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Celebrate walking in Marquette: North Country Scenic Trail Day event to be held in September by local chapter

Helen Haskell Remien of Ishpeming admires the scenic Lake Superior view as she walks a stretch of the North Country Trail and the Iron Ore Hertiage Trail near the Welcome Center in late July. MarquetteÕs NCT Hikers Chapter is hosting Celebrate Walking in Marquette from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at the corner of Lakeshore Boulevard and the drive in to Mattson Lower Harbor Park right along the Marquette multi-use pathway. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — For the past seven years, The North Country Trail Association has hosted North Country National Scenic Trail Day on the last Saturday in September as a way to celebrate the Trail and the volunteers who maintain it.

This year, Marquette’s NCT Hikers Chapter is hosting Celebrate Walking in Marquette from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at the corner of Lakeshore Boulevard and the drive into Mattson Lower Harbor Park right along the Marquette Multi-use Pathway, according to an NCTA press release.

Information on the NCT, the NCTA 2020 Hike 100 Challenge, the local chapter and the NCTA will be available along

with local merchandise to purchase, membership forms for donations of $20 or more, and a drawing for three NCT Hikers T-shirts. It costs nothing to hike the NCT but donations to support the volunteers are strongly encouraged.

Everyone is welcome.

In this unique year of COVID-19, the trail has become even more significant in the lives of everyone as a place to get “out of the house,” get some fresh air, commune with nature, and get some much-needed exercise.

The 2020 NCTA’s Hike 100 Challenge, which challenges everyone to hike — or walk or saunter or mosey — 100 miles through the year on the NCT, was itself challenged. Since many were in lockdown, the rules were changed from April through July to allow one to count any miles, not just NCT miles.

Over 3,700 people across the eight states signed up and well over 1,000 have completed the challenge along with many dogs and even a few cats.

The release states: “You can start now as you have until the end of December to get your 100 miles finished or you can add some miles to your challenge by walking along the trail through Marquette on Sept. 26 and stopping by to chat with the volunteers at the booth. We’d love to hear your stories about hiking regardless of where you hiked.”

The city of Marquette is an official NCTA Trail Town, “welcoming hikers to enjoy all the great trails the City and surrounding area provides,” organizers said in the release.

The city’s multiuse pathway along Lake Superior is fully accessible and hosts the NCT as it travels through town. Walkers will know they are hiking the NCT whenever they see dollar-bill sized blue blazes on trees, posts and rocks.

All Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Michigan COVID-19 guidelines regarding social distancing will be adhered to during this event.

The North Country Trail Association is a national nonprofit volunteer organization that works with the National Park Service to build, maintain, promote and protect the Congressionally approved North Country National Scenic Trail as it traverses approximately 4,600 miles from Vermont to North Dakota.

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