Celebrate Winter Trails Day with the North Country Trail’s (NCT) Laurentian Lakes Chapter on Saturday, Jan. 11 at Maplelag Resort.

There will be a full day of activities to have fun and celebrate the year’s accomplishments and coming events. Non-members are welcome, and Maplelag’s top-notch ski and snowshoe trails are available for all participants. Check out latest trail conditions online at www.maplelag.com. Equipment rental available beginning at 9 a.m.

A group ski/snowshoe hike begins at 12:30 p.m.

The Laurentian Lakes Chapter’s business meeting is at 3:30 p.m. At 4:30 p.m., learn about the Superior Hiking Trail from association executive director Denny Caneff.

The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the most popular hiking trails in the country, and now it is an official part of the North Country National Scenic Trail, along with the Kekekabic and Border Route trails. This year, after many years of proposals, Congressional legislation was passed to officially incorporate the Arrowhead region and extend the NCT into Vermont to connect with the Appalachian Trail. The NCT is the nation’s longest hiking trail, with over 4,600 miles from North Dakota to Vermont.

RSVP is required for the skiing/snowshoe hike and a family-style dinner at 6:30 p.m. Call Barb at (218) 688-2874 or email llc@northcountrytrail.org by Jan. 2.

Locally, several NCT trailheads are being maintained for winter use: Hubbel Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) (State. Hwy. 34); Pine Lake, Old Indian Trail, and 400th Ave. in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge; Green Water Lake SNA (Becker County 35); Gartner Farm (State Hwy. 113); Itasca Park south entrance (U.S. Hwy. 71); Shingobee Recreation Area (State Hwy. 34) and Lake Erin (State Hwy. 371). The trail is open for snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Check the Minnesota Guidebook, trailhead maps or www.northcountrytrail.org maps for exact locations.

The Laurentian Lake Chapter, in conjunction with the Itasca Moraine Chapter, concluded two Federal Recreation Trails Program grants this year. One for new trail maintenance equipment and the second for construction of a 2.5-mile trail reroute; structures over wet areas in Itasca State Park; and a new kiosk at the Itasca Park south entrance trailhead.

Other upcoming events include the First Day Hike at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 at Itasca Park’s Brower Visitor Center.

Two Polar Fest events will occur on Feb. 8, which are designed to help people get outdoors in the winter to try snowshoes and ski shoes.

A snowshoe event will be held at 12:30 p.m. March 1 in Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge.

A Spring Equinox Hike is also planned for March 21.

The broader North Country Trail community is made of thousands of people working across thousands of miles, all part of a singular goal to complete and protect this trail. Each volunteer gives so someone else can experience what we know well, that the trail can change lives. Locally volunteers are always welcome and needed to maintain this trail resource.