Trail Conditions

Current Trail Conditions

Staff of the Superior Hiking Trail Association update this page as soon as we get noteworthy conditions reports.

COVID-19 ALERT: Please visit our COVID-19 page to find our latest recommendations on use of the SHT and our campsites before heading out. We ask all trail users to Recreate Responsibly to keep user and our trail community safe and healthy.

General Trail Conditions (updated May 25, 2021): Spring trail conditions abound, which means you’re likely to find more exposed areas in fine shape and others in muddy or soggy, saturated condition. If you encounter a muddy spot in an otherwise dry area, please go through the mud — not around it — to avoid causing damage to surrounding vegetation. If you encounter wet, saturated SHT, please turn back to avoid causing damage to the tread of the Trail. Spring also means bugs:  ticks, mosquitoes, and black flies are all flourishing on the SHT right now. We highly recommend doing a through tick check after every SHT experience to help prevent tick-borne illness. 

If you encounter a section of the SHT signed as CLOSED, please stay off. You can help us maintain access to the Trail and honor our agreements with private landowners by staying off closed sections. 



General reminders:

  • Camping is not allowed at trailheads. The SHTA does not own the land you are parking on, and we do not have permission for camping in these areas.
  • Never leave valuables in your car at any SHT trailhead. 

Specific trailhead updates:

  • Wild Valley Road Trailhead and vicinity: Some trail users have reported hearing gunshots close to the SHT at Wild Valley Trailhead. Recreational shooting is known to take place nearby. There’s no reason to believe guns are being shot at or across the Trail, but please be aware of your surroundings to stay safe.
  • 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.  Please be mindful to stay on the Trail while you pass through this area.
  • Lake County Road 6 Trailhead: A trailhead expansion project, led by the Lake County Highway Department, is underway. A significantly larger parking area is being constructed to provide additional parking for this popular trailhead and provide a larger setback from nearby Sawmill Creek. Construction work is expected to be wrapped up by mid‐June. In the meantime, Trail users are asked to utilize the old parking area and if crews are working and hauling materials, they may direct you to the nearby Lake County gravel pit where alternate parking will be made available. Your cooperation is requested to help expedite the project and keep the worksite and Trail access safe for everyone. Questions regarding the project can be directed to the Lake County Highway Department at 218‐834‐8380. See the Press Release from Lake County Highway Department here


  • Duluth SHT: The SHT inside city limits is open when dry and closed during wet weather or when trail conditions are soft and wet. Find the current open/closed status for the Trail in Duluth by visiting the City’s Natural Surface Trails page
  • Enger Park to Rose Garden: The City of Duluth has continued to work to restore the Duluth Lakewalk area from the Aerial Lift Bridge to Endion Station due to storm damage sustained in recent years. The route of the SHT through the area follows the temporary reroute of the Lakewalk while construction is underway. Refer to the City of Duluth’s updates on the project for the most current status.
  • Eastern Fox Farm Road to Rossini Road: A timber harvest is ongoing towards the northeastern end of this section. The logger is done cutting in one unit (a clearcut) and not started in another (a thinning). Trail users should follow the pink flagging and stay alert as they pass through. We should be notified as soon as St. Louis County gets word that the logger is going to resume operations, but all trail users should exercise EXTREME caution while in the area.
  • Gun Club Road to Lake County Road 301/Fors Road: The SHT is closed from Gun Club Road to Silver Creek Campsite. Long-distance hikers can bypass the area (heading northeast-bound) by following a roadwalk on Gun Club Road to Lake County Road 301 (Fors Road) and reconnecting with the SHT at Lake County Road 301 Trailhead (see map below). The Silver Creek Campsite is open for shared use as usual. A short reroute to reopen the Trail is in the works, but construction has not begun yet. 
  • Lake County Road 301/Fors Road to Castle Danger: Encampment River area has experienced a large slump near the river crossing. SHTA will be working on a short reroute in this area. Use caution until the reroute is in place.
  • The “Gooseberry Gap” 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 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 near 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. No camping is available between Gooseberry Falls State Park and Blueberry Hill Campsite! Please plan accordingly.
  • Split Rock to Beaver Bay: A new mountain bike trail is being built near the SHT. The new trail passes close to the Fault Line Creek campsite (and particularly close to the latrine).
  • Cascade River State Park to Cook County Road 45, including the Cascade River Loop: On the west side of the Cascade River, a small bridge failed and has been dismantled. The crossing there is a bit precarious. It may be a while before we can create an alternate crossing. The approximate location is: 47°43’44.5″N 90°32’12.1″W.
  • Judge C.R. Magney State Park to Northern Camp 20 Road: This trail section will be CLOSED for some parts of the upcoming month. The schedule is:
    • June 4 – June 13 – The trail to Devil’s Kettle from the Judge Magney trailhead parking lot will be OPEN.
    • June 14 – June 17 – The trail to Devil’s Kettle from the Judge Magney trailhead parking lot will be CLOSED from 9am-5pm. For safety reasons, no public access will be allowed in this area during that timeframe.
    • While this project will be completed over the next several months, there may be changes on the weekly work schedule. Please be sure to continue to check our trail conditions page as you plan your hike.
  • Northern Camp 20 Road to Arrowhead Trail: The eastern end of the Tom Lake Road roadwalk may be temporarily flooded by beavers. Look for a rugged path around wet area or plan for wet feet.

