The Superior Hiking Trail

Two Harbors, Minnesota

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9 Reviews
4 out of 5
According to Backpacker magazine, Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) ranks as one of the 10 best hiking trails in the country and one of the top 10 in the world—placing it in league with the Appalachian and John Muir trails. More than two-dozen rivers and streams penetrate these remote ridges of the Sawtooth Mountains, cutting through the bedrock on their journey to Lake Superior, forming spectacular waterfalls, steep canyons, and gorges. Overlooks of Lake Superior and inland lakes are numerous and breathtaking. Stands of oak and maple cover the warmer high ridges and are ablaze with color in the fall. Boreal evergreens, birch, and aspen grow throughout the area; cedar and spruce swamps thrive in cool valleys; and scattered red and white pine are prominent features of the landscape. Wildlife is rich and varied, from timberwolves, black bear, white-tailed deer, and moose to ravens, gulls, eagles, owls, hawks, and warblers. Wildflowers lure the hiker with a burst of color and aroma in spring while summertime berries abound. Fall is the most popular time for visitors as the many high ridges and overlooks afford unmatched views.
Hiking Minnesota

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Minnesota

by Mary Jo Mosher & Kristine Mosher (Falcon Guides)

According to Backpacker magazine, Minnesota’s Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) ranks as one of the 10 best hiking trails in the country and one of the top 10 in the world—placing it in league with the Appalachian and John Muir trails. More than two-dozen rivers and streams penetrate these remote ridges of the Sawtooth Mountains, cutting through the bedrock on their journey to Lake Superior, forming spectacular waterfalls, steep canyons, and gorges.

Overlooks of Lake Superior and inland lakes are numerous and breathtaking. Stands of oak and maple cover the warmer high ridges and are ablaze with color in the fall. Boreal evergreens, birch, and aspen grow throughout the area; cedar and spruce swamps thrive in cool valleys; and scattered red and white pine are prominent features of the landscape. Wildlife is rich and varied, from timberwolves, black bear, white-tailed deer, and moose to ravens, gulls, eagles, owls, hawks, and warblers. Wildflowers lure the hiker with a burst of color and aroma in spring while summertime berries abound. Fall is the most popular time for visitors as the many high ridges and overlooks afford unmatched views.

© 2009 Mary Jo Mosher & Kristine Mosher/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Two Harbors
Distance: 175
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 14 to 18 days
Season: Best spring through fall
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: Superior Hiking Trail Association
Driving Directions: Directions to The Superior Hiking Trail

Recent Trail Reviews

8/15/2010
0

4/28/2008
2

Just got back from a three day trip from Silver Bay heading toward Tetteguche State Park. The first half of the trail was in pretty good shape. The over looks are amazing, you can see for ever. We set up our first camp on Bear Lake. You could spend half a day there running around on the cliffs and scree fields. The lake was still frozen, so we couldn't do any fishing. The next morning we day hiked to Round Mt. where we saw some deer, and a lot of song birds. Further up the trail, run off and melting snow became an issue even though we had on gators. The trail was in poor shape this early from the rains. But it was still alot of fun. We didn't get all the way to the state park due to flooding and a few washed out bridges. I can only imagine what this area lookes like in the summer and fall if it was this pretty in the spring with no color or leaves. You could definately do this section in a day if you pack light enough and have a car or bike near the park. Over all it is a nice piece of trail that is not to challenging at all. Some hills and ascents but nothing major to worry about. Someone of average fitness is fine on this trail. We defintaley recommend Betties pies just out side of Two Harbors as a treat on the way south.


2/24/2007
2

In November 2006 we had planned to hike two sections of the trail: from the south end to Wolf Rock Cliffs and from Gooseberry River to Split Rock. We arrived in Minnesota to find that we were smack in the middle of the last hunting weekend of the season. The area closed for to the hunt included the SHT from Two Harbors north for about 80 miles. I was surprised that the SHTA website had not called our attention to this closure while we were planning our trip. We only came across the information after searching the depths of the website. Apparently, this hunt is part of an annual schedule and the third weekend of the month of November is always the last deer hunt of the season. But it takes more than a little deer hunt to keep these adventurers down! There was a new section of the SHT through Jay Cooke State Park (Duluth northbound) that had recently been opened. The trail was well-built, easy to follow, well-marked and an enjoyable experience. I would recommend all hikers wear bright ORANGE when hiking out there in the fall and winter as we still came across a few deer hunters along the way. We found the Minnesota woods to be a beautiful place to meander, especially with a dusting of newly fallen snow, and we will return one day to enjoy more of the SHT. Happy Hiking!


11/27/2006
1

We did the Knife River leg which is 4 miles before Two Harbors and has not yet been connected to the rest of the Superior Hiking Trail. It was a nice 4.2 mile hike, running along 2 river banks, and through a pine and birch tree forest. The leg ends at a road (route 102) which we had to walk back (.8 mi) to the parking lot. It took about 3 hours, it was a little difficult to find the trail head from the Hway 61 scenic route, so I recommend you take the Hway 61 Expressway to pick up the mile marker (18.2). The full trail is over 200 miles, plenty of day hikes and loops along the way.


7/5/2006
1

Very scenic. The trail is very well marked. The trail is very challenging in many areas. Water was hard to find, but we were new to the trail and didn't plan as well as we should have.



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