After first proposed more than 25 years ago, a reroute of a section in Minnesota of the North Country National Scenic Trail is a reality. The new route will head north of Grand Rapids to Ely, and then to Snowbank Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, where it will hook up with the Kekekabic Trail. Permission for the new route was approved by Congress in a massive public lands package earlier this year.

Representatives of the North Country Trail Association, National Park Service, Superior Hiking Trail and the city of Duluth will celebrate the “Arrowhead Reroute” and talk about the upcoming plans Thursday at the Spirit Mountain Chalet, beginning at 6 p.m. A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for noon Friday at the Superior Hiking Trail’s Magney-Snively trailhead. (Get more details on the Facebook event page.)

“Now, we can celebrate the Superior Hiking Trail, Border Route Trail and Kekekabic Trail being official parts of the NCT,” said Matt Davis, the trail association’s regional director for Minnesota and North Dakota, in an e-mail to the Star Tribune. “We also can start the long process of building the new trail required between the Kek's western end at the Snowbank Lake Road trailhead and the NCT in the Chippewa National Forest near Remer, Minn. That's going to be a huge effort that we'll need a lot of volunteers and supporters to help with. Many of the partners are already on board.”

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