Superior Hiking Trail

138 stairs just after Knowlton Creek
138 stairs just after Knowlton Creek

One of my “bucket list” items is to section hike the Superior Hiking Trail. As of 10/12/15 it’s a 310-mile (approximately) hiking trail that more-or-less follows the Lake Superior shoreline from Jay Cooke State Park to the Canadian border. Trailhead parking lots are located every 5 to 10 miles and, for the sections north of Two Harbors, there is a shuttle service and 93 free back-country campsites along the route. For more information visit shta.org.

Eventually the SHT will join the North Country Trail which is being built from the east to the west coast through America’s —you guessed it—”north country.” The SHT will still be maintained by the Superior Hiking Trail Association, but the NCT will share it’s path.

You can follow my progress here, or take a look at the trail list below.

Distances are in miles, estimated based on the maps from MapMyFitness.com, and are listed as [Distance From start trailhead to trail]/[Section length]/[Distance from trail to end trailhead]

Duluth

  • Wild Valley Road to Jay Cooke State Park Visitor Center (0/5.9/0 mi)
  • Jay Cooke State Park Visitor Center to Palkie Road Trailhead (0/3.57/0 mi)
  • Palkie Road Trailhead to Jay Cooke State Park Grand Portage Trailhead (0/2.47/0 mi)
  • Jay Cooke State Park/Grand Portage Trail to Fond du Lac at 131st Ave W (0/3.49/0.5 mi)
  • Fond du Lac at 131st Ave W to Munger Trail at 123rd Ave West (0.5/1.54/0.4 mi)
  • Done! Munger Trail at 123rd Ave W to Magney-Snively Trailhead (0.4/4.05/0.05 mi)
  • Done! Magney-Snively Parking Lot to Spirit Mountain Chalet (0.05/2.93/0.26 mi)
  • Done! Spirit Mountain Chalet to Kingsbury Creek (.026/1.16/0.5 mi)
  • Done! Kingsbury Creek Trailhead to Skyline Parkway at Getchell/Highland Trailhead (0.5/2.66/0 mi)
  • Done! Skyline Parkway at Highland/Getchell to Skyline Parkway (0/5.47/0 mi)
  • Done! N 24th Ave W to Twin Ponds at Enger Park (0/1.48/.09 mi)
  • Done! Twin Ponds to the Rose Garden (0.09/3.9/0 mi)
  • Done! Rose Garden to Hartley Nature Center (0/4.4/0 mi)
  • Hartley Nature Center to Martin Road (0/3.24/0 mi)

Duluth to Two Harbors

  • Martin Road to Lismore Road (0/6.75/0 mi)
  • Lismore Road to Normanna Road (0/6.44/0 mi)
  • Normana to Sucker River (0/7.98/0.9 mi)
  • Sucker River to Fox Farm Road (0.9/4.65/0 mi)
  • Fox Farm Road to Rossini Road (0/6.34/0 mi)
  • Rossini Road Trailhead to Lake County Demonstration Forest Trailhead (0/5.75/1.2 mi)
  • Lake County Demonstration Forest Trailhead to Reeves Road Trailhead (1.2/9.59/0 mi)
  • Reeves Road to Co Rd 301 (0/5.42/0 mi)

Two Harbors to Canadian Border

  • Lake County 301 to Castle Danger (0/5.95/0 mi)
  • Castle Danger To Gooseberry Falls State Park (0/8.62/0.5 mi)
  • Gooseberry Falls State Park to Split Rock Lighthouse State Park (0.5/5.25/0.51 mi)
  • Split Rock Lighthouse State Park to Beaver Bay (0.51 mi/10.5/0.1 mi)
  • Beaver Bay to Silver Bay (0.1/4.74/0 mi)
  • Silver Bay to Highway 1 (0/10.71/0.03 mi)
  • Highway 1 to County Road 6 (0.03/7.07/0 mi)
  • Done! County Road 6 to Finland Recreation Center (0/7.39/0 mi)
  • Finland Recreation Center to Crosby-Manitou State Park (0/11.59/0 mi)
  • Crosby Manitou State Park to Caribou River (0/6.98/0.72 mi)
  • Caribou River to Cook County Road 1 (0.72/8.24/0 mi)
  • Cook County Road 1 to Temperance River State Park (0/7.82/0 mi)
  • Partial (1 mi) Temperance River State Park to Britton Peak (0/4.72/0 mi)
  • Partial (1.75 mi) Britton Peak to Oberg Mountain (0/5.5/0 mi)
  • Oberg Mountain to Lutsen (0/6.45/0 mi)
  • Lutsen to Caribou Trail (0/6.38/0.13 mi)
  • Caribou Trail to Cascade River State Park (0.13/10.77/0.04 mi)
  • Cascade River State Park to Bally Creek Road (0.04/8.17/0.65 mi)
  • Bally Creek Road to Grand Marais (0.65/9.25/0 mi)
  • Grand Marais to Cook County Road 58 (0/4.58/0 mi)
  • Cook County Road 58 to Kadunce River Wayside (0/8.19/0.59 mi)
  • Kadunce River to Judge Magney State Park (0.59/9.06/0 mi)
  • Judge Magney State Park to County Road 70 (0/6.02/0 mi)
  • County Road 70 to Arrowhead Trail (0/7.8/0.07 mi)
  • Arrowhead Trail to Jackson Lake Road (0.07/4.54/0 mi)
  • Jackson Lake Road to Otter Lake Road (0/7.99/0 mi)

Total Miles (not including additional distances to trailheads): 294.23
Total Miles section-hiking trailhead-to-trailhead: 308.71

My Total Distance so far: 40.25 miles

Spur Trails

There are tons of spur trails along the SHT. Sometimes they are loops and sometimes they are out-and-back trails, but they are not part of the main SHT. I view these spur trails as optional, though I try to hit as many as I can since they usually lead to particularly beautiful scenic views that aren’t seen from the main trail. I’m going to keep track of those separately because often times they make for great day-trips, but you’re not on the main trail for very long. Also, some of the spur trails aren’t on the maps and you only find out about them when you’re on the trail itself. For this reason, this is not a comprehensive list of all the spur trails along the SHT, or a complete list of all the ones I’ve been on.

  • Split Rock River Loop (4.53 mi)Gooseberry to Split Rock
  • Done! Cove Point Spur Trail (5.7 mi) – Split Rock to Beaver Bay
  • Twin Lakes Trail (7.8 mi) – Silver Bay to Hwy 1
  • Done! Carlton Peak Spurs 1 & 2 (0.22 mi) – Temperance River SP to Britton Peak
  • Done! Britton Peak Spur (0.09 mi) – Britton Peak to Oberg Mountain
  • Done! Oberg Mountain Loop (1.64 mi) – Britton Peak to Oberg Mountain
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