Trail Closures & Current Conditions
Q: What is the weather going to be like two days/weeks/months from now? What about trail conditions for the section where I'll be?
We don't know.
The SHT is 300+ miles long; weather conditions for one part of the trail are completely different from what's happening on another. Weather along Lake Superior can fluctuate wildly; it could be in the 40s in July and 90 degrees in September. SHTA staff are not able to monitor the conditions of the entire trail or make predictions about what conditions will be like in the future. Please check the National Weather Service forecast for this information and visit our Trail Conditions page.
Q: How many miles is it from ____ to _____?
Please use the Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail – Ninth Edition or the Superior Hiking Trail Databook to figure out mileage information.
Q: What shuttle services are available near the Trail?
Here is a helpful document that includes contact information for several local shuttle services. You can also review shuttle options on the Backpacking page of our site. SHTA does not provide any shuttles for trail users.
Q: Where can I park while I am hiking the SHT?
There are over 50 designated trailhead parking areas — most from five to ten miles apart. In the Jay Cooke State Park and Duluth area, the SHT trailheads are accessible from Interstate Hwy. 35, Highway 23, and city streets. On the North Shore they are accessible from Hwy. 61 and the state, county, and forest roads that intersect Hwy. 61. The Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail – Ninth Edition provides access directions and parking limitations for each trailhead. Trailhead parking areas are designated with a P on all SHT maps.
Q: How long can I leave my car in a trailhead parking area?
Hikers should check the guidebook to determine if overnight parking is allowed at the trailhead. Many of the trailheads in the Duluth trail section do not allow overnight parking. Trailheads that share highway waysides along Hwy. 61 do not allow overnight parking (ex. Split Rock State Wayside, Caribou River State Wayside, Temperance River State Wayside, Cascade River State Wayside, Kadunce River State Wayside). Trailheads located within a State Park require a park sticker for overnight parking — please be sure to check in with the park visitor center if you plan to stay overnight. If overnight parking is allowed at the trailhead there is no limit on the number of days a car may be parked there.
Q: I want to get an early start on my hike; can I sleep in my car or camp at the trailhead?
No. There is absolutely no camping or campfires allowed in SHTA trailheads.
Q: Are there facilities at SHTA trailheads?
No facilities are provided at SHTA trailheads. There are no trash bins, toilets, or water. Trailheads shared with other groups (city parks, snowmobile trails, waysides) may have facilities. Check the Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail – Ninth Edition as needed.
Q: Are the parking areas secure?
While local law enforcement may occasionally patrol roads near SHT trailhead parking lots hikers must take common sense precautions — leave valuables at home or secure them out of sight, lock your car and take your keys. You are not allowed to store food or other supplies in the woods near trailheads.
Q: What if the parking lot is full?
If you are day hiking you may be able to park on the street or road shoulder. Check for any posted parking restrictions. Use caution on narrow secondary roads that may be traveled by logging trucks. If you are planning to leave your car overnight you must park within the parking lot. If the lot is full you must find another trailhead. Do not park on property adjacent to the designated lot. Some of the SHT trailheads are located on private property with the permission of landowners.
Q: Do I need a permit to use the SHT campsites? Are there fees for camping?
There are no reservations, fees or permits required to use SHT campsites. This means that campsites must be shared with other hikers and may not be be reserved for the exclusive use of a single individual or party. Groups of 8 or more must review the Large Groups on the SHT page before heading to the Trail. Large groups are asked to plan their trips so that the group is dispersed into multiple campsites. Learn more about the SHT camping experience by reading this blog on shared campsites on the SHT.
Q: What is a SHT campsite like?
Each campsite has several tent pads, a fire ring and a backcountry latrine. Users must pack out all trash and should not dispose of trash in the fire pit or latrine. Keeping a clean campsite and hanging food at night will help to prevent bears and rodents from becoming a problem. Campfires should be built only in the constructed fire ring. This ring has been dug out to remove root structures which can smolder and burn below the surface.
Q: Where are the SHT campsites located?
Except in the Duluth trail sections, campsites are spaced along the trail to support backpacking the SHT. The Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail – Ninth Edition provides campsite descriptions including the number of tent pads, water source, setting, and the trail miles between the previous and next campsites. The Superior Hiking Trail Databook also provides helpful mileage information and a quick reference index for campsites.
Q: What if all tent pads are occupied when I arrive at a campsite?
Use an area near the established tent pads for your sleeping gear. Share the established fire ring area and latrine. Do not build additional fire rings or camp in locations other than established campsites.
Q: Can I camp for multiple nights or base camp at an SHT campsite?
Please limit your stay to one night only in SHT campsites. SHT campsites were designed to serve thru-hiking and section hikers. If you are interested in base camping and doing day hikes on the SHT, we recommend reserving a campsite at a Minnesota State Park or a State or National Forest campground. Many of the State and National forest campgrounds also have first-come, first-serve sites.