We are pleased to offer the Superior Hiking Trail End-2-Ender Program. If you’ve enjoyed every mile of the Trail, this is your chance to join other SHT End-2-Enders to be recognized for your significant accomplishments on the Trail.
What does end-2-ender mean?
Anyone who has hiked, walked, run, or sauntered the entire Superior Hiking Trail is considered an SHT End-2-Ender. This can be done all at once in a thru-hike or run or by enjoying each section over one or more years.
Become A Certified SHT End-2-Ender
The End-2-Ender award package includes a personalized Certificate of Completion and a complimentary End-2-Ender magnet to memorialize your accomplishments on the Trail.
Who is eligible?
- Anyone who has completed the entire SHT, in one trip or many, is eligible to apply. If you hiked the entire SHT before it was completed from border to border in 2017 or you took a detour along the way, you are still eligible to apply. This program is based on the honor system.
- To receive an exclusive End-2-Ender certificate and magnet, you must be an active SHTA member or donor at the $35/year level or higher at the time of application OR have volunteered with SHTA within the last two years. Join/renew or donate today to become eligible, contact us to check on the status of your membership, or head to the Volunteer Page to learn how you can help out on the Trail.
How do I apply?
It’s easy: complete the online Superior Hiking Trail End-2-Ender Certificate Application. This application form includes several optional questions about your experience on the Trail. As End-2-Enders, you’ve seen it all, and your feedback will help us improve the SHT experience for current and future trail users.
End-2-Ender applications will be processed twice a year, in the fall and in the spring. Please be patient as we process the initial wave of applications. There are 30+ years worth of End-2-Enders out there to recognize!
How to enjoy the entire SHT
Plan Your Trip With a Guidebook and Maps
Guidebook: The Superior Hiking Trail Association publishes the Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail, which can be found in the SHTA Trail Information Center or at retailers and State Park visitor centers near the Trail. The Guide is the best single resource for planning anything from day trips to thru-hikes, as it contains mile-by-mile descriptions of the Trail, campsite details, directions to trailhead, and more.
Databook: SHTA will release a new Databook — a compact, essential guide complete with updated mileages between points of interest, elevation profiles, and northbound or southbound compatibility — in Spring 2020.
How long does it take?
- Thru-hikers: Most hikers take 2-4 weeks to complete the entire SHT in one trip.
- Section by section: The most common way to enjoy the entire SHT is to break it up into shorter trips over the course of one year or many years. SHTA offers the My SHT Map to help you keep track of your journey to complete the entire Trail.
- Fastest Known Time: A growing phenomenon on the SHT is to attempt a Fastest Known Time (FKT) hike or run on the entire Trail, with or without support from a crew. The FKT record is currently under seven days.
- Slowest Known Time: The unofficial SKT for a single trip is around 48 days.
When Should I Attempt to Hike or Run the Entire Trail?
This is really up to you and your comfort with the variety of weather conditions in northern Minnesota. Here are some seasonal considerations:
- Spring: Snow does not typically melt until mid- to late-May. Post-melt mud is disheartening to hike through. Ticks and mosquitoes emerge at the end of May or sooner if there is warmer weather. Good trail conditions in the north may be two weeks behind good conditions in the south. Be sure to check Trail Conditions before you go, and help us protect the Trail by staying off if it is saturated and soggy.
- Summer: Ticks and mosquitoes are not as bad, but are still present. Sometimes smaller water sources can dry up in late summer. In very dry years, a campfire ban may be in effect.
- Fall: The fall color season is likely the peak of foot traffic on the SHT, so you can expect to share the Trail and campsites with other trail users. Bugs are gone after the first frost, and campsite usage tends to fall off after Labor Day.
- Winter: Multi-night backpacking trips in winter are not recommended, as temperatures in northern Minnesota can reach extreme subzero lows. However, section hikes, runs, and snowshoe trips with proper winter gear are an excellent way to explore the SHT.
Some sections of the SHT are closed to all trail users periodically in accordance to our agreements and partnerships with public and private landowners that allow us access to the Trail on their lands. Your best source for up-to-date information on these closures is our Trail Conditions page.
Please help us respect our landowners and managers by observing these annual closures:
- Duluth SHT: The SHT inside the City of Duluth (Fond du Lac Trailhead to Martin Road Trailhead) is closed annually during the spring thaw, approximately April through mid-May, and again in the fall before the ground freezes, approximately mid-October to mid-November. These closures help protect the Trail when it is saturated with water and most susceptible to damage. All other natural surface trails inside the city are closed at the same time, and there are no exceptions to this policy. Please help us protect the Trail by planning accordingly and respecting our partnership with the city.
- Firearms Deer Season: Many sections of the Trail north of Duluth are closed for two weeks during deer firearms hunting season each November. The SHT in Jay Cooke State Park is also closed for several days in December for muzzleloader season. Several other hunting seasons begin near the Trail each year on September 1, so we recommend wearing blaze orange when hiking in the fall for additional safety. Visit the Minnesota DNR website for more information on hunting seasons.
Transportation on the Trail
There are several shuttle services that operate along the SHT’s route and offer service directly to SHT trailheads.
- The Superior Shuttle runs a shuttle service throughout the year. It has scheduled stops at designated trailhead on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from mid-May to mid-October. Shuttles outside the set schedule can also be arranged.
- Harriet Quarles Transportation runs shuttles mid-May to mid-October with custom services available anywhere between Duluth and the northern terminus of the SHT.
- The Duluth Transit Authority bus service operates near the Trail in the city, or you can find local taxi services.
- More information on shuttle services can be found in this helpful document.