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Recommended Boy Scout Itineraries from NCTA

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Recommended Boy Scout Itineraries from NCTA

Since the Philmont Scout Ranch was closed this year due to fires, we’ve seen a significant increase in the number of large groups from Boy Scouts of America (BSA) on the Superior Hiking Trail. While we love to have young adventurers out enjoying the SHT, the increased traffic and difficulties with large groups at shared campsites during one of the busiest times of year can take away from the experience of heading out into the wilderness for scouts and fellow backpackers alike.

Photo by North Country Trail Association

So, here are a few recommendations for BSA groups to consider as alternatives to the SHT to ensure scouts have an excellent experience in the outdoors. Note: these itineraries are not only for scouts! Everyone can enjoy these great sections of the North Country Trail (NCT), especially when the traffic on the SHT is at its peak.

Here are some suggested itineraries for backpacking trips nearby on sections of the NCT in Minnesota:

  • Hike from Hwy 6 trailhead west to the Hwy 34 trailhead near Walker (~65 miles).  Map: http://bit.ly/2KWx4bH
  • Hike from the Hwy 34 trailhead near Walker west to Itasca State Park (~ 50 miles).  Map: http://bit.ly/2KWxBud
  • Hike from Itasca State Park west to the Hwy 34 trailhead by Detroit Lakes (~70 miles).  Map: http://bit.ly/2KUSkic
  • Border Route Trail (only for experienced backpackers – 65 miles). Map: http://bit.ly/2KYLVT1
  • Kekekabic Trail (only for super experienced backpackers – 41 miles).  Map: http://bit.ly/2KU34gI

General info can be found about these sections at https://northcountrytrail.org/trail/minnesota/.  The first three sections are covered in detail in the new NCT Guidebook (available now at https://www.itascabooks.com/guide-to-hiking-the-north-country-trail-in-minnesota.html).

A special thanks to regional trail coordinator Matt Davis of the North Country Trail Association for help putting together these recommendations.