2022 Superior Hiking Challenge
Beavers, nature’s wildest engineers!
Last year’s challenge took us to the highest summits and vistas along the Superior Hiking Trail. For the 2022 Superior Hiking Challenge, we’ll venture into the realm of the wildest engineers of the Northwoods: Beavers!
The Superior Hiking Trail turns 36 years old this year. Celebrate this milestone by hiking 36 miles anywhere along the SHT this season to complete the 2022 Superior Hiking Challenge. The challenge begins June 4 in honor of National Trails Day, and will run through October 31, 2022.
Our mascot, Birchy the Beaver, invites hikers to visit the many beaver ponds along the trail where there are all sorts of interesting things to see: dams, ponds, beaver-downed trees, and beavers swimming or slapping their tails.
Famous for cutting down trees and once in a while creating new ponds on top of our beloved Trail, sometimes beavers get a bad rap. A new study from the University of Minnesota proves beavers are essential for water conservation and positively impact the ecosystem all around them.
Register for the 2022 Superior Hiking Challenge using the form below, and you will receive a Challenge Toolkit and a list of some suggested hikes for visiting beaver ponds along the trail. Don’t worry if those listed ponds aren’t in the areas you are hiking, there are many ponds along the trail.
2022 Superior Hiking Challenge Toolkits include:
- Challenge instructions,
- A list of suggested hikes,
- A mileage log for adults,
- A coloring mileage log for kids, which includes a sheet filled with fun beaver facts.
Many of the suggested hikes this year are super kid-friendly. You will also receive instructions on how to let us know you’ve completed the Challenge. A big thank you goes to Jennifer Osborne Anderson for volunteering her time and donating the design of this year’s logs.
Once you complete your hike and fill out your completion form online, we will mail you an official Certificate of Completion. You will also receive a sticker of SHTA mascot, Birchy the Beaver. All certificates and stickers will be mailed out in November 2022 after the challenge comes to a close, but you can report your miles any time once you’ve finished.
Every participant who completes the challenge will receive a 2022 Hiking Challenge Certificate and Birchy the Beaver sticker as a memento of your time on the Trail.
Wild Facts About Beavers
Did you know that beavers can’t hear the sound of running water without being compelled to build a dam? Even when it’s just an audio recording?
Did you know that beavers’ have orange teeth that never stop growing?
Did you know that beaver ponds create natural fire breaks that can protect the forest and other animals from wildfires?
If you’d like to learn more about these wild facts, here is a list of suggested learning for adults and kids:
- “Beavers Support Freshwater Conservation and Ecosystem Stability,” University of Minnesota research brief
- “Leave it to beavers, seriously” from KUOW’s The Wild