New SHTA Board Member: the SHT is a sanctuary

February 29th, 2024

Evan Almeroth (left) and his wife Emma Almeroth (right) backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail near the Manitou River. Photo courtesy of Evan Almeroth.

As a snowboarder who often flew out of state seeking mountain powder, Evan Almeroth would look down during flights at beautiful, remote places and think, “How cool would it be to sit next to that lake or mountain or river?”

After growing up in the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, Evan thought he’d have to leave Minnesota to experience those wild places. Then he discovered the Superior Hiking Trail after a backpacking trip in California inspired him to look for options closer to home.

Fifteen years ago, Evan took his first backpacking trip on the SHT near Bean and Bear Lakes and found a sanctuary in nature. “I’m sure that’s a place where many people fall in love with the Trail,” he said. “To me, the Superior Hiking Trail is a prime outdoor experience right here in Minnesota, like the Boundary Waters. I slowly kept going on the Trail more and more over the years.”

“On the SHT, there are no distractions. It’s very quiet, very peaceful,” Evan said. “It’s not as dramatic as the mountains or the desert, and I like that about the Trail. The SHT is rigorous, but the setting is peaceful.”

In June 2023, Evan saw an opportunity to give back to his SHT sanctuary by joining our Board of Directors when we were seeking members with a background in finance. He leads the new business effort with individual investors at a firm in Minneapolis called Disciplined Growth Investors. “I thought this would be a great opportunity to join and help the Association,” he said.

Evan leads a group of yoga retreat attendees on a hike on the SHT near Lake Agnes. Photo courtesy of Evan Almeroth.

Evan has served on two boards before, and reports to his company’s board on a quarterly basis, but said the SHTA’s board is different from his previous experiences. “Most boards are providing periodic oversight,” he said. “We have an actively involved board that uses the Trail and cares about what is going on, that really wants to make sure the Trail continues to run well in the future.”

Like many of our board members, Evan serves on two subcommittees: the Trail Protection and Finance Committees. Our committees help staff with important day-to-day work between their quarterly board meetings.

Evan’s biggest hope for the Trail is related to the SHTA’s recent work on the Gooseberry Gap reroute. “My biggest hope is that the whole trail is continuously accessible. That’s my No. 1 thing,” he said.

Evan also likes the shift toward “rewilding” certain areas of the Trail where logistically and financially it makes the most sense to do so. “When bridges have washed out and we’ve installed stone steps instead of a new bridge, I’ve done hikes in other areas where you have to cross on logs or wade through water. I like the combination of accessibility and also letting nature be nature,” he said.

Evan loves spending time in nature with his daughter Sage Almeroth, pictured riding high on her dad’s back during a hike in the Mt. Hood National Forest. Now 3-years-old, Sage has also spent a lot of time on the SHT. Photo courtesy of Evan Almeroth.

Evan has a lot of hope for the Trail’s future and loves introducing new people to the SHT, including his 3-year-old daughter, Sage, who has already spent a lot of time on the Trail. He and his wife are also instructors at Up Yoga in Minneapolis and each year host a yoga and meditation retreat at the Hungry Hippie Hostel about a mile from the SHT near Grand Marais. “We take people on hikes on the SHT, and kayaking trips on Lake Superior to connect them with nature,” Evan said. “It’s nice to have something that is so healing and restoring right out our backdoor.”

Welcome to the SHTA Board of Directors, Evan! We are grateful you’ve chosen to share your talents and passion for the SHT with our entire Trail community.

By Annie Nelson, SHTA Development and Communications Director