When the North Country Trail reached out to create a woodcut trail map together, I needed .5 seconds to make a decision. Of course it was an immediate yes.
What I didn't know was how much I'd learn about this incredible trail system along the way. Naturally, I'm awful with directions, basic things like North and South. Being tasked with creating a map, the first thing I did was pull up google earth and start zooming in to all eight states that the trail crosses through.
I was blown away by the beauty surrounding us. I quickly developed a new travel bucket list consisting of spots like Hocking Hills in Ohio, The Boundary Waters in Minnesota, and the Finger Lakes Trail in New York, to name just a few.
Of course, I had to explore the trail locally too. In past years I've hiked sections of the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore trail in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the section of the trail in Lowell by the Boy Scout Cabin, Seidman Park (a personal favorite), Townsend Park, Rockford, Middleville etc... but had somehow overlooked the GEM of a park, Fallasburg Park, in Lowell.
When I headed out to the NCT headquarters located in Lowell to meet up with Andrea Ketchmark, the Executive Director of the North Country Trail Association to learn more about the history and future of the trail system, she suggested we hike at Fallasburg Park. Within a few minutes of arriving, I was wading in the river and playing fetch with our pup, Fern. It's since become one of my go-to spots for day hikes and picnics.