Trail mix: Seeking ways to connect 2 iconic routes

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By WILSON RING, Associated Press

WEYBRIDGE, Vt. (AP) — One of the longest hiking trails in the United States stops 40 miles short of its most famous cousin, but a group is trying to bridge that gap.

The North Country National Scenic Trail runs 4,600 miles from North Dakota to New York's eastern border. From there, it's about 40 miles across Vermont fields and mountains to the Appalachian Trail. That's the famous 2,170-mile hiking trail that runs from Georgia to Maine.

Closing the 40-mile gap is a priority for the Michigan-based North Country Trail Association, the group responsible for the trail. The Green Mountain Club and other Vermont organizations are working find a route to connect the trails that will need to be approved by Congress. It could be years before the two are linked.

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