North Country Trail Hike 100 Challenge Gets Even Better For 2018

North Country Trail Hike 100 Challenge Gets Even Better For 2018

Paul Henry Trail North Country Trail

The North Country Trail Association’s Hike 100 Challenge has proven to be incredibly popular since its introduction in 2016, with thousands of hikers earning rewards for hiking 100 miles on the North Country National Scenic Trail. The program returns again for 2018, and it got even better with the addition of a Hike 50 Challenge. Anyone finishing 50 miles during 2018 can earn a special Hike 50 Challenge patch, and those finishing the full Hike 100 Challenge will earn both a Hike 50 Challenge patch and a Hike 100 Challenge patch. This is a great way to get out and explore some of Michigan’s 875 miles of North Country Trail, and the addition of a 50 mile challenge should be enticing to those who want to start smaller.


The addition of a 50 mile challenge coincides with the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System Act. The goal of this act is to “promote the preservation of, public access to, travel within, and enjoyment and appreciation of the open-air, outdoor areas and historic resources of the Nation.” The North Country National Scenic Trail was established in 1980, and it now covers 4,600 miles across seven states. Michigan has so many miles of NCT trail that you’re never more than a few hours away from a trailhead, and most residents of our state should have no problem completing this year’s challenge(s).

Fall Color North Country Trail Michigan

The Hike 100 Challenge does not require that all miles be unique miles. You can hike 100 different miles on the trail, or you could hike the same five mile section 20 times. If you sign up for the challenge and email updates on the NCTA website, you are also automatically entered to win other prizes throughout the year. The site also provides printable log sheets to help you track your miles. When you’ve completed one or both challenges, head back to the NCTA page to enter your information and get your patches. The social media hashtags for this challenge are: #Hike100NCT, #Hike50NCT, and #FindYourTrail. Consider checking out Thomas Funke’s book 50 Hikes on Michigan and Wisconsin’s North Country Trail for some inspiration.

Some of our favorite segments of the North Country Trail are:

Paul Henry Trail Trees

Paul Henry Thornapple Trail, Middleville

White Pine Trail Railroad

White Pine Trail State Park, Rockford

Fallasburg Park Feature Photo Barn

Fallasburg Park, Lowell

Spray Falls Hiking Pictured Rocks

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Black River Suspension Bridge NCT

Black River Scenic Byway

Manabezho Falls

Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Wawatam Lighthouse St. Ignace Vertical

Huron Boardwalk, St. Ignace

High Rollway Scenic Overlook Feature Photo

High Banks Rollway, Mesick