Minnesota organizers of the North Country Trail are celebrating the newest trail section with events at the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge near Detroit Lakes on Saturday.
Tamarac is the only national refuge on the 4,600-mile trail, said Matt Davis, trail coordinator for Minnesota and North Dakota. The new segment is the western end of a 150-mile piece of the trail that is now complete in north central Minnesota, he said.
Much of the work on the hiking trail is done by volunteers. Davis said a lot of progress has been made in Minnesota because workers can be hired with money from the state's Legacy Amendment fund.
"In a normal year across the entire seven states, we might get 30 to 50 miles built," Davis said. "And here in Minnesota, in just one county we were able to open 21 new miles."
Volunteers and young people from the Conservation Corps of Minnesota are building the trail across private and public land.
"They had a very good year in 2012," Davis said. "They finished this 21-mile segment, about 14 of which goes through the Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge."
The North Country Trail will eventually run from New York to western North Dakota. Volunteers help maintain it.