Thru-Hiker's Guide to America

Superior Trail Introduction
By E. Schlimmer
trail image
This section of the Superior Hiking Trail, near Silver Bay, Minnesota, is a land of windswept peaks, quiet bogs, and clear lakes. (Photo © Tim Larson/Superior Hiking Trail Association)

Excerpted from Thru Hiker's Guide to America by E. Schlimmer

To be honest, I was so turned on to the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) that I contemplated keeping it just for myself and anyone else already fortunate enough to know about this gem. But here it is. I wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing I kept such a nice trail from my readers. The Superior Hiking Trail starts northeast of Duluth and ends far to the northeast on the Canadian border, west of Grand Portage and north of Hovland. The north end of the SHT connects to the Border Route Trail, which continues nearly due west approximately ninety miles to end in Ely, Minnesota. The SHT is slated to extend from its current southern terminus to the Wisconsin border, for a total of more than 300 trail miles. After this is done, the SHT will become a link trail on the 4,200-mile North Country National Scenic Trail.

The excellent trail maintenance and information presented by the Superior Hiking Trail Association and Minnesota-based federal and state agencies, helped the readers of Backpacker magazine flatter the SHT like no other trail in existence. In past years, the Superior Hiking Trail placed fifth in best scenery, fourth in best wildlife, first in best signage/trail marking, and first in trail/camp/shelter conditions, and overall was voted the second-best long-distance hiking trail in the United States, second only to the Wonderland Trail. Way to go Superior Hiking Trail and Superior Hiking Trail Association! The SHT is one of the few long-distance trails with a shuttle to help section backpackers and day hikers get around to different parts of the trail. Along the way, this foot-traffic-only trail heads through gorges, over summits, and next to waterfalls, through a mix of private, county, state, and national forest land. At times, the SHT’s general terrain reaches elevations of 1,600 feet; its highpoint is 1,800 feet.

Article © McGraw-Hill. All rights reserved.


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