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7th Annual North Country Hiking Fest @ Itasca

Schedule of Events

10:00 Morning Natural activities:

• “5 in 5: Minnesota State Symbols.” NOTES: Meet at the Headwaters of the Mississippi. This walk up activity takes approximately 5 minutes and is done at noon.
• “CCC Walk.” NOTES: Start near Douglas Lodge. Finishes by 10:30am.

12:00 – 1:00 North Country Welcome - Jacob Brower Visitors’ Center Classroom

Information on the North Country Trail will be available inside the Jacob Brower Visitors’ Center Classroom along with more info on the day’s hikes and activities and volunteer opportunities

12:45– 1:00 Organize for hikes & car shuttles - Jacob Brower Visitors’ Center Classroom

Hikers should bring the following: a day pack, raingear, good boots, bug spray, water, and your own trail lunch. You may also buy a bag lunch at Douglas Lodge (advance reservation required) or buy lunch outside the park (options: Lobo’s – east on MN-200 from the north entrance or Junction Café – just north on US-71 from the east entrance).

1:00 Depart for Trailheads

• Hike from the South Entrance Trailhead out to Iron Corner Campsite and back – 2.4 mi. round trip.
• Hike to Douglas Lodge! Hike from the South Entrance Trailhead to Douglas Lodge via the NCT & Ozawindib Trails – 3.9 mi. (optional extension of also hiking the Brower Trail north to the Bear Paw Campground for another 2.2 mi. with shuttle back to the Visitors’ Center or up to the Picnic Area. You can also walk north on the paved bike trail up to the Picnic Area, approximately 2 miles)

Shuttles will return hikers to Forest Inn by 5:00pm

2:00 Shorter Afternoon family hikes / activities
• The Great GPS Photo Amazing Chase Challenge NOTES: Adults must accompany children. Meet at the picnic shelter area. Finishes by 3:30pm.
• Jr. Naturalist: Who made these Tracks? NOTES: Meet at the Picnic area amphitheater. Finishes by 2:45pm.

On your own hikes:
• Health challenge to Aiton Heights fire tower - *Earn an exclusive Royal Order of the Squirrel card
• North Country scavenger hike on the self-guided nature trail (on your own)

4:00 Afternoon hikes/activities – Meet at Forest Inn
• Curious Kids: X Marks the Spot - Kids, come follow the treasure map and see if X really does mark the spot! Explore different maps and see how they can lead you on your next adventure. Make and take home your very own treasure map. NOTES: Parent/guardians are asked to accompany their children. Please bring insect repellant along. Meet at the Picnic Shelter area. Finishes by 4:45pm.
• Cemetery Stroll NOTES: Start at picnic shelter area). Finishes by 5pm.

4:30 to 5:30 Social time with trail mix and drinks available at the Picnic Shelter

Come and relax at the Picnic Shelter following your afternoon hike or activity. Snacks and drinks will be available along with information on the North Country Trail, hiking on it, and volunteer opportunities.

5:30 to 6:30 Cookout dinner at the Picnic Shelter catered by Douglas Lodge and available for purchase for $7. Menu: Bison Burger and/or Garden Sandwich with a Fruit Tray, Vegetable Tray and Chips. Bring your lawn chair and/or a blanket for sitting outside.

6:30 to 8:00 Free concert by Fran Gack at the Amphitheater/Picnic Shelter. A local musician, Fran plays a mix of Celtic, Folk, and Cajun.

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