North Country National Scenic Trail Association

Central New York Chapter



The North Country Trail Association

The North Country Trail Association (NCTA) unites individuals, affiliated trail groups, local chapters, corporate sponsors and others linked in support of building and maintaining the North Country National Scenic Trail, and telling its story.  

The Association has a paid membership approximating 2,500. Many of these members are also active supporters of regional trail organizations along the route of the North Country National Scenic Trail (NCNST). Counting all members of affiliate organizations, over 10,000 individuals support the concept of the NCNST.

The Central New York Chapter North Country Trail Association

Exploring, Building, and Maintaining the NCST/Link Trail in Central New York—together with other segments of the NCNST per our charter—gives us a significant role in building a part of America’s longest hiking trail.

The CNY Chapter is responsible for the North Country Trail from the junction with the extended Onondaga Branch of the Finger Lakes Trail, to the Blue Line of the Adirondack Park.  The Chapter also supports that portion of the Link Trail in Madison and Chenango Counties, which connects the North Country Trail and the main Finger Lakes Trail in Chenango County.


Volunteers are a major element of the Link Trail/North Country National Scenic Trail. There are volunteer jobs in administration or in the field. On the trail, volunteers build, relocate and design trail sections, build and repair trail structures, and install trail markers and signage. Volunteers can join route scouting committees, become trail adopters, organize events or lead hikes. Year ‘round, volunteers assist in all areas: publications, fund raising, grant writing, membership development and more.

Become a member and supporter of the trail. Membership is very affordable.  Follow the link below for rates and membership levels:

Your entitles you to one year’s access to Central New York Chapter activity schedules and mailings, the electronic version of the quarterly North Star Magazine and discounts in our Trail Shop.  Additional support levels and privileges are also available.  Please be sure to designate that you want to affiliate with the Central New York Chapter.

The North Country Trail Association is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization of volunteers along the seven-state trail and elsewhere, the NCTA partners with the National Park Service in bringing the North Country Trail to local communities.

Annual reports are available at:

Working in partnership to explore, build, and maintain  the North Country Scenic Trail and the Link Trail in Central New York

For North Country Trail Association's response to COVID-19 Freqently Asked Questions (FAQS) click here:

For further news, including Hike 100 news (local miles allowed!) check:

Calling all Citizen Science Volunteers!

Do you regularly use Central New York’s streams or rivers for recreation?

Are you interested in becoming part of a network of citizen science volunteers who help monitor NY waterways?

The CREEQ citizen-science initiative is a research project by the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry sponsored by the NY Department of Environmental Conservation. We request your assistance by reporting the condition of the waterways you visit. By participating, you are supporting environmental science research that can improve monitoring efforts that can protect natural waterways through the application of innovative and community-focused approaches to conservation.

What is CREEQ?

The Citizen Recreational Evaluation of Environmental Quality (CREEQ) project asks waterway users like you to perform a visual evaluation of stream water quality and recreational usability through a guided online survey. This survey takes about 10-15 minutes to complete.

What will be done with the survey data?

Data collected from online surveys will be put into a geographic information system (GIS) database, accessible to the public through the CREEQ Data Portal, in order to pinpoint sampling locations and match these locations to visual evaluations. By collecting these locations, an ESF team will be able to verify survey data with water quality sampling to determine accuracy of visual evaluations to water quality laboratory findings. This will ultimately assist DEC by generating widespread water quality data by citizen science volunteers for New York State.

Where should I go to complete a survey?

You can perform this survey at any stream location you have access to in Central New York State. We encourage you to perform surveys at public access locations as noted below.

Public access stream locations include:

- Hiking areas in DEC-managed lands

- Public Fishing Rights

- Boat launches, ramps, or hand launches

- DEC Recommended fishing streams/rivers

  Consistent with “New York State on PAUSE” guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, New Yorkers are encouraged to engage in responsible activities that incorporate guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health for reducing the spread of infectious diseases. Activities like this survey can be performed by individuals and household members on their own schedule in a way that allows them to remain local and practice physical distancing.

For more details, visit:

- State Parks and other sites managed by the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation

If you are unsure about public access stream locations in your area, click here to find locations near you.

We encourage you to perform the survey at stream locations in the following counties:

Broome, Cayuga, Chenango, Cortland, Herkimer, Jefferson, Lewis, Madison, Oneida, Onondaga, Ontario, Otsego, Oswego, Seneca, Schuyler, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, and Yates counties

Surveys performed in other counties will be accepted and made available on the CREEQ Data Portal, but validation with water quality sampling will be limited to the current scope of the project in the counties listed.

When should I participate?

Survey responses will be accepted from May 9 - August 31. Surveys can be completed at any time during the day.

How do I participate?

All you need is a smartphone and interest.

To access the survey, click here or scan the QR code below.  You can perform the survey any time you are recreating in or near a public stream, or any time you want to contribute. You can perform this evaluation as many times as you like, as long as you do not submit more than one survey per location per day.

As noted above, you will be able to see your submissions, alongside other CREEQ volunteers in the CREEQ Data Portal, which will be updated in real time. In the face of COVID-19, it is important to practice social distancing, however through this data portal, we hope you will feel connected to other volunteers in this network.

What about COVID-19?

During New York State on PAUSE, the DEC and State Parks encourages New Yorkers to get outdoors and engage locally in responsible recreation during this time. Following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the New York State Department of Health, the DEC and State Parks encourage New Yorkers to recreate locally (#RecreateLocal), practice physical (social) distancing of 6 feet or more, keep visits short, visit in small groups limited to immediate household members, and to use common sense to protect themselves and others. In addition, New Yorkers are required to wear masks in public when appropriate social distancing cannot be maintained. New Yorkers over 70 years old or with a compromised immune system should not visit public spaces, including those outdoors. These guidelines apply to all who participate in the CREEQ project. We encourage you to use this volunteering opportunity to get out into nature during these difficult times, but we ask that you do so responsibly.

For more information on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in outdoor public lands, visit:


CREEQ Survey:

Public-Access Stream Locations:

CREEQ Data Portal: