"Unit status" granted to North Country National Scenic Trail
The trail spans eight states, including portions in North Dakota.
Last week, the North Country National Scenic Trail was officially given “unit status” by the National Park Service.
The trail stretches from Vermont at the Appalachian trail all the way to Lake Sakakawea State Park in North Dakota. Andrea (on-DRAY-uh) Ketchmark is executive director of the North Country Trail Association. She says the trail was designated in 1980 as one of only eleven national scenic trails, and the new designation of unit status will open up more opportunities.
"Status means access to funding within the National Park Service, and promotion; we were literally just left off the map. When you look at a map of National Parks, or a list of National Parks, the North Country Trail was not there. So we think it was really hindering us from getting the public support and public attention that we deserve."
Ketchmarck says the trail is managed in cooperation between the national park service, 160 land managers and private landowners along 3,200 miles and eight states. She says there are three volunteer chapters in North Dakota, that step up to take care of the state’s leg of the trail.