North County Trail Hikers host winter trail exploration


Rachel Haggerty/NW TRUDGING THROUGH—Despite the frigid temperatures, NMU alum Anthony Cilia enjoys a hike through the Little Presque Isle Songbird Trail on Tuesday, Feb. 4 carefully maneuvering the slippery paths.

Justin Van't Hof

When it comes to hiking trails, Marquette offers a vast array of different places to enjoy the beautiful nature it has to offer. One of the longest trails, which spans 4,600 miles and eight states, is the North Country National Scenic Trail system.

The North Country Trail Hikers (NCTH) is a Marquette based chapter of the North Country Trail Association and offers students opportunities to join others in group hikes, community outreach and trail maintenance. 

“My favorite part of being involved with the [NCTH] is the opportunity to support a trail that I use on a regular basis,” Chapter Member Felicia Hokenstad said. “A trail does not build itself; it does not advocate for itself, it does not maintain itself. It takes a community effort to keep things up and running, and that is what the [NCTH] chapter is all about.” 

Established in 1980 the [NCTH] chapter is the first chartered chapter of the association and has about 196 members in its organizations. 

The club offers many hiking activities, including monthly group hikes, a hike in honor of National Trails Day, the Labor Day Mackinac Bridge Walk, a hike for North Country Trails Day to “Celebrate Walking in Marquette,” and the twice-a-year Softies Hike. They also make a lot of maintenance efforts on trails that are open to the community. 

 Members of the community and students interested in joining the organization are urged to attend three general membership meetings per year in January, May, and September. Membership is not required to join the group for the winter hike. The organization hopes to continue to host group hikes which it plans to do monthly.

Students aged 18 to 28 can join the Next Generation Coalition which hopes to give students interested in outreach, volunteering and advocacy a chance to connect with other trail enthusiasts. Direct any questions to the NCTH at [email protected]

The chapter has scheduled a winter hike for this Saturday, Feb. 8 at 11:30 a.m. starting at the parking area across from Little Presque Isle and going along the shores of Lake Superior on a section of the trail known for its songbirds and lake views.