Large Group Hiking


If you plan to bring a group of 10 people or more and spend 3 nights or more on the SHT, we would like to know in advance that you are coming.  This is NOT a reservation system; it is simply a way for us to learn about when big groups of campers/hikers are on the SHT, and where you will be, so we can gauge whether there might be a conflict.

If you are from an organization, institution or business (e.g. Boy Scouts, college, high school, outdoor education enterprise) you must also provide a certificate of insurance.

Download our Trail Use Notification form HERE

Ten or more backpackers are considered a large group.  The following guidelines will help you and others enjoy the Trail:

  • Consider splitting a large group into several smaller groups to reduce the impact on the campsites and to improve your own and others’ experience.
  • Camping is only allowed at designated sites and many tent sites have only 2 or 3 tent pads.
  • All campsites are required to be shared – you may not reserve the site or turn others away.
  • The fire ring and benches at the campsites must also be shared.
  • Large-group backpackers must be considerate of other parties and keep behavior respectful, responsible, and safe.
  • Base-camping (setting up your equipment and doing day hikes from a campsite) is not allowed.
  • Large groups interested in base-camping while day hiking should consider reserving a group campsite at a state park. Group sites are available at Jay Cooke State Park, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Tettegouche State Park, and Cascade River State Park.


With the closure of Philmont Scout Ranch in 2018 due to fires, we’ve seen a large increase in Boy Scout Troops heading to the SHT. Here are some alternative options for scouts (and others) on the nearby North Country Trail in MN.