Bill to Link Minnesota Hiking Trails to National Route Advances in US House

Legislation to declare several hiking trails in the Northland to be part of the North Country National Scenic Trail has passed a U.S. House committee.

The bill from Rep. Rick Nolan (D-Minn.) would incorporate the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail, and the Kekekabic Trail into the national trail. The move would add 400 miles to the national trail, bringing it to 4,600 miles.

The bill, H.R. 1026, received unanimous approval by the House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday and now advances to the full House for consideration. No funding is attached to the bill, and Nolan said it would not require taking any land through eminent domain or condemnation.

“The North Country National Scenic Trail stretches from the plains of North Dakota through Minnesota’s Arrowhead all the way to the forests of Vermont – and, when linked to the Appalachian Trail under our bill – as far north as Maine, and as far south as Georgia,” Nolan said in a news release. “It’s a system that combines environmental protection and stewardship and promotes good paying jobs, tourism and healthy recreation.”

Minnesota’s entire Congressional delegation has signed on as co-sponsors of the bill.

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