The nonprofit North Country Trail Association is hosting two events Saturday on the North Country National Scenic Trail in the Pick City-Coleharbor area.
Dakota Challenge hikers who are finishing up a multiyear quest to hike the entire 438 miles of the trail in North Dakota in sections are covering the last 1.7 miles within Lake Sakakawea State Park. Hikers may join them at the parking area just west of Garrison Dam at 10 a.m. Dakota Challenge participants also plan brief remarks at the Visitor Center at noon.
At 1 p.m., there will be a ribbon-cutting ceremony for a new 4-mile segment of the trail built within Audubon National Wildlife Refuge. There will be remarks by officials from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the trail association and by Boy Scouts Eagle Scout candidate Austin Horning. The ceremony will be followed by a guided hike from 1:30-4 p.m. on the new trail segment, with a car shuttle.
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The segment is an Eagle Scout project of Horning, who is with Troop 123 in Bismarck. The trail association hopes that other volunteers will be able to complete the remaining 10-plus miles of the trail route across the refuge in the next year.
The 4,600-mile North Country National Scenic Trail is a 4,600-mile footpath that extends from Lake Sakakawea State Park across N0rth Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York and Vermont, where it meets with the Appalachian Trail.