North Country Trail

North Country Trail

The North Country Trail intersects most of the north-south highways, county roads, and federal forest roads. As a result, the North Country Trail, which travels from the eastern Upper Peninsula to the most western Upper Peninsula.  

Accessing the Trail

You can access the North Country Trail in Baraga County beginning in the Craig Lake State Park in east Baraga County and continue through southern Houghton and Ontonagon counties.  The Peter Wolfe Chapter of the North Country Trail maintained these sections of the North Country Trail.  Congress authorizes the entire North Country Trail.  Approximately 100 plus miles cross the Ottawa National Forest throughout the three counties.  Depending upon where you access the North Country Trail will determine the difficulty you will encounter.  For example, the North Country Trail traveling east of Hwy 45 between Bruce Crossing and Mass City in Ontonagon Country leads the O-Kun-De-Kun Falls.  Walking the Trail at this point is level and easy to walk, but in wet weather, there are slippery spots.  The Trail continues to follow the Baltimore River as it heads to the deep gorges of the Middle Branch of the Ontonagon River. Here, the North Country Trail turns from a moderate trail to a more challenging path. 

This topography change is typical of the Trail.  However, this same section of the Trail is a great experience.  You can view the O-Kun-de-Kun Falls, and the many wildflowers that proliferate along the Trail are worth the hiking effort.  

Another section of the Trail crosses a county road that travels south out of Rockland on the Old Victoria Road and heads to a Keweenaw National Park Heritage Site of Old Victoria, a restored village. Take the North Country Trail west from this site, and you will embark on a strenuous hike up some tall peaks that give vistas of this area of Ontonagon County that you cannot see from any other location.  Wildflowers abound everywhere.  This same section of the Trail finally emerges at M-64 between White Pine and Bergland.  

Eventually, the North Country Trail makes its way to North Dakota.  There it joins with the Lewis and Clark Trail, which then continues to the Pacific and completes a cross country trail from East to West. Congress expects the total North Country Trail to exceed three thousand miles.  

Signage of the North Country Trail

The North Country Trail is well marked throughout the trail system.  At the entrance of an access site, various travel distances are given to the hiker.  Before making any hike on the North Country Trail, hikers need to have a good mosquito repellent available.  During the day, you can walk through the woods, and there will be no mosquitoes, but at other times at the exact location, they can be overwhelming.  Also, make sure that you have good water to drink. 

Most people love to take one small section of the North Country Trail and complete it within a day’s hike. 

Eventually, much of the Trail can be covered. Each section provides its unique excitement and challenges, and fulfilling experiences.