SHTA COVID-19/Coronavirus Update
March 17, 2020
As we respond to the evolving health concerns related to the COVID-19/Coronavirus global pandemic, our priority is the health and well-being of our trail users, volunteers, staff, and the broader Superior Hiking Trail community.
Since the SHTA was established in 1986, our community has worked together to overcome great challenges and support each other through difficult times. We are confident that the wisdom, passion, and care that defines our community has equipped us to once again stand together and stay strong as we face this new challenge.
What You Can Expect From Us
Our staff and board are paying close attention to the information and guidance related to COVID-19/coronavirus provided by the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Minnesota Department of Health. We will continue to monitor these resources for updates in order to develop plans and policies to preserve the health of our trail community and prevent the spread of the virus.
The SHTA Office and Trail Information Center (TIC) remains closed to the public. The TIC is scheduled to open for the season in mid-May (subject to change), and orders for guidebooks, maps, and more through our online store will continue to be fulfilled in a timely manner. We are following the CDC’s recommendations for hygiene and sanitation in the workplace to ensure the safety of our staff and our customers. Our staff will continue their work remotely as much as possible, and all in-person outreach activities have been postponed through the end of April. The best way to contact us is through email; you can find the appropriate staff member to contact here or send us a message at [email protected]. You can also call our office at (218) 834-2700 and leave us a voicemail message, but please understand we may be slow to respond. We will continue to monitor our Facebook and Instagram channels as well.
As of March 17, 2020, we expect to proceed with our annual spring trail clearing weekends and other projects in May as planned. For now, the chainsawyer certification courses in April and May will go on as planned. We expect the same for our annual Guided Hike series, which will begin in early June. Of course, those plans are subject to change in the coming weeks, and we will alert our community of any updates or changes to projects and events.
We will continue to work with community and agency partners to share best practices for enjoying the outdoors safely, and we’ll monitor for updates that impact use of the SHT. For example, Minnesota DNR recently announced that, while state parks (and their bathrooms) remain open to the public, state park visitor centers, contact stations, and other ancillary buildings will be closed. We will pass along other relevant updates as they become available.
Looking forward, we are excited to work with you to continue to build, maintain, and renew the SHT to the highest standards, so that you and thousands of others can continue to enjoy our world-class footpath along the North Shore for decades to come.
What We Expect From You
If you head out to the Trail anytime soon, keep in mind it is still mostly covered in snow and ice.
The SHT is open! We encourage healthy, responsible use of the Superior Hiking Trail for the myriad of physical, mental, and emotional benefits that it provides, particularly during stressful times. Please be mindful of other trail users by maintaining six feet of distance at all times — especially at busy trailheads, overlooks, and campsites — and avoiding the Trail if you are sick or if you have been in contact with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19/Coronavirus.
We ask that you stay safe, sane, and sanitized — and do what you can to prevent the spread of the virus in our trail community and in the many communities along our Trail.
- If you are sick with any illness stay home. If you have a confirmed case of COVID-19/Coronavirus and have had contact with our staff or volunteers, please notify us at [email protected].
- Avoid large gatherings and events, and practice good hygiene and social distancing. (We know trail users are experts at social distancing — keep it up!)
- Follow the guidance of public health authorities and share best practices with others in our community. If travel restrictions or guidance to take shelter at home are put in place, please follow them.
- Remain calm — large leaf aster, nature’s TP, will soon be back in season!
As always, please check Trail Conditions before you go and practice common courtesy and Leave No Trace while you’re on the Trail. A friendly reminder: keep your dogs on-leash and under control at all times.
Finally, we ask that you keep the faith — in the Trail, in our mission, and in each other — so that our trail community continues to grow and thrive. Let’s continue to enjoy the SHT. Let’s work together to prevent the spread of this virus. Let’s do what we can to protect our health and the well-being of our community.
Please reach out to us with any questions at [email protected].
Wishing you good health and great hiking,
The SHTA team