North Country Trail
Hike FOLK’s adopted section of the North Country Trail!
In 2008, FOLK formally took responsibility for maintenance of about 2.6 miles of the North Country National Scenic Trail, seven miles south of Alston. In 2010 we added three more miles, west to Ottawa National Forest Road 1500, for a total of 5.55 miles. From M-38 in Alston, go south on South Laird Road for 5.9 miles, turn right, and go 1.1 miles to a parking lot on the right at the junction Forest Road 1360. The trail is across the road from the parking lot. To reach the trailhead on FR 1500, continue west from the South Laird Road Trailhead for about 1.75 miles, and turn left of FR 1500. Go about 2.75 miles and watch for a place to park on the left by a gate (do not block the gate!). The trail crosses FR 1500 a couple hundred feet north of the gate.
Beginning on South Laird Road, the trail follows and occasionally crosses some lovely stream valleys before heading across an upland and an open hemlock/cedar stand. It then continues along the northwest side of the beaver pond on a boardwalk and enters the woods on an old railroad grade. The next portion of the trail is mostly level or gently rolling. After about 3/4 mile, though, the trail descends to a beaver pond area and then continues over numerous small hills and past several more beaver ponds to FR 1500. The trail is great for spring wildflowers, and there are great views of the beaver pond. Below is a topographic map of the trail. Click here for a link to photos and more detail on this trail segment.