Current Trail Conditions
SHTA staff update this page as soon as we get noteworthy conditions reports.
If you want specific information on recent conditions on a section of Trail, please ask those questions in the SHT Facebook group.
General update: Bug season is beginning. Presence or absence of bugs is impossible to forecast: you may get lucky and not encounter bad bugs, but prepare for maximum bugs this month.
TRAILHEAD CLOSURES AND ISSUES (updated June 24, 2019):
- Beck’s Road/123rd Avenue West had some break-ins recently. Do not leave anything valuable in your car.
- Martin Road Trailhead is temporarily closed, and remains closed as of June 24. This trailhead is managed by DNR, and the current closure is due to a logging operation. We do not know when this trailhead will reopen.
- Lismore Road Trailhead is permanently closed: what had been public land is now privately owned. The SHT can still be accessed at Lismore Road by parking on the road (please park well off the roadway) and going through the ditch to reach the Trail. The Trail runs parallel to Lismore Rd. and is within the highway right-of-way, so you are not trespassing. Do NOT park in the driveway that had been the trailhead parking lot; you WILL be trespassing. The land the SHT passes through at Lismore Rd. was logged recently and the trail corridor has been re-established by volunteers but there is touch-up work to do.
- With these two closures just north of Duluth, we recommend parking at Normanna Road Trailhead, which has plenty of space and where overnight parking is allowed.
- Rossini Road Trailhead has a dead wolf in the lot. We are letting nature take its course.
TRAIL DETOURS AND ISSUES (updated June 10, 2019):
- As of May 16, the SHT in the City of Duluth has re-opened after being closed for the spring thaw. If you encounter a problem on the Trail there, please report it to us using the form below.
- As of October 25, the City of Duluth had closed some of the Lakewalk due to an October windstorm, but reopened the section from the pier to Endion Station. We will offer an alternate route once things settle down there. For now, plan to use this alternate route between Leif Erickson Park and Endion Station.
- Hartley Nature Center to Martin Road: Beginning in late May and continuing through June, utility work related to the rebuilding of Woodland Ave. will happen right on top of the SHT between Hartley Nature Center and where the SHT crosses Woodland Road, near the Lutheran church. The construction company doing the utility work will rebuild this 200-yard segment of the Trail, at the direction of Duluth Parks.
Once the construction is completed, cyclists age 7 to 9 that are part of a local cycling club will show up on that same stretch of trail. The young riders will stage themselves at the Lutheran church and enter Hartley Nature Center via the SHT’s intersection with Woodland Rd. in order to access the bike trails within Hartley. This is a temporary use of the SHT, ending in August.
- Martin Road to Lismore Road: The northernmost portion of this section, from the bridge over Lester River to the Lismore Road Trailhead, recently endured a logging operation. The corridor has been re-established but there is still work to do here.
- Reeves Road to 301/Fors Road: There is a short section of trail along Silver Creek that needs to be rerouted upslope. In the meantime, use caution in this short stretch.
- Lake County Road 301/Fors Road to Castle Danger: Encampment River area has experienced a large slump near the crossing. SHTA will be working on a short reroute in this area. Use caution until the reroute is in place.
- The Gooseberry Reroute: A 1.6 mile section of the SHT is closed permanently between Gooseberry Falls State Park to Split Rock River Wayside, from the northern boundary of Gooseberry Falls State Park to Blueberry Hill Road. There is a sparsely-signed detour on the paved Gitchi Gami State Trail to go around this section. Bring these directions with you! Here is a map you can also use.
The detour starts at the Gooseberry Falls State Park Visitor Center, crosses on the pedestrian bridge under Hwy. 61 over the Gooseberry River and travels for 2.1 miles on the Gitchi Gami State Trail to the Blueberry Hill Road intersection. This intersection is located at about Highway 61, milepost 41.6 by blue fire number #3486. You will need to watch for the fire number! Cross Highway 61 and walk 1.2 miles north on Blueberry Hill Road, a gravel forest road, to connect to the SHT and then continue east on the SHT to Split Rock River Wayside. No parking on Blueberry Hill Road.
- Cascade River State Park to County Road 45, including the Cascade River Loop: On the west side of the Cascade River, a bridge’s stringer has failed. Please avoid this bridge. The approximate location is: 47°43’44.5″N 90°32’12.1″W.
- Cook County windstorm: For more information, check out our blog post on the storm. Many sections of SHT north of Grand Marais were and are severely impacted by many downed trees.
Specific reports as follows:
- Pincushion Mountain to Cook County Road 58 has been cleared.
