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COVID-19 Update from SHTA

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COVID-19 Update from SHTA

March 27, 2020

A message from the SHTA team to all SHT users:

It may be that hiking is one recommended activity amidst the COVID-19 craziness, but per the guidance of many local public health agencies and officials, SHTA now recommends: “Hike in place!” 

That is, rediscover your OWN city’s or county’s parks and trails. And keep your distance! (A note for Duluth area residents: Duluth Parks and Recreation Department is very likely to close all natural surface trails in the coming weeks until they dry out. This will include the SHT.)

Northern Minnesota counties are asking non-residents to avoid coming to recreate there. They’re afraid of a lot of things, but in particular, they fear their small and few hospitals could get overwhelmed if the virus takes hold here. 

We should all take their concern seriously. The Trail itself and thousands of annual visitors who enjoy it depend on these small communities to remain healthy. We all must do our part to protect them; they are a vital part of our trail community.

Please know too that very few businesses are open on the North Shore.  Sure, you could buy gas and Culver’s take-out, but after that, things fall off. And when things settle down and shops open back up, we hope you will continue to support these small businesses that make the North Shore such a special experience.

We are adapting our own activities this spring to the new, rapidly evolving realities of COVID-19. We’ve postponed our annual trail clearing weekends indefinitely, and we’re postponing other spring trail projects until we can be certain that our staff, contractors, and volunteers can be as safe as possible when they join us on the Trail.

Finally, and this has to do with the condition of the Trail itself — it’s just not a great time to be on the SHT.  It’s either grainy, squishy snow or on its way to being mud. 

We will love to see you on the Superior Hiking Trail, sometime soon. Like you, we hope to see things return to normal soon. But in light of the Minnesota Governor Tim Walz’s “stay at home” order, and the other factors cited here, we will see you only when it’s okay to do so.

Thank you for your understanding in these challenging times.