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University of Wisconsin-Superior
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Superior, WI 54880
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An agreement among five organizations, including the University of Wisconsin-Superior and the National Park Service, will permit expansion of the North Country National Scenic Trail through a research area managed by the university.
About one and one-half miles of the hiking trail will pass through the university's MacQuarrie Wetlands in western Douglas County near the Minnesota border. The property, an artificial wetland built to replace natural resources removed through highway construction, includes ponds, streams, and scenic overlooks of the Nemadji River Valley.
The new agreement was signed by the university and the UW-Superior Foundation, which owns the property; the National Park Service; the North Country Trail Association (NCTA), a volunteer organization which supports the trail; and the NCTA's Brule-St. Croix Chapter, which builds and maintains the trail in Douglas County.
Bill Menke, Wisconsin trail coordinator for the NCTA, says construction of the new section of trail may happen next year.
"The National Park Service and its non-profit partner NCTA depend on the establishment of partnerships with many different public and private partners. We are excited to be working with UW-Superior to establish the trail route for another segment of the trail within Wisconsin. Depending on the speed of progress that occurs on trail segments that are already underway, we anticipate that the work of constructing the UW-Superior trail segment could take place as early as the spring of 2013."
Dr. Peter Nordgren, interim associate vice chancellor for outreach at UW-Superior, said the university plans to involve students in development of the trail in the MacQuarrie Wetlands area. Trail features are expected to include a trailhead with parking, an information kiosk, and signage. A backpacker campsite is planned on the trail nearby on adjacent property.
The North Country National Scenic Trail is one of 11 National Scenic Trails created for both long-distance hiking and local outdoor recreation. When completed, the North Country will be the longest continuous hiking trail in the United States, more than 4,600 miles in length. In Wisconsin, more than 90 miles of continuous trail are complete between Copper Falls State Park near Mellen and the Gordon Dam area in southern Douglas County.
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