Hike 50 Challenge

Hike any 50 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail to earn your annual Hike 50 Challenge patch. Each year, the challenge will feature a unique patch design. Collect them all!
2024 Hike 50 Challenge

The Superior Hiking Trail Association’s Hike 50 Challenge recognizes trail users for completing any 50 miles on the Superior Hiking Trail within the calendar year. Hike, walk, run, backpack, or snowshoe your miles.

The challenge is designed to provide fun motivation for your SHT hiking or running goals.

  • Explore the SHT section by section.
  • Set a family hiking goal for the year.
  • Make new trail friends by getting a group of people to complete the challenge together.

Each year, we will release a brand new version of our Hike 50 Challenge patch. Collect them all! This year’s patch features our mascot Birchy the Beaver with his trusty camera. Birchy is a big believer in the Leave No Trace saying: “Take only pictures, leave only footprints.”

Plan your Hike 50 Challenge with SHTA Guidebooks and Maps

Guidebook: The Superior Hiking Trail Association publishes the Superior Hiking Trail Guidebook, 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 trailheads, and more. Also available in Kindle eBook format.

Maps: The Association also publishes a comprehensive Trail Atlas of the Superior Hiking Trail to use for planning and navigating the Trail. The Trail Atlas is also available in a digital format through the Avenza Maps mobile app. You can also track your miles using the My SHT Map.

Hike 50 Challenge Packet

Looking for a few suggested hikes to complete your challenge? Download our Hike 50 Challenge packet for suggested hikes or runs from each section of the Trail. Each suggested hike includes descriptions and the corresponding maps and guidebook pages. Also included is a log to help you track your challenge miles. There is no need to submit your log to qualify for your completion certificate.

The Hike 50 Challenge operates on the honor system.

Hike 50 Challenge Photo Scavenger Hunt

Looking for another fun activity to do during your Hike 50 Challenge? Join Birchy in improving your nature photography skills by completing the Hike 50 Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Do you have a child participating in your Hike 50 Challenge this year who also loves taking photos on Trail? We are also offering a webinar class with Kathy Oaks, a local photographer, author, and educator called “Take Your Best Shot: Trail Photography for Kids“. Kathy will teach attendees how to best capture the beauty of the Superior Hiking Trail in pictures. Unable to attend the webinar? Kathy has also designed an instructional pamphlet “Kids with Cameras on the Trail“.

Have you completed your Hike 50 Challenge?

Once you complete your 50 miles, we will mail you an official Certificate of Completion and the 2024 Hike 50 Challenge patch. All packets will be mailed out the January after the challenge has ended for the year. You may report you’ve completed your Hike 50 as soon as you’ve finished. 

Other area hiking challenges

Your Hike 50 Challenge miles could also count toward other hiking challenges in the area. Our Hike 50 Challenge is an homage to the North Country Trail Association’s Hike 100 Challenge.

In 2019, the Superior Hiking Trail officially became part of the North Country National Scenic Trail’s route, a 4,800-mile trail that runs from North Dakota to Vermont. The SHT makes up about one-third of the NCT’s Minnesota miles. Each year, the NCTA hosts their Hike 100 Challenge. Our Hike 50 Challenge miles will also count toward their hiking challenge. Hike 50 miles on the SHT for our challenge, then go explore other sections of the NCT in Minnesota and Wisconsin, or one of the other eight other states the NCT crosses.

Your Hike 50 Challenge miles could also count toward Trailfitters’s annual Trail Challenge, which runs for six weeks each summer. Each year, SHTA Business Member Trailfitters selects nine hikes ranging from easy to difficult, and the Superior Hiking Trail usually makes the list. People who complete this challenge can also earn prizes.

Hike 50 Challenge End-2-End

Complete a Hike 50 Challenge each year until you complete all 300 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail, making you an official End-2-Ender, another accomplishment we love to recognize through our End-2-Ender Program.