The North Country National Scenic Trail which includes several miles of trail along the shores of Lake Owen (red line in map below) is now official recognized as a unit of the National Park Service under the Department of Interior. This recognition provides equal legal standing, resources, and funding with the other trails of the National Park Service like the Appalachian Trail and the Natchez Trail Trail.
Tom Gilbert, former National Park Service Superintendent of the North Country National Scenic Trail said, “Now, when the National Park Service tells the story of the amazing scenic and recreational opportunities provided by the National Park System, it will tell our stories too – the stories of all the National Scenic Trails it administers in cooperation with other units of government, nonprofit organizations, volunteers, and private landowners.”
Andrea Ketchmark, Executive Director of the North Country Trail Association. said, “This is such a win for us, our partners, and our volunteers, who work so hard to build, maintain, and protect the trail. The North Country Trail Association deeply thanks the U.S. Department of Interior Secretary Deb Haaland, National Park Service Director Chuck Sams, U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin and most importantly, the leadership, volunteers, and supporters of the North Country Trail Association, Ice Age Trail Alliance, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Connecticut Forest and Park Association, who have championed this issue for three decades. Without your voices, we would not be here today.”
The Lake Owen Association has recently sponsored yearly guided hikes on the North Country Trail and several of LOA members volunteer time to maintain the local sections of the North County Trail.