rd (opposite the campground) to Ohio Route 7 has been reopened following the closure caused by logging activity on the private property. The pathway is cleared and open and blazing has been reestablished, but hikers should use caution as they proceed along this mile of NCT as the chapter is still engaged in spot-repairing and widening out the treadway in areas that were damaged by logging equipment.
  • 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
  • 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