Once complete, the North Country National Scenic Trail will be the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States, traversing seven states from New York to North Dakota, Minnesota is home to an approximately 800-mile long segment of this 4,600-mile long trail.

Currently, about 70% of the NCT's route is complete here in Minnesota. There is a 196-mile, contiguous segment located in north central Minnesota between Detroit Lakes and Remer, and a 400-mile, contiguous segment from near Ely to Jay Cooke State Park south of Duluth. Other isolated segments include a 3-mile segment in Maplewood State Park, a 4-mile segment near Grand Rapids, and a 9-mile loop in Fergus Falls that is in development.

Minnesota's only component of the National Trails System, this NCT segment is also one of our state's longest backpacking opportunities, threading its way around numerous lakes and wetlands and up and down glacial moraine hills in a mixed pine and hardwood forest. There are numerous primitive campsites found along the NTC. It is open year-round for non-motorized uses and opportunities like hiking, snowshoeing, hunting, fishing, and cross-country skiing. Check out an interactive map online at

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