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SHTA COVID-19 Update: May 18, 2020

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SHTA COVID-19 Update: May 18, 2020

May 18, 2020

A message from the SHTA team to all SHT users:

As we continue to adapt and respond to the evolving COVID-19 concerns and guidance, we’d like to thank you, our trail community, for your patience, understanding, and continued support. We know the past few weeks under Minnesota’s “Stay At Home” order have been challenging, but we are pleased that some restrictions have been lifted to allow for responsible use of the SHT and some of our campsites. 

As of May 18, 2020, our recommendation to all SHT users is to #HikeResponsibly: recreate close to home, practice social distancing on the Trail, and stay home if you’re sick. We trust you to use your good judgment and continue to be good stewards of the Trail while you enjoy it. 

While the “Stay At Home” order has been lifted and some camping is now allowed, the Governor’s most recent order and the guidance from our partners at the US Forest Service and Minnesota DNR still include a few continued restrictions on the use of SHT campsites. With so many variations of what’s open and what’s not, we know it’s a bit confusing to navigate.

Here are the current rules on how and where you can camp on the SHT:

  • All SHT campsites within Superior National Forest are open for single household use. USFS encourages visitors to “stay local whenever possible and pack out everything they bring, especially trash.”
  • All SHT campsites within Minnesota State Parks are closed through May 31. State Parks remain open for day use only. 
  • All SHT campsites within Minnesota State Forests are closed through May 31. (Note: SHT campsites are designated campsites and, therefore, do not fit the definition of dispersed camping used by the DNR.)
  • All other SHT campsites are open for single household use, per the Governor’s most recent Executive Order

To the best of our knowledge, this means the following SHT campsites will remain closed to all users through May 31:  (Note: a few campsites listed here are on private land; we ask that you avoid those as well.)

In order from South to North

  • Crow Valley
  • All four Gooseberry River sites
  • Blueberry Hill
  • All four Split Rock River sites
  • Chapins Ridge
  • Beaver Pond
  • Penn Creek
  • Bear Lake
  • Round Mountain
  • West and East Palisade Creek sites
  • West and East Kennedy Creek sites
  • South and North Sonju Lake sites
  • Aspen Knob
  • Horseshoe Ridge
  • West and East Caribou River sites
  • Crystal Creek
  • Sugarloaf Pond
  • Dyers Creek
  • West Poplar River
  • Sundling Creek
  • West and East Devil Track River sites
  • West Fork Kadunce
  • Kadunce River
  • All three Little Brule River sites
  • Hazel
  • South and North Carlson Pond sites
  • Jackson Creek
  • Andy Creek

Until more campsites open up and the “single household use” restriction is lifted, long-distance trips on the SHT are likely not feasible. However, overnight trips on the Trail are possible if: 

  • You plan to camp at an SHT campsite that is currently open, and
  • If you encounter a site that is currently occupied, you are willing to continue on until you find an unoccupied site OR backtrack and abandon the plan.

We ask that you continue to respect the rules of our agency partners, the Governor’s order, and your fellow trail users as you enjoy the SHT and our campsites responsibly. Moving forward, we will provide updates as soon as possible when guidance from our partners changes.

As for our work on the Trail, our staff and contractors will continue to assess and prepare the Trail for the hiking season. All SHTA volunteer events have been cancelled through the end of June. Section and Campsite adopters are asked to hold off on spring maintenance duties through the end of May. If you’d like to get involved, all volunteer opportunities can be found in our Volunteer Portal

These remain challenging times for everyone, and we appreciate your understanding and support. We hope you are able to enjoy the Trail responsibly, and we will continue to follow the recommendations of our partners and public health officials to keep you and the rest of our trail community safe. 

As always, you can Contact Us with questions or concerns that relate to the SHT. 

Take care,

The SHTA team