In the transition zone between hardwood and boreal and along ancient volcanic ridges, the rugged and scenic Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is a 310-mile path starting just south of Duluth and following the North Shore of Lake Superior to Canada.
The Superior Hiking Trail overview
Tips for hiking the 310-mile premier backpacking path in the American midwest.
SHT: day 16, Caribou Pond to 270 Overlook (Northern Terminus) 13 miles
At Hellacious Overlook, squalls move over Lake Superior then it’s one more high point until the end near Canada.
SHT: day 15, Beach Walk to Caribou Pond, 26 miles
A beach walk, colossal falls, magical pools and ridge-line views make this penultimate day one of the best.
SHT: day 14, E Devil Track to Beach Walk, 13 miles
It’s all mist and drizzle through the mysterious Devil Track past seven creeks to a friend’s warm cabin.
SHT: day 13, Overlook Mountain to E Devil Track River, 23 miles
A brilliant sunrise leads to a damp day and a wet plant “carwash” past Grand Marais, field-testing a rain poncho.
SHT: day 12, Springdale Creek to Lookout Mountain, 26 miles
It’s rolling terrain through forest past mountains with views, then gorgeous Lake Agnes and Poplar River.
SHT: day 11, Crystal Creek to Springdale Creek, 22 miles
A glorious day past rushing Cross and Temperance Rivers and over the highest point, Carlton Peak.
SHT: day 10, Leskinen Creek to Crystal Creek, 23 miles
An exposed Canadian Shield island on Sonju Lake is followed by wild Manitou River and glorious Horseshoe Ridge.
SHT: day 9, E Palisade to Leskinen Creek, 20 miles
It’s one of the most difficult days from Tettegouche to Section 13 on high cliffs above Gitchee Gumee.
SHT: day 8, SE Split Rock to E Palisade Creek, 22 miles
The views are superb of the big lake and glacial Bean and Bear Lakes below basalt cliffs.
SHT: day 7, Castle Danger to SE Split Rock, 20 miles
The trail begins to feel like it’s arrived on the shore tracing both Gooseberry Falls and wild Split Rock River.
SHT: day 6, McCarthey Creek to Castle Danger, 19 miles
The trail provides like magic on a day filled with birdsong and my first big climbs.
SHT: day 5, Normanna Road to McCarthey Creek, 23 miles
It’s a fantastically windy day on trail through regenerating forests and gigantic ferns.
SHT: day 4, Chester Creek to Normanna Road, 16 miles (more or less)
More lovely streams and forests before following a snowmobile trail through swamp.
SHT: day 3, Grand Avenue Chalet to near Chester Creek, 17 miles
The heat is nearly unbearable, but dozens of cascading streams and the lake walk make for a great day.
SHT: day 2, Red River Valley to Grand Avenue Chalet, 26 miles
The bug net is on and the humidity gives me ‘big hair’ as I move from forest to exposed rock.
SHT: day 1, Wild Valley Road to Red River Valley, 2.3 miles
I leave right after presenting on New Zealand and enter dense bush filled with ferns and birdsong.
Superior Hiking Trail thru-hike
Next week, I’ll start a thru-hike in my backyard – 310 miles in Northern Minnesota along Lake Superior.
Water, water, everywhere…
To celebrate our 20th anniversary, we head to Lake Superior for torrential waterfalls and splendid views.
a taste of the SHT: Fredenberg Creek to Sugar Loaf Road, 9 miles
Blissful is reminded how hard hiking can be, but comes back to herself when surrounded by dragonflies.
a taste of the SHT: Poplar River to Fredenberg Creek, 25 miles
Blissful begins to walk like a thru-hiker steeply up and down the Sawtooth Mountains.
a taste of the SHT: Cascade State Park to Poplar River, 15 miles
Blissful dips her toe back into backpacking for a few days on the SHT, close to both home and roads.
Superior Hiking Trail in spring
Early spring in Northern Minnesota is a perfect time to test gear and new titanium hips.