The North Country National Scenic Trail is the longest in the United States stretching 4,800 miles across eight states from North Dakota to Vermont. I have hiked it “bit by bit” in Minnesota on the Superior Hiking Trail, the Kekekabic, and Border Route and in Michigan in the Porcupine Mountains and Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and one long summer day in Northern Wisconsin.
200-foot sandstone cliffs "painted" by leeching minerals loom above the turquoise waters of Lake Superior.
It was easy walking through the "Porkies" in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, but strikingly soulful.
Tips for hiking the 310-mile premier backpacking path in the American midwest.
At Hellacious Overlook, squalls move over Lake Superior then it's one more high point until the end near Canada.
A beach walk, colossal falls, magical pools and ridge-line views make this penultimate day one of the best.
It's all mist and drizzle through the mysterious Devil Track past seven creeks to a friend's warm cabin.
A brilliant sunrise leads to a damp day and a wet plant "carwash" past Grand Marais, field-testing a rain poncho.
It's rolling terrain through forest past mountains with views, then gorgeous Lake Agnes and Poplar River.
A glorious day past rushing Cross and Temperance Rivers and over the highest point, Carlton Peak.
An exposed Canadian Shield island on Sonju Lake is followed by wild Manitou River and glorious Horseshoe Ridge.
It’s one of the most difficult days from Tettegouche to Section 13 on high cliffs above Gitchee Gumee.
The views are superb of the big lake and glacial Bean and Bear Lakes below basalt cliffs.
The trail begins to feel like it’s arrived on the shore tracing both Gooseberry Falls and wild Split Rock River.
The trail provides like magic on a day filled with birdsong and my first big climbs.
It’s a fantastically windy day on trail through regenerating forests and gigantic ferns.
More lovely streams and forests before following a snowmobile trail through swamp.
The heat is nearly unbearable, but dozens of cascading streams and the lake walk make for a great day.
The bug net is on and the humidity gives me ‘big hair’ as I move from forest to exposed rock.
I leave right after presenting on New Zealand and enter dense bush filled with ferns and birdsong.
Next week, I'll start a thru-hike in my backyard – 310 miles in Northern Minnesota along Lake Superior.
To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we head to Lake Superior for torrential waterfalls and splendid views.
A day hike in the Chequamegon Forest reminds Blissful that hikers are optimists.
Blissful is reminded how hard hiking can be, but comes back to herself when surrounded by dragonflies.
Blissful begins to walk like a thru-hiker steeply up and down the Sawtooth Mountains.
Blissful dips her toe back into backpacking for a few days on the SHT, close to both home and roads.
Early spring in Northern Minnesota is a perfect time to test gear and new titanium hips.
The Kekekabic is a remote and rugged 41-mile long trail through the Boundary Waters Wilderness.