ANIMAL ADVISORY (updated June 4, 2021):

  • The Finland area has been experiencing increased wolf activity. There has been no aggression shown towards humans, but 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. Wolves are a normal, natural part of the ecosystem on the North Shore.
  • Crystal Creek Campsite, in the section Caribou Falls State Wayside to Sugarloaf Road, has ground bees nesting in the middle of the campsite. They are near the fire ring. If possible, we recommend simply avoiding this campsite for the time being. South of Crystal Creek Campsite, East Caribou Campsite is very large and has no bee problem.
  • Always protect your food at SHT campsites and pack out everything you bring with you on the Trail. Here’s a helpful guide to reduce the chances of bear encounters: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/livingwith_wildlife/bears/camping.html

WATER CROSSINGS (updated May 25, 2021):

General water crossings reminder:

  • After large rain events, water levels at natural crossings such as Encampment River, Split Rock River, Trout Creek, etc, can fluctuate wildly.

Specific water crossings updates:

  • 131st Avenue West to 123rd Avenue West: The Sargent Creek Bridge has been deteriorating for many years and a reroute project is planned for this spring. In the meantime, it would be best to avoid using this bridge.
  • Lake County Road 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 strongly suggest hiking to the river to assess it before concluding that a roadwalk is necessary.
  • Lake County Road 301/Fors Road to Castle Danger: Several small bridges have evolved into non-bridged minor water crossings. 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:  There is no bridge over the Split Rock River. Many trail users have crossed the river at the former bridge site during low water — we urge caution if you decide to cross the river. The river may be impassable during high water events. An alternate route exists on spur trails to cross a bridge near Hwy 61 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.
  • Caribou Trail to Cascade River State Park: The Spruce Creek Bridge was washed slightly downstream last spring. We recommend staying off the bridge. A crossing of the creek is generally possible in low-to-normal water conditions but you will likely get wet feet. We plan to replace the Spruce Creek Bridge during the 2022 season.
  • 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, go 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 small bridge failed and has been dismantled. The crossing there is still a bit precarious. The approximate location is: 47°43’44.5″N 90°32’12.1″W.


  • Between Duluth and Two Harbors, there have been several forest management and timber harvest 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 harvesters to disrupt as little of the SHT as possible.
    • 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.
    • Eastern Fox Farm Road to Rossini Road:  A timber harvest is ongoing towards the northeastern end of this section. The logger is done cutting in one unit (a clearcut) and not started in another (a thinning). Trail users should follow the pink flagging and stay alert as they pass through. We should be notified as soon as St. Louis County gets word that the logger is going to resume operations, but all trail users should exercise EXTREME caution while in the area.
  • Lake County Road 7 to George Crosby Manitou State Park: Timber has been harvested along the SHT between Lake County Road 7 and the first crossing (northbound) with the North Shore State Trail (approximately 0.4 miles from Co. Rd. 7). The route of the SHT through the site is currently marked with orange flagging — please follow these flags to stay on the Trail. Note: There are two forestry roads that cross the Trail, and you may see blue painted forestry boundary markings on some trees. Be sure to watch for rectangular SHT blazes, and disregard the other boundary markings. Please proceed with caution through the site. Contact Lake County Forestry with questions/concerns at (218) 834-8340.

Guidebook and Databook Errata:

Updates to the Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail, 8th Edition: Find errata at: GUIDE TO THE SUPERIOR HIKING TRAIL 8th EDITION ERRATA 9.2019

Updates to the Superior Hiking Trail Databook: Find errata at: Superior Hiking Trail Databook Errata.


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