Washington, D.C. (March 16, 2023) – National Park Trust is pleased to announce the acquisition of a 3-acre section of privately owned land to expand the North Country National Scenic Trail in Ross Township, MI. This land is critical for hiker safety and will become part of the longest trail in the National Trails System, stretching 4,800 miles from Vermont to North Dakota.

The previous owners of the property had an informal agreement with the hikers, allowing the trail to transverse their land. However, when the acreage was sold, the new landowner was not obligated to allow hikers access to the parcel. During this time, the trail was re-routed to an area of highway where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour. To eliminate this unsafe detour, in November 2022, National Park Trust purchased a 3-acre parcel from the new landowner between Kalamazoo and Battle Creek in Augusta, MI, which will be transferred to the National Park Service. Working with the North Country Trail Association, the Park Trust will manage the parcel until NPS can take over permanent ownership. Now under the stewardship of the Park Trust, the trail is open to the public so that hikers can hike the Michigan woods and fields, leaving the busy pavement behind.

“This success is a testament to the incredible value and importance of Nation Park Trust’s mission, the exceptional competency and dedication of your staff who achieve it and will serve as an enduring example of the power of partnerships in completing and protecting the North Country National Scenic Trail.”


“We are very pleased to be able to work with the new landowner to acquire this important section of the trail that was once fractured but now will be made whole for the safety of all hikers.”

Grace Lee, National Park Trust Executive Director

To learn more about this project, please visit


Celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2023, National Park Trust’s mission is to preserve parks today and create park stewards for tomorrow. Since 1983, the Park Trust has acquired many of the missing pieces of our national parks, benefiting 52 national park sites. Our national youth education and family programs serve over 400 schools and nonprofits and cultivate thousands of future park stewards annually. We believe that our public parks, lands, and waters should be cared for, enjoyed by, and preserved by all current and future generations. Find out more at

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