- County Rd. 58 (Lindskog) to County 14 — Cleared starting from both ends, with a gap roughly between Cliff Creek and Durfee Creek campsites.
- County 14 to the west end Lake Walk has been cleared.
- Judge Magney State Park to Camp 20 Road is cleared from Camp 20 toward Devil’s Kettle but not all the way there. There remains a chunk of this section with many downed trees.
- County Road 70 to Hazel Campsite has been cleared.
- South Carlson Pond campsite to Arrowhead Trail still has some downed trees.
- Arrowhead Trail north toward Jackson Lake Road — partly cleared. There’s a gap in the middle.
- Jackson Lake Rd. to Caribou Pond campsite was cleared.
- Andy Lake Road to Otter Lake Road was cleared.
- The Finland area (particularly near the SHT parking lot on County Road 7) has been experiencing increased wolf activity. While there has not been any aggression shown towards humans, dogs are in particular danger in this location. For this and many other reasons, please keep your dog leashed on this and every section of the SHT.
WATER CONDITIONS AND BRIDGE UPDATES (updated June 13, 2019):
It’s been wet out there, and this shows in our creeks and rivers.
- Co Rd 301/Fors Road to Castle Danger: The Encampment River is a wet-water crossing. Under normal circumstances, it’s an easy crossing with many large rocks. It is only a problem if there has been a large rain event within 48 hours. Here is a roadwalk detour map you can print and bring with you, but we suggest hiking to the river to assess it before concluding that a roadwalk is necessary.
- Co Rd 301/Fors Road to Castle Danger: Several small bridges washed out during a recent heavy rain event. The Trail should be passable without those bridges. This includes Crow Creek near West Castle Danger Road. Like the Encampment River, this creek is rarely high.
- Split Rock River Loop: Split Rock River Bridge is out. Long-distance hikers can take spur trails to continue their hike through if the water level is high: Northbound, at junction with spur trail turn right (south-east) toward the Split Rock River Wayside. From the wayside, take paved trail to Hwy 61 underpass and turn left. After 0.2 miles, spur trail to main SHT is on left across Hwy 61. Follow spur trail 0.4 miles to junction with main SHT.
- Split Rock and Beaver Bay: Just north of Fault Line Creek Campsite, a short section of the trail is flooded due to persistent beavers. The trail is fordable, but prepare for wet feet and legs. Some hikers have walked across the beaver dam.
- Cramer Road to Skou Road: Fredenberg Creek bridge should be avoided due to a structural deficiency. You should be able to scout around to find a natural crossing of this generally-calm creek.
- Caribou Trail to Cascade River State Park: The Spruce Creek bridge was washed slightly downstream this spring. We recommend staying off the bridge.
- Cascade River State Park to Bally Creek Road (also on the Cascade River Loop):
- Trout Creek is a wet-water crossing. Under normal circumstances, Trout Creek is a trickle. Only during snowmelt season or a big rain event is crossing an issue. If hiking the loop, hike it counter-clockwise – get to Trout Creek first, not at the end of your hike, just in case.
- On the west side of the Cascade River, a bridge’s stringer has failed. Please avoid this bridge. The approximate location is: 47°43’44.5″N 90°32’12.1″W.
LOGGING (updated May 29, 2019):
- Between Duluth and Two Harbors, there have been several forest management logging operations over the last few years on county lands. Please keep in mind that the Superior Hiking Trail Association does not own this land and that every effort is made by loggers to disrupt as little of the SHT as possible.
- Martin Road to Lismore Road: recent logging has taken place near Lismore Road. The trail corridor should be visible thanks to volunteer help.
- Lismore Road to Normanna Road: Much of this section is owned by St. Louis County which is actively logging this area. Watch carefully for blue flagging and posts marked with SHT markings to find your way.
- Normanna Road to Sucker River Trailhead: Recent logging activity has impacted the Trail, but work has been done to clear the route.
- Rossini Road area: There has been logging north of Rossini Road, but the Trail is passable and the logging area is short. It looks more dramatic from the road than it does from the SHT.
- Cook County Rd. 6 area: There has been an active logging operation beginning at the point where the SHT crosses County Rd. 6 heading east and continuing near the section of trail shared with the North Shore State Trail.
- Otter Lake Road area: There was a logging operation south of Otter Lake Road that has turned about a mile of the SHT into a logging road. Follow carsonite posts.
8th EDITION GUIDE UPDATES
Problem Report Form
Report of Trail Condition, Problem, or Maintenance Needed:
(e.g. problem with bridges, downed trees, erosion, trail markers, or campsites)