Superior Hiking Trail (a.k.a. SHT)

Superior Hiking Trail Map
Length:312.0 miles
Steps:707,827 steps
Burned:40,110 calories (11.5 lbs)
Hiked:May 31—June 26, 2018
Status:active
Walk Trail!

The Superior Hiking Trail, also known as the SHT, is a footpath in Minnesota between the Wisconsin and Canadian borders that more-or-less follows the North Shore and the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior. It's a rugged path intended only for hiking. The low point is the shore of Lake Superior at 602 feet (183 m) above sea level while the high point is 1,829 feet (558 m). It's a beautiful trail with incredible overlooks of Lake Superior, countless lakes and ponds, wildflower explosions and wildlife from small chipmunks to giant moose. Although, perhaps, it might be worth avoiding the mosquitoes in June. ;o)

Lake Superior is the spectacular backdrop for the trail. It's the largest of the Great Lakes, and the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area and the third largest by volume containing about 10% of the world's fresh water.

For thru-hikers, there are essentially two different southern terminuses to choose from: the Wisconsin border for about a 310 mile (499 km) trek to Canada which is called the total thru-hike, or starting at Martin Road a little north of Duluth for a 260 mile (418 km) trek to the Canadian border which is known as the traditional thru-hike. The reason for the this distinction is because there are essentially no official SHT backcountry campsites in those first 50 miles (80 km) of trail which makes that section difficult to do without support. This virtual walk covers the total thru-hike starting at the Wisconsin border, and you'll be glad it did because it's a wonderful section of trail including a segment that runs through the Duluth waterfront.

Inspiration for the SHT came from the Appalachian Trail, and construction began in the mid-1980s. The Superior Hiking Trail Association (SHTA) was formed in 1986 to manage the planning, construction and maintenance of the trail and is best source for up-to-date trail conditions and information.

On this hike, we also have a special guest hiker! Blueberry—who you might remember from the Appalachian Trail—will be joining us for this hike. We met a few years ago while thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail and, as it turned out, we both had an interest hiking this trail and decided to do it together. He flew in from Georgia, and I flew in from Seattle and we met up in Duluth from where we started our journey.

Also along the way, I ran into a reporter thru-hiking the trail (hello, Snowshoe!), and she's written a series of informative and entertaining articles about the trail which you can read starting at Baptism on the Trail.

Superior Lake View!
 Stage NameLength
(miles)
Position
(miles)
1.Jay Cooke State Park15.50.0 → 15.5
2.South Duluth13.615.5 → 29.1
3.Central Duluth14.729.1 → 43.8
4.North Duluth7.643.8 → 51.4
5.Martin Road to Normanna Road13.851.4 → 65.2
6.Normanna Rd to Fox Farm Rd12.265.2 → 77.4
7.Fox Farm Rd to Demonstration Forest12.177.4 → 89.5
8.Demonstration Forest to County Rd 30115.289.5 → 104.7
9.Country Rd 301 to Gooseberry Falls14.9104.7 → 119.6
10.Gooseberry Falls to Split Rock Lighthouse SP10.7119.6 → 130.3
11.Split Rock Lighthouse SP to Silver Bay15.0130.3 → 145.3
12.Silver Bay to Tettegouche SP11.1145.3 → 156.4
13.Hwy 1 to Lake County Rd 715.1156.4 → 171.5
14.Lake County Rd 7 to Crosby-Manitou SP10.5171.5 → 182.0
15.Crosby-Manitou SP to Caribou Falls8.5182.0 → 190.5
16.Caribou Falls to Temperance River/Tofte16.3190.5 → 206.8
17.Temperance River to Oberg Mtn11.8206.8 → 218.6
18.Oburg Mtn to Caribou Trail13.6218.6 → 232.2
19.Caribou Trail to Cascade River9.7232.2 → 241.9
20.Cascade River to Gunflint Trail/Grand Marais15.3241.9 → 257.2
21.Gunflight Trail to Cook County Rd 14/Hostel13.2257.2 → 270.4
22.Cook County Rd 14 to Judge Magney SP11.0270.4 → 281.4
23.Judge Magney SP to Arrowhead Trail13.5281.4 → 294.9
24.Arrowhead Trail to 270° Overlook17.1294.9 → 312.0
Bird in a tree!
Superior Hiking Trail @8.7 miles
Bird in a tree!
View from Ely's Peak
Superior Hiking Trail @19.2 miles
View from Ely's Peak
Aerial Lift Bridge
Superior Hiking Trail @38.8 miles
Aerial Lift Bridge
Chester Park
Superior Hiking Trail @45.2 miles
Chester Park
West Tischer Road
Superior Hiking Trail @54.5 miles
West Tischer Road
Turtle on the trail!
Superior Hiking Trail @73.3 miles
Turtle on the trail!
McCarthy Creek waterfall
Superior Hiking Trail @86.2 miles
McCarthy Creek waterfall
94.8 miles
Superior Hiking Trail @94.8 miles
Gooseberry Falls
Superior Hiking Trail @119.6 miles
Gooseberry Falls
Blueberry treats his feet
Superior Hiking Trail @122.5 miles
Blueberry treats his feet
Split Rock Lighthouse
Superior Hiking Trail @130.9 miles
Split Rock Lighthouse
Bean Lake Overlook
Superior Hiking Trail @146.9 miles
Bean Lake Overlook
Wolf Lake
Superior Hiking Trail @159.6 miles
Wolf Lake
185.7 miles
Superior Hiking Trail @185.7 miles
Blooming lupine!
Superior Hiking Trail @206.2 miles
Blooming lupine!
Temperance River
Superior Hiking Trail @208.0 miles
Temperance River
Flower at Agnes Lake
Superior Hiking Trail @230.8 miles
Flower at Agnes Lake
Flowers of the trail!
Superior Hiking Trail @236.9 miles
Flowers of the trail!
Bally Creek Pond
Superior Hiking Trail @251.0 miles
Bally Creek Pond
Moonrise
Superior Hiking Trail @270.4 miles
Moonrise
Lake Superior
Superior Hiking Trail @275.9 miles
Lake Superior
Brule River
Superior Hiking Trail @284.2 miles
Brule River
Hellacious Overlook
Superior Hiking Trail @301.0 miles
Hellacious Overlook
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