Leaps and Bounds on the Superior Hiking Trail
Superior Hiking Trail Scenery

The call of a loon. The howl of a Timberwolf. Rumbling waterfalls and cool flowing streams. Ridgewalks among pines and ledge rock. The sparkle and waves of the vast Gitche Gumee (Lake Superior) below and beyond, to the ends of the earth. These are the essence of life in the North Woods, and of the Superior Hiking Trail.

Stretching more than 200 miles from Two Harbors, Minnesota to the Canadian Border, the Superior Hiking Trail is one of America's premiere hiking trails. Ranging through Minnesota's wild Northland, the trail offers a hiking experience like no other. The trail follows the ridge along the north shore of Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake in the world. Bear, moose, and timberwolves roam freely. Rock ridges make challenging climbs and offer expansive views. If you come to hike once, you'll be back again and again - the North Woods become a part of your heart.

This summer of 2004, the Superior Hiking Trail Association and volunteers are beginning construction of a 40 mile section of trail that will eventually connect Two Harbors, Minnesota (the current trailhead) and the North Country Trail in Jay Cooke State Park, MN. There is hope of eventually rerouting the North Country Trail onto the Superior Hiking Trail and through the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of northern Minnesota. Those with experience have said the Appalachian Trail's "100 Mile Wilderness" in Maine can hardly compare to the true solitude and wonder of the BWCAW.

This summer, more than 8 miles of trail have been completed near Spirit Mountain, the Magney ski trail, and Ely's Peak. Trail has been cleared & defined, walkways, bridges, and stone stairs have taken shape. The support of volunteers and members is allowing a vision to become reality. Imagine a long distance through-hike with the luxury of a detour through the city of Duluth, with its conveniences and possibilities for urban discovery. Imagine on the other hand, the joy of living in a city while having a wilderness hiking trail only a few miles out of downtown.

Trail crew volunteers on the Superior Hiking Trail Loony and SvenSaw try their hand at trail construction. After passing so many trail crews while hiking the AT, they were happy to get involved in the nitty gritty for themselves in their home state of Minnesota.

The Superior Hiking Trail Association works hard to keep the Trail, and to let it grow. By becoming a member of the SHTA, you can help preserve a piece of Minnesota's great North Woods, and an important resource for all.

YOU can help build the Trail from Jay Cooke State Park to Two Harbors. A detailed work schedule was sent out by organizer Judy Gibbs, and is re-posted here. Your help on the following dates would be tremendously appreciated!

Monday, August 30, 10-3 pm.
Meet at the parking area at Magney-Snively. This day, we are going to go quickly up and over Bardon's Peak, through Magney-Snively Natural Area, and, if time permits, down the hill towards Spirit Mountain to do final checks on the trail. There's a bit of work here and there.

Friday, September 10, 10-3 pm
Meet at the parking area at Magney-Snively. This day, we will be heading down the hill towards Spirit Mountain, to do final checks on the trail. If we have time, we will build trail near the paintball area at the base.

** Saturday, September 11th
First official hike on the "new" Superior Hiking Trail!
Meet at 10:00 at the parking lot at the base of Spirit Mountain (Grand Avenue at 86th Ave. W., Duluth). There will be a two mile and a five mile hike.

Monday, September 13, 10-3 pm
Meet at the parking area at the base of Spirit Mountain. From the north, take Grand Avenue about one mile past the Zoo and take a right turn into "Spirit Mountain Soccer Field". Coming from the South: Take the Cody Street exit off I-35 and follow it to the bottom of the hill at Grand Avenue. Take a right on Grand Avenue and go about two miles to the "Spirit Mountain Soccer Field". This day, we will finish the trail at the bottom of the ski hill and then work our way up Knowlton Creek.

Monday, September 20, 10-3 pm
Meet at the Parking Area near the Spirit Mountain Chalet. Use the I-35 and follow signs to Spirit Mountain to arrive here. This day, we will be working down the hill, creating a spur trail from this trailhead to the main trail at Knowlton Creek.

Tuesday, September 21, 10-3 pm
Meet at 80th Ave. West and Grand Avenue. From the north, take Grand Avenue about 8 blocks past the Zoo and take a right turn onto 80th Avenue West. Coming from the South: Take the Cody Street exit off I-35 and follow it to the bottom of the hill at Grand Avenue. Take a right on Grand Avenue and go about one and a half miles and take a right turn onto 80th Avenue West. We will be heading up 80th Avenue West about four blocks to where it turns onto a Service Road for Spirit Mountain. We will drive about 1/2 mile up that gravel road and will be working on Knowlton Creek above the abandoned railroad grade.

Contact Judy Gibbs at (218)728-9827 to sign up, for other dates, or for more Superior Hiking Trail information.

More Information on the Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail Association
North Country Trail Association

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