The Duluth, Minnesota area has several crown jewels of recreation. The lakes, the rivers, the state & national parks, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, to name just a few, are priceless. One of these up and coming masterpieces in our own backyard is the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT).
When fully complete, the Superior Hiking Trail will be a 277-mile footpath in northern Minnesota. Created in 1986, the trail follows a rocky ridgeline that roughly parallels the north shore of Lake Superior. As the SHT climbs and descends you can’t help but be awed by the many magnificent vistas and overlooks.
The trail begins south of Duluth near the town of Carlton, and winds its way north toward Canada. The trail ends with a link to the Border Route Trail north of Hovland, MN near the U.S. and Canadian border. The Border Route trail continues to the west linking with the Kekakabic trail and ending near Ely, MN.
Along the way you will find 82 wilderness campsites and a trailhead about every five to 10 miles. Hikers may enjoy adventures all the way from a variety of day-hikes to complete trail through-hikes with everything in between. Neither permits nor reservations are required on the SHT, and dogs are allowed on leash only.
The trail was built with blood, sweat and volunteers. They are the ones who originally cut the trail and the ones that keep it open. Present volunteer opportunities can be found up and down the trail, including work to close a gap in the Duluth area. If you or your hiking group would like to help on the trail check into the Superior Hiking Trail’s Association website at SHTA.org.
The Duluth Pack store at 365 Canal Park Dr. is the go-to source for all information pertaining to the SHT. Not only are there experts on staff to help you learn more, but many have hiked the trail around Duluth and up the North Shore. They can also help you find trailheads in the city and ones nearest the store. The SHT Association sells a complete set of maps and the book “Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail.” All the above, in addition to special edition t-shirts, can be found at the Duluth Pack Store.
And the most important thing to remember is that the Superior Hiking Trail is open for business. While the Minnesota State Parks are shut down during the budget impasse, the SHT remains open.
Go grab your Wanderer or your Rambler pack and get out on the trail!
Hike me on back to DuluthPack.com