Trail experts take on virtual training to reach volunteers across 4,600 miles.

The North Country Trail Association has released the first three in a series of videos illustrating trail building and maintaining skills to a broad network of volunteers developing the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST), a 4,600 mile National Scenic Trail traversing 7 states.

Hosted by trail experts Bill Menke and Jeff McCusker, the videos cover topics such as blazing, signing, trail alignment and flagging. A third video is a promotional tool to help volunteers spread the word about the NCNST—America’s longest National Scenic Trail, built and maintained almost entirely by volunteers in the30 volunteer Chapters and trail maintaining Affiliate partners.

“With thousands of volunteers spread out over 7 states, it is a challenge to share best practices, information and skills through the entire community. Communicating those skills through video will reach more people in a more engaging way,” says Executive Director, Bruce Matthews. “This is just the beginning. We plan to continue to build our video resources to provide virtual training to reach all of our volunteers across the Trail, growing our community along the way.”

Watch the videos at

Adopter Basics, with instructor Bill Menke, covers the duties and responsibilities of a trail adopter;

Trail Design and Layout, with instructor Jeff McCusker, shows the basic principles behind good trail

placement on the landscape; and

An Introduction to the North Country National Scenic Trail is a 10 minute video that gives a little background and a lot of inspiration on this iconic trail.

Mark Weaver, National Park Service Superintendent for the NCNST has this to say....”Videos are the next best thing to being there and offer an excellent way to share the expertise while remaining time- and cost-effective. Thanks to everyone that contributed to this educational arsenal for our volunteers! “

The project was produced with generous funding from the National Park Service and the National Environmental Education Foundation. NCTA provides other resources and training materials on trail skills. Consult the online Volunteer Resources Center at for more information.

The North Country National Scenic Trail is the longest of 11 National Scenic Trails in the Country, at an estimated 4,600 miles. The North Country Trail Association (NCTA) is a volunteer organization with chapters located along the trail as it passes through the seven states of America’s northern heartland. With national headquarters in Lowell the NCTA’s volunteers build and maintain the trail, and tell its story, in partnership with the National Park Service (NPS), which administers the trail on behalf of the U.S. Department of Interior.

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