Monday, August 25, 2014

Have your own Minnesota Hiking Celebration!

The Minnesota Hiking Celebration is over, but you can still have your own celebration in the near future. All you need to do is to plan a hike in Minnesota.  And since I have hiked around 600 miles of the North Country Trail, including it’s affiliated trails the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail and Kekekabic Trail, I’m one of the best persons to coach you on your trip.  Please Copy and paste all links in this article.

The First thing you need to do is to get a Guidebook for the section of Trail you are interested in hiking.  The NCT in Minnesota now has complete coverage of the trail thanks to the new book called “The Guide to the North Country Trail in Minnesota.”  That book has detailed information and maps for the NCT in North Central and North Western Minnesota from Remer, Minnesota to near Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.  It has detailed information about the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest, Paul Bunyan State Forest, Itasca State Park, White Earth State Forest and Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.  And for full disclosure, I am the book’s Map Illustrator.  It is available at the NCT’s online shop:

The Kekekabic Trail, Border Route Trail, and Superior Hiking Trail all have produced updated versions of their Guidebooks over the last few years.  All are excellent resources for planning a hike or backpacking trip.  Go to their websites, and to order those guidebooks.  Also, if you are living in the Twin Cities Area, Midwest Mountaineering usually carries all those guidebooks.

If you want to cover more ground, having a shuttle that takes you back to your car is the way to go.  Then you don’t need to cover the same ground twice by doing an out and back to your car.  Although, in some places, like Lake Waboose, there is a really nice loop so you can get back to your car at the end of the loop.  But now we are going to talk about shuttles.  As far as the Superior Hiking Trail is concerned the Superior Shuttle, which operates on the weekends from Two Harbors to Grand Marais is the most popular. For the details check their website here   

For Shuttling in the Duluth Area you can actually use the city bus system in some cases.   Beth Gauper of wrote an excellent article that explains how to use buses for the SHT in Duluth.  Check it out here:    

For specialized Shuttles for the Superior Hiking Trail and Border Route Trail in the Grand Marais Area, contact Harriet Quarles Transportation at 218-370-9164

For shuttles for the Kekekabic Trail and Border Route Trail, check out my handout for a presentation I did at Canoecopia.  The handout is located here:

For Shuttles in the North Central and North Western area of the North Country Trail in Minnesota, please contact the local chapters.  You can find their contact information here:  I’ve received shuttles several times from local chapter members of the Itasca Moraine Chapter and the Laurentian Lakes Chapter

Photo Websites
I have just created a new website that has all my photos of the NCT in Minnesota.  It is nicely compiled so you can find the section you want to hike and then view the photos.  The website is located here:

You can also check out Luke Jordans photos and journals from his 2013 Thru Hike of the North Country Trail.  Check it out here:

Actual photos
And now to give you even more inspiration for hiking the NCT in Minnesota, I’m posting a bunch of photos.  Here they are in no particular order

Agamok Falls on the Kekekabic Trail

Fifth Falls in Gooseberry River State Park (SHT)

Split Rock Lighthouse, a side trip off the SHT

A Large Field in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Old Indian Trailhead, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

The Point on Tamarac Lake, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

Western Minnesota Roadwalk, headed towards Fort Abercrombie, ND

The overlook of the town of Grand Marais at the Pincushion Mountain Trailhead (SHT)

The High Falls of the Baptism River, Tettegouche State Park (SHT)

Moosehead Rock, Kekekabic Trail

Moiyaka Lake (Kek)

Old Obibwe's Face (Kek)

Bingshik Lake (Kek)

Paulson's Mine  (Kek)

Flooded Woods, White Earth State Forest

Heading up the Milton Lakes Esker, Chippewa National Forest

Cranberry Lake, Chippewa National Forest

Long Lake Campsite, Chippewa National Forest

Magnetic Rock, far western segment of the Border Route Trail
The Duluth Lift Bridge (SHT)

On Mt Tofte with Carlton Peak in the background (SHT

Temperance River (SHT)

Mountain Lake Overlook, Border Route Trail

Lake Waboose Campsite, Paul Bunyan State Forest

Nelson Lake, Paul Bunyan State Forest

Iron Corner Campsite, Itasca State Park

Bridal Veil Falls, Border Route Trail

Rose Cliffs (BRT)

Cascade River State Park (SHT)

Devil's Track River Gorge (SHT)

Ely's Peak (SHT)

So have your own Minnesota Hiking Celebration.  If you need some help in planning a trip, I'd be happy to share what I know.  Contact me at  Happy Hiking!!!!

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