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
  • 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
  • Itasca County. Hwy 6 roadwalk construction detour. NCT hikers can proceed north on Hwy 6 past the detour on CR-28 at MM279 and turn east on CR-63 heading toward Grand Rapids.  This project will be completed this summer.  Learn more at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/d3/projects/2021/h6/.
  • Itasca State Park. The Gartner Farm trailhead within Itasca State Park is currently closed because the Park is working on a culvert on the road leading to the trailhead from Highway 113. Hikers should park at the Highway 113 trailhead and take the spur trail across the old field planted in pine trees to reach the Gartner Farm trailhead and the spur trail to the NCT. It’s 0.9 miles from the Hwy 113 trailhead to the NCT.
  • Enbridge will be completing their Line 3 replacement project (a crude oil pipeline) across the NCT just east of Itasca State Park (https://arcg.is/1LOmD41) sometime during 2021. The disruption to the NCT will be signed on both sides of the project, the NCT will be closed for a short time during construction at the NCT crossing, and there will be a short detour. For more info on the project, visit enbridge.com.

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
  • 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
  • Ontonagon County.  Downstream from the Victoria Dam – The Victoria dam releases water in the spring until June 11, as required by the DNR Fisheries. This trail crossing of the river should be bypassed anytime they are releasing water over the Victoria Dam. This includes in the spring until mid June, or whenever there has been significant rain in the day(s) before. Traveling west to east, if you see water in the river directly below you at the viewpoint south of Victoria Dam Rd, you will need to turn around and take the bypass. This 11 mile bypass is only 3 miles longer than staying on the trail and fording the river. The bypass walks on Victoria Dam Road to Rockland (where there is food, supplies, lodging) then US-45 to O Kun de Kun Falls Trailhead which is on the NCT again. You can try to call and leave a message for a return call asking if water is being released from the dam: 906-886-2637. Do not call more than 24 hours ahead of time.
  • Augusta – North of EF Ave: Due to a change in land ownership north of EF Ave the trail is no longer accessible for the entire length between EF Ave and M-89. This also means that access to the MSU-Kellogg Forest section of the North Country Trail is not accessible from the south. From south to north, hikers need to follow the road walk west along EF Ave, north along 42nd St and continue west on M-89 to connect to existing trail.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Craig Lake State Park. The bridges across the two creeks east of Campsites 15 and 16 within Craig Lake State Park are closed. Please use extreme caution when crossing the creeks.
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 about 5.5 miles. The new route will be signed soon. In the meantime, please note the following directions:
    From the west from the Springbrook Trailhead, follow the Wabash Cannonball Trail for .2 miles. Turn right, following the yellow-blazed Scout/Oak Openings Trail for 4.5 miles. Just before Evergreen Lake, at the marked junction, turn right on new tread. In .2 miles, cross Waterville-Swanton Rd. and continue another 1.2 miles to Archbold-Whitehouse Rd. at Berridge Rd. The trail continues as a roadwalk on Berridge road for the next .7 miles.
    From trail east (actual south) along Berridge Rd., the trail crosses Archbold-Whitehouse Rd. and enters Maumee State Forest, shortly turning right on a two-track. At a T junction of two-tracks, the trail goes straight on new single-track tread. The trail crosses Waterville-Swanton Rd. and continues another .2 miles on new tread to a trail junction. Turn left on the yellow-blazed Scout/Oak Openings Trail and follow it for 4.5 miles. At the intersection with the paved Wabash Cannonball Trail, turn left. The trail follows the Wabash Cannonball Trail for the next 30 miles, passing Springbrook Trailhead in .2 miles.
  • 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.
  • Beaver Creek State Park. This alert covers an adjustment to the route in Beaver Creek SP, which eliminates an extraneous loop to the south. PDF maps have not yet been updated to reflect this change. https://arcg.is/1GrfSSWest 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
  • 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