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Projects Done and Almost Done in 2019

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Projects Done and Almost Done in 2019

June 18, 2019

It’s hiking and running season and it’s trail renewal season, all at once, on the Superior Hiking Trail. The following summarizes the state of several projects we undertook this spring. 

What unites them? They all reflect priorities of our Trail Renewal Program: make the Trail safer and more environmentally responsible, and respect the wishes of landowners.  

Elevated boardwalk (around 100 feet) over massive mud pit
A big effort, supported by volunteers, solved one of the messiest mud pits on the SHT.
  • Where: Main SHT near Horseshoe Ridge, between Crosby-Manitou State Park and the Caribou River Wayside.
  • Who: Volunteer Crew Leaders John Storkamp and Todd Rowe, with assistance from several volunteers and SHT Trail Operations Director Tamer Ibrahim. Also generous donation of logging road access by landowner Diane Silver.
  • When: Materials hauled in by sled in April, project completed in late May. 
  • What Does It Mean? The end of the one of the messiest mud pits on the entire SHT.  (See more photos of the project here. Boardwalk and construction photos by Eric Hadrath.)

Rerouted section and new boardwalk near Sugarloaf Road
SHTA crews really “lean in” to their work on the Trail. Photo: Steph Hoff
  • Where: Between Sugarloaf Rd. trailhead and Caribou River Wayside.
  • When: Completed mid-June.
  • Who: Led by Volunteer Crew Leader Stephanie Hoff and volunteers, with help from SHTA Trail Operations Director Tamer Ibrahim. 
  • What Does It Mean? New, winding segment creates distance between the Trail and a new home on private land.

Heavy-duty puncheon (over 140 feet) at Leveaux Mountain
This heavy-duty structure will keep feet dry for years to come.
  • Where: Main SHT near Leveaux Mountain.
  • Who: SHTA Trail Operations Director Tamer Ibrahim, with help from the U.S. Forest Service (donated lumber and labor) and volunteers.
  • When: Completed in May, with another 100 feet or so to be completed in the spring of 2020.
  • What Does It Mean? Way less mud, less damage to the land, and a resilient structure.

Rerouted section at Brewer Park
SHTA’s Larry Sampson led volunteers from Northern Minnesota Track Club (NMTC) to begin improvements to the SHT at Brewer Park. Photo: Lisa Byrne
  • Where: Duluth, west end.
  • When: In progress. Should be completed by September.
  • Who: Led by SHTA’s Duluth area Trail Renewal Consultant Larry Sampson, with assistance of Duluth Parks, NMTC trail runners, and volunteers.
  • What Does It Mean? The SHT leaves an eroded hillside and instead will follow Merritt Creek, then make a steep climb on a rocky bluff.

Elevated boardwalk and trail repairs at Spirit Mountain
A group from Allete Energy joined SHTA for a day renewing the Trail in Duluth.
  • Where: Main SHT at Spirit Mountain, Duluth.
  • When: Completed by mid-July.
  • Who: Led by SHTA’s Duluth area Trail Renewal Consultant Larry Sampson, with assistance of Duluth Parks, and many volunteers, including groups from Harbor City International School and Allete Energy. Materials provided in part by a grant from Minnesota Power Foundation.
  • What Does It Mean? A heavily-used and physically challenged section of the SHT is fortified and beautified.

No more confusion from SHT signage
Status of SHT trailhead signs near Finland: reinforced, cleaned up, and easy to read. Photo: Alison Heebsh
  • Where: Intersection of SHT main and spur trails near Finland Community Center.
  • When: Completed in May.
  • Who: Volunteers Alison Heebsh, Adam Gangle, and Kelly.
  • What Does It Mean? Instructions on where to go and where you are are now much cleaner and easier at this location.

New campsite benches of “indigenous materials”
New benches at Sucker River campsite are the new “benchmark” for campsite furniture on the Trail. Photo: Rolf Hagberg
  • Where: Sucker River campsite.
  • When: June.
  • Who: Volunteer Rolf Hagberg with SHTA Executive Director Denny Caneff.
  • What Does This Mean?As campsite furniture made of treated lumber decays, it will be replaced by these simple, attractive benches fashioned from downed trees.

New Trail registers on the way
New, very blue trail registers will replace decaying registers and be installed at new scenic locations. Photo: Kirk Rodysill
  • Where: 14 new and existing sites along the SHT.
  • When: Throughout the spring and summer.
  • Who: Volunteers Charlie Gallet, Carolyn and Kyle Stolan, Kirk Rodysill, and others.
  • What Does This Mean? More opportunities to leave your mark on the Trail between Split Rock River and the SHT’s southern terminus.