Blue Blaze Bulletin
July 2010
In This Issue
What's new
Hikers on the Trail
Chapter news
Trail Events
Volunteer Vacation
Report your Hours
Partner Highlights
What's New
Trail Wide Events
Keep track of fun events everywhere along the NCT with our events calendar. 
NCTA calendar
Find new ways to connect with NCTA

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter

Also follow our Insight blog for more in depth articles and information.
Annual Report

2009 Annual Report

Wonder what great things we accomplished in 2009? Check out our Annual Report for our recent accomplishments and how we make your money work for the trail.

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List
Greetings ,

Summer is in full swing
and we have a lot of news to share.  Chapter volunteers have been hard at work on the trail as have volunteer crews from Americorp and American Hiking Society; the Grand Marais chapter was rejuvenated and has a new life with a new name and leadership;  thousands of hikers are out enjoying the trail and Joan Young completes her 20-year journey on the NCT!  And don't forget, the Annual Conference in Ashland, Wisconsin is right around the corner.  It's not too late to sign up. 

So enjoy your summer on the Trail and
we hope to see you at Conference!

NCTA declares August 3rd, 2010
"Joan Young Day"

Joan's 20-year quest to hike the North Country Trail will come to a close on August 3, near Petoskey, Michigan. She plans to celebrate being the first woman to hike the entire trail, and you are invited to join her on her final miles, ending at the Emmet County overlook of Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay with a picnic to follow. 

In honor of Joan's hike and her continued dedication to the Trail, the NCTA Board of Directors has declared August 3, 2010 "Joan Young Day".  Joan has carefully recorded each of the 4,395 miles in a spreadsheet, and except for choosing the High Peaks of New York's Adirondacks (no route was yet proposed when she hiked this portion), has attempted to follow either trail that was on the ground, or a close alternate route.  Marie Altenau has been Joan's companion on 2,660 miles of the trail, putting her in the hiker Hall of Fame, in her own right!

See for more information about the August 3 celebration. And join her for a presentation on her adventures at 7 pm in the library of North Central Michigan College in Petoskey.

Please RSVP to Joan at [email protected] if you plan to attend the hike/picnic.

Joan and Marie at Joan's trail mile 4,392 in June 2010
Joan and Marie

Others hikers of note

Judy Geisler
Judy is on a multi-year quest of the NCT with a combo of hiking and biking. She moves on to New York next. Learn more about her journey.

Full Circle Superior

Track naturalists Mike and Kate's progress around Lake Superior as they record ecological data about the shoreline and tell the story of the people and places they encounter. Track their progress.

Mary Zuk Domanski

Mary has hiked the AT and is now looking for hiking buddies to section hike (one and two weeks at a time) the NCT heading west from New York.  If interested contact Mary at [email protected].  Subject heading must say NCT hikes and please list your abilities and your home town and state.

If you are planning a long-distance hike or you know someone out on the trail right now, let us know, so we can profile more hikers in the next Blue Blaze Bulletin!

Superior Shoreline Chapter founded 

After a couple of years of inactivity, the Grand Marais Chapter in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was having trouble staying afloat, but our Regional Trail Coordinator, Bill Menke, wasn't going to let it fade away.  After spending months holding public meetings and reaching out to those members, the Superior Shoreline Chapter is off to a fresh start under a new name.  Close to 75% of the charter area is along the shoreline of Lake Superior (aka the Big Lake), lending its name and its grandeur to the new chapter. 

Another novelty perhaps is that it is being run by a "two pronged team" approach due to geographic difficulty commuting between the two major towns within the charter.  With Tim as president, he and Ellen Hass are overseeing the Munising end while Ed and Karla Bowen plus others will focus on the Grand Marais end regarding day to day activities.  They will hold a joint annual meeting and other events so if you are interested in getting involved, contact Tim at [email protected]

Welcome Superior Shoreline Chapter!

Recent Events

Allegheny 100
15 hikers turned out for the 1st of this endurance hike challenge organized by the Allegheny National Forest Chapter and sponsored by Allegheny Outfitters. 
The Challenge offered 100, 50 and 25-mile hikes to be completed over two days.  Read about one hiker's experience.

24 Hours of the Chip
June 26 - 27, 25 volunteers teamed up with the Star of the North Chapter and the US Forest Service to mow the 68 miles of the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest in Minnesota.  Check the website for more details.
Upcoming Events

Bring on the Bridge
This is your one chance each year to hike the 5-mile Mackinac Bridge.  Join the Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter on Labor Day weekend for some camping, cookouts, great company and to Bring on the Bridge!  Learn more.

Volunteer Adventures
We still have room on these two projects.  Save your spot now and spend a week working on the trail. 

Sterling Marsh Boardwalk Construction, Michigan
August 16-21 with the Spirit of the Woods Chapter

Castle Rock Restoration, Michigan
September 19-25 with the Hiawatha Shore-to-Shore Chapter

For more events check the full events calendar.

Volunteer Vacation in North Dakota

American Hiking Society and the North Country Trail Association teamed up for a week-long Volunteer Vacation in the grasslands of North Dakota.  The volunteers mowed 20 miles within the Lonetree Wildlife Management Area and had some good times too. 

Read about this project and others on our Insight blog.

Volunteer Vacation on the NCT

"Be the change you want to see in the world"

~ Mahatma Gandhi

Whether you are on the trail or sitting at a desk, time spent on behalf of the NCT counts toward your volunteer hours. So keep track of your hours, report them online and
earn great gear or even a National Park pass as they add up.

# Hours = Award
100 = Certificate & NCT pin
200 = NCT Water bottle
400 = Embroidered NCT shirt
500 = Interagency Passport
1,000 = Embroidered NCT fleece vest
2,500 = Embroidered NCT jacket.

Bill awarding shirt

Partner Highlights

Buckeye Trail Association

The Buckeye Trail is a 1,444 mile loop trail entirely within the state of Ohio, following wooded footpaths, abandoned railroads, canal towpaths, rivers and lake shore, within b
oth rural and urban settings.  From the variety of locations along the trail, hikers can experience Ohio's wonderful scenic and historic diversity.  Plan a weekend around the North Country and Buckeye Trail in the Hocking Hills on the Grandma Gatewood Trail, named in honor of one of the Buckeye Trail Association's founders.The Buckeye Trail Association, established in 1959,  is a volunteer organization that builds, maintains, protects and promotes the Buckeye Trail in partnership with federal, state, and local agencies, as well as private landowners, to make this outdoor recreation resource open to all. 

Check out BTA's website for more information and plan a hike today.

National Park Service Update

Following this retirement of Fred Szarka this past winter, Dean Gettinger, Management Assistant in the NPS office in Madison, Wisconsin has begun a detail as the Acting North Country Trail Manager.  Dean will be acting in this
capacity until further notice and can be reached at [email protected] or 608-441-5610.  He will be at Conference so please feel free to introduce yourself. 

Thanks for your support of and dedication to the North Country Trail!
Bruce E. Matthews
North Country Trail Association