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.

Hunting Seasons. 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

 

  • Lonetree Wildlife Management Area. Many of the Carsonite posts along the NCT within Lonetree WMA have fallen over but the NCT is fully mowed and hikeable. The route may differ slightly from what is shown on the NCTA’s maps.
  • 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
  • Chippewa National Forest near Walker, MN. The Anoway Bridge is out as a Chippewa National Forest contractor is re-building it. Hikers should follow the posted detour.
  • Superior Hiking Trail. The SHT is currently closed between Gun Club Rd and the Silver Creek Campsite but the campsite remains open. See https://superiorhiking.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Silver-Creek-Roadwalk-2022.pdf for more info.
  • Lake Vermilion State Park. From MM412 in Lake Vermilion State Park, there are backcountry campsites (fee required) just off the NCT’s route on the Mesabi Trail. See https://files.dnr.state.mn.us/maps/state_parks/spk00285.pdf.
  • Heart of the Lakes Trail. From MM72.5 to MM80.75, the NCT now follows the Heart of the Lakes paved multi-use trail which lies adjacent to the roads. This NCT segment is not yet signed.
  • 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.

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
  • Iron County Forest – Gold Mine Creek area. Iron County Forestry is having a timber sale along the NCT between the Gold Mine and Gold Mine Creek Bridge.
  • MN-WI border. At the MN-WI border the BSC Chapter has recently completed and signed a new off-road trail on Enbridge lands north of CR-W/C that bypasses the road walk along the railroad service road.
  • MN-WI border. The new NCT segment connecting the State Line Trailhead (CR-4) with the NCT by the Clear Creek Campsite is open. Expect the NCT to be a bit rough, but hikeable. This new trail will eliminate the roadwalk.
  • Western WI. Due to several extreme winter storms last December that significantly damaged area trails, it is anticipated that it will take volunteers the full month of May to clean up downed brush from the Minnesota border to CR-A south of Iron River.
  • Tyler Forks River. The future North Country Trail route is now complete between Hwy 169 and Porcupine Hill but there is an un-bridged crossing (ford) of the Tyler Forks River.  Despite the fact it is blue-blazed, this will not be the official route of the NCT until the WI-DNR completes a trail bridge (anticipated 2024). This river crossing may be dangerous depending upon water levels, which can fluctuate rapidly.  Long-distance hikers should take the official route around the ford – especially during spring runoff or after significant summer storm events.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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. 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
  • Zoar. Due to the heavy rainfall eastern Ohio has experienced over the past two weeks there have been instances of high water along the trail route with road closures in place. The stretch of NCT/Buckeye Trail south of Zoar along the Tuscarawas River has been underwater as well. When the water will recede enough for all areas of the trail will be passable is undetermined. Hikers should plan ahead, check the weather forecast, and scout their route out ahead of time if they plan to walk this section of trail.
  • Oak Openings Preserve Metropark. Temporary detour along the NCT through Oak Openings due to habitat restoration and prescribed burns. Hikers can follow the on the ground detour provided by the park or use the following road-walk detour: Heading N to S along the NCT/Wabash Cannonball Trail turn S onto Girdham Road to Reed Road to Jeffers Road to where it intersects with the NCT (approx. 1.4 miles).
  • Loveland. Starting 10/1/23, ODNR will begin construction replacing the pedestrian bridge over O’Bannon Creek. Detour: Going northward, hike east to Rt 48, turn (L) on Cones Rd/Lyon Rd and get back to the trail. Opposite heading southbound.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Allegheny National Forest, Tracy Ridge. Due to heavy rainfall, The NCNST in the Tracy Ridge area at Johnnycake Run is currently under about 4 to 6 feet of water and is impassible.  Any low sections of the NCNST along the eastern shores of the Allegheny Reservoir may be under water and should be avoided if possible. Trails in the Tracy Ridge hiking system can be used to get around Johnnycake Run but would add 3.5 miles onto a normal 2.25-mile hike of the NCNST. It would also require trail users to hike up to the top of the ridge line and then descend back to the reservoir level. This impacts the Tracy Ridge system from Nelse Run Parking along Route 321 to the Route 346 trailhead. The Army Corps of Engineers is releasing more water from the downstream Kinzua Dam as conditions permit along the Allegheny River. The public can monitor the Allegheny Reservoir level at this website.
  • Shippenville. The NCT goes through PA SGL 63 where it traverses Deer Creek and there are no structures for passage. This crossing may be dangerous due to the changing water levels, especially during spring runoff or after significant storm events. All users should exercise extreme caution in this area. Detour as follows: From West – Take Bryners Mill Road North to Rt. 322 to Rt. 66 South back to the NCT. From East – Take Rt. 66 North to Rt. 322 East to traffic light in Shippenville. School St. turns into Bryners Mill Rd, take south to NCT.
New York
 

  • Adirondack Park, North Branch Trout Brook. Challenging ford over Trout Brook. Choose footing carefully and plan for a wet crossing.
  • Adirondack Park, Crane Pond Trail. The trail is flooded in this area. An alternative route is available to the north.
  • Durhamville. The Oneida Creek bridge on State Route 46 has been completely removed. A 5+ mile detour is marked at ST 31 and ST 46 on the north end as well as at Canal St. and ST 316 at the south end.
  • Crown Point. The Crown Point State Historic Site is currently undergoing a Unit Management Plan update. The proposed NCNST route which traverses the old fort ramparts has been submitted for approval in this process. Until then, use Grandview Drive as the NCNST route.
  • 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, East Middlebury Bridge to Oak Ridge Trailhead. Updates have been made to the Trail route. Hikers should follow on-the-ground signage and markers from East Middlebury Bridge to Oak Ridge Trailhead.

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