North Country Trail provision advances to U.S. House
A provision that would help expand the North Country National Scenic Trail across northern Minnesota and connect it to other states has passed the U.S. Senate and also been introduced in the House.
The provision passed the Senate as part of the massive public-lands bill that advanced late Feb. 12. It was introduced in the House by Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Hermantown, and Peter Welch, D-Vt.
The North Country Scenic Trail is the nation's longest hiking trail, expanding from North Dakota to New York. In Minnesota, certain portions of the trail remain incomplete because the current route crosses wetlands that can't be disturbed for conservation reasons.
The legislation would incorporate 400 miles of existing hiking trails that would avoid the wetlands. The bill also would extend the North Country Scenic Trail into Vermont and connect it to the Appalachian Scenic Trail.