Oct 04 , 2022
One of the most magical things about the North Shore is the extensive trail system that allows people to explore one of the most breathtaking places in the country.
Out of these trails, the most notable is the Superior Hiking Trail. Stretching 300+ miles from The St. Louis River at the Minnesota Wisconsin border all the way up to the Canadian border, the SHT (as people like to call it) provides countless views, campsites, and wildlife for hikers to indulge in. I consider the SHT the Midwest’s premier trail, comparable to The Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail, and we are lucky enough to have it right here in our backyard.
The Superior Hiking Trail is great for day hikes or backpacking, but there are a couple of things to know before you hit the trail.
While on the trail you may notice trees, posts, or other vertical objects with a bright blue stripe of paint on them. This is your guide while on the trail, as these “Blazes” are the markers to keep you on trail. While hiking, you may also see white blazes. These indicate a spur trail, or a trail leading off of the main trail (often to a trailhead). Along the way you will also see posted signs telling you that you are on the Superior Hiking Trail.
Because the SHT is dynamic and rugged, make sure you know where you’re headed and what may (or may not) be available to you further down the trail. If you are backpacking, make sure to plan out where you will camp each night (the trail has 94 free campsites), and how far you will need to hike. If you are day hiking, plan a loop or turn around spot. Whether you are hiking for 15 minutes or 15 days, I suggest purchasing The Superior Hiking Trail Guidebook. The book covers everything and anything you would want or need to know about hiking the SHT.
Like always, when you are out in the wild, follow the cardinal rule of Leave No Trace. On the SHT this means respecting the environment around us by cleaning up after yourself, respecting wildlife, and staying on trail. A lot of the trail cuts through private land that owners have graciously opened for hikers to use. Help to keep the trail open by staying on trail and only taking memories (or a few photos).
The Superior hiking Trail is a great way to explore the North Shore, I highly suggest it to anyone looking to get outside. If you are interested in learning more about the SHT, visit their website https://superiorhiking.org/.
Ruby Dammann has been with North and Shore since the Makers Mercantile mobile camper days. She also is the maker behind Little Leaf Goods jewelry. Ruby grew up in St.Paul and moved up to Duluth for school (go bulldogs), fell in love with Lake Superior, and just hasn't been able to leave since. When she isn't in the store or making earrings she loves to get outside and go camping with her wife Marcy and dog Onni. You can find her and her jewelry on facebook and instagram at @little.leaf.goods