The N.C.T. or generally known as the North Country Trail is a footpath stretching over 4,600 miles from Central Vermont (Middlebury) to Lake Sakakawea State Park in central North Dakota connecting both the Long Trail with the Lewis & Clark Trail. Passing through eight states….it is the longest of eleven National Scenic Trails that combine for a total of 3,129 miles to explore.
The trail begins in Vermont and proceeds to the western end of the state….cutting across northwestern Pennsylvania then follows southwest through the hilly region of southern Ohio until in gets near Cincinnati turning north through western Ohio on to the hills of southeast Michigan. It continues from southeast Michigan through the western Lower Penisula, crosses the Straits of Mackinac and takes a northern route through the Upper Penisula. After crossing northern Wisconsin, one leg follows the shores of Lake Superior onwards to the northeast corner of Minnesota before turning west where it meets the other leg in central northern Minnesota. The trail enters southeast North Dakota and continues to its other termination point in the center of the state.
The NCT also threads its way through 57 state parks and state historic areas, 47 state forests, 22 state game areas, seven water conversation districts and at least ten county forests and parks. Several hundred miles of trail will eventually cross private land thanks to owners who have granted easements across their property.
There are about 10,000 people involved with the NCT either through membership in the North Country Trail Association or membership in one of eight organizations affiliated with the NCTA.