Six Northwest Wisconsin volunteers were recently honored for their dedication to the support and development of the North Country National Scenic Trail that runs across the region.

Awards were presented by the North Country Trail Association, the nonprofit group building and promoting the 4,600-mile, eight-state hiking trail, longest in the United States, under supervision of the National Park Service.

  • Mark VanHornweder, of South Range, and Phil Anderson, of Maple, are recipients of association’s Distinguished Service Award, given for significant accomplishments over eight or more years. VanHornweder is a longtime trail builder who serves as president of the association’s Brule-St. Croix Chapter. Anderson served for more than ten years as maintenance coordinator for the Brule-St. Croix Chapter.

  • Mary Berube and John Schrock, of Brule, have been recognized with the association’s Sweep Award, for volunteers who work behind the scenes to improve the trail. Berube and Schrock lead the Brule-St. Croix Chapter’s Blazing Crew, marking the trail to make it available for foot-powered recreation in all seasons.

  • John Pearson, of Solon Springs, was honored with the “President’s Call to Service” Award, for more than 4,000 hours of dedicated service as a trail builder and maintainer.

  • Kevin Mackie, of Brule, received the 200 hour service recognition for his trail maintenance work.

During 2019, volunteers constructed 71.4 miles of new trail; installed 18 new bridges; maintained 3,307 miles of off-road trail; installed and updated 291 kiosks; put in place 14 new easements and agreements with private landowners; led 155 hikes; and hosted 170 events to promote the trail.

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