Minnesota Guidebook

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This webpage serves as a source for Updates & News on the Guide to the North Country National Scenic Trail in Minnesota book, published by Trails Books & Prairie Oak Press, an imprint of Big Earth Publishing of Boulder, CO.

Book Status: 

Update on the Guide to the North Country National Scenic Trail in Minnesota!

The NCTA has just asked Big Earth Publishing to officially declare the Minnesota guidebook as “out of print” per our contract with them.  Books have been unavailable online for a while and Big Earth has requested that we guarantee a large number of sales before they would reprint again.

This will allow the NCTA to pursue other options once the publishing rights revert back to us.  Those include potentially an e-book and also a future “print on demand” version that would allow us to update the book more regularly.

Stay tuned and thanks to those of you who have already purchased the book!

The book may be available in many local bookstores around Minnesota including:


Contact these stores before heading out to make sure that they have books in stock.  Check back for an updated list!

It is also available from Amazon.


Updates to the book:

Thanks to the hard work of our dedicated Minnesota Chapter & trail affiliate volunteers, the North Country Trail in northern Minnesota is constantly being updated and improved.  The information found in the guidebook is current as of March 2014.

  • Guidebook Text updates – coming soon
  • Guidebook Map updates:
    • Map 23 (page 166) – corrected distance shown in redMap 23 corrected distance

The NCTA aims to provide the most up-to-date information on the NCT to trail users.   We would like to know if you found something out of date or incorrect.   To submit user comments or feedback, send us an email (MNGuidebook@northcountrytrail.org), post a comment below, or comment on our Facebook page.


Praise for the book…

Welcome to the North Country National Scenic Trail in Minnesota! Uniting America’s northern heartlands, the North Country Trail is America’s longest national scenic trail, meandering 4600 miles from its western terminus at Lake Sakakawea, North Dakota through seven states to wind up at Crown Point, New York.

Along the way the Trail tells the story of the people of the North Country—past and present—and how the northern landscapes and Great North Woods shaped their experiences.   The Gopher State hosts some of the best hiking and backpacking on the entire Trail—and this step-by-step guide is brought to you by those who know it best—the volunteers who build it, maintain it and tell its stories. We like to call ourselves the Red Plaid Nation, and we invite you to hike with us—see you on the Trail!

Bruce E. Matthews, Executive Director – North Country Trail Association


If you are planning a day-hike or section-hike of the North Country Trail through northern Minnesota, or a thru-hike of the entire span from New York to North Dakota, this guidebook is an indispensable resource. It not only offers critical how-to information — including detailed route descriptions, maps, and town services — but it also provides extensive context about the landscape, such as geological features, tree types, and human history.

Andrew SkurkaNational Geographic “Adventurer of the Year”


Anyone who enjoys the outdoors will benefit from this guide!  It provides the seasoned hiker the chance to hike from border to border, or the casual hiker the chance to jump onto any segment of the North Country Trail within Minnesota. Whether planning on taking a leisurely afternoon hike or preparing to walk across Minnesota, this guide will reveal to the reader the natural treasures found across our state’s section of this national trail.

Connie Cox, Lead Park Naturalist at Itasca State Park


Additional sources for more information on the NCT in Minnesota…

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