Superior Hiking Trail Association Staff will update this page as soon as possible with current condition reports.
Updated January 10, 2022
Extensive Damage Winter Storms of 2022
We have experienced heavy snow, ice and wind on the Trail this winter. Many sections have downed trees and when combined with deep snow the Trail may be difficult navigate and follow safely. For the majority of the Trail we will be opening it back up and clearing woody debris in the Spring when the snow melts, as we typically do annually. Stay safe out the and remember if you do get lost, one of the safest things you can do is follow your own tracks in the snow back out to safety. Check specific section you plan on visiting below for additional alerts including a few logging operations.
Duluth Trail Restrictions (TRAILS ARE OPEN)
The Duluth natural surface trails are now open! There is sufficiant snow pack and frozen soil to provide protection against erosion at this time. If conditions warm and cause the top layer of soil to melt, the trails will close again until colder temperatures return.
131st Avenue West to 123rd Avenue West
The Sargent Creek Bridge has been removed and replaced with a shallow ford.
Magney Snively Trailhead to Spirit Mountain Grand Ave Chalet Trailhead
A new reroute was constructed to take the Trail off of Skyline road increasing the safety for our trail users. The reroute is an amazing trail that frames both sides of Stewart Creek with a short stretch along the DWP Trail crossing an incredible bridge with fantastic views.
Waseca Trailhead to Skyline Parkway Trailhead
There is a new reroute open near Green St. taking the SHT off the DWP Trail and into the woods. The SHT still crosses under I35 on the DWP Trail.
Enger Park to Rose Garden
The SHTA and the City of Duluth are aware that there are multiple encampments of people experiencing homelessness in this vicinity. You may experience garbage on and near the Trail, including broken glass among other unsanitary debris. Sturdy footwear is recommended for those who traverse this section.
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 or any driveway nearby; you will be trespassing. Please be mindful to stay on the Trail while you pass through this area.
Normanna Road Trailhead to Reservoir Road
There is a new reroute around and over the small tributary of the Big Sucker Creek that was dammed by beavers just east of Heron Pond Campsite and west of Reservoir Forest Management Rd. The reroute is well marked and easy to follow.
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). The Silver Creek Campsite is open for shared use as usual.
Lake County Road 301/Fors Road to Castle Danger
Temporary Closure: There is a private forest management operation just to the north of the Fors Rd Parking Lot. The Trail is closed northbound for the next few weeks.
Encampment River area has experienced a large slump near the river crossing. Use caution until a reroute is in place.
The Encampment River crossing is a shallow ford. Under normal circumstances, it's an easy crossing with many large rocks. It is only a problem during spring melt or if there has been a large rain event within 48 hours. Here is a roadwalk detour map you can use, but we strongly suggest hiking to the river to assess it before concluding that a roadwalk is necessary.
There are several other shallow fords in this section. This includes Crow Creek near West Castle Danger Road. Like the Encampment River, this creek is rarely high.
West Castle Danger Road to Gooseberry Falls State Park
A small wooden structure has failed near Middle Gooseberry Campsite. Please avoid stepping onto the structure.
The "Gooseberry Gap" Reroute
The Gooseberry Gap Reroute is complete! Here is a map that show the new route!
At this point the trail is as super fresh and vulnerable when wet due to the high clay content of the soil. This is a unique situation where we are asking people to stay off the trail when it has rained recently to give it time to set up and dry out. Please use the detour on the paved Gitchi-Gami State Trail to go around this section. Here is a map you can use. The detour (if it's raining or has just rained) 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. Cross Highway 61 and walk 1.2 miles north on Blueberry Hill Road to connect to the SHT and then continue east on the SHT to Split Rock River Wayside.
Split Rock to Beaver Bay
There is not a 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.
Lake County is building a new mountain bike trail, The Split Rock Wilds, near and across the SHT between Split Rock and Beaver Bay. The new trail passes close to the Fault Line Creek campsite. Be aware that there are crews working in the area. Pay special attention to signage and intersections to ensure that you stay on the correct trail.
Penn Blvd to Minnesota HWY 1
The bridge over High Falls on the Baptism River is closed due to flood damage. Superior Hiking Trail hikers will have to detour south towards the Tettegouche Park Visitors Center to cross the river on the park road bridge.
Skou Rd Trailhead to Temperance River Wayside Trailhead
Bridges are washed out between Falls Campsite and The Ledge Campsite along the Cross River. The shallow water crossing is manageable at normal water levels. Please use caution when crossing the river, even small rain events can increase the depth and speed of the water, use your own discretion when crossing.
Britton Peak to Oberg Mountain
Springdale Creek bridge is closed. Please use caution crossing the creek near the Springdale Creek Campsite.
Oberg Mountain Trailhead and Loop
The first 100 yards to Oberg are severely eroded and the footing is unstable. Use caution while traversing this section.
Leveaux Mountain to Lutsen
The bridge over the Onion River has a weight limit of two people.
Lutsen to Caribou Trail
There are multiple displaced or broken boardwalks in this area due to spring flooding. Please use caution while using these structures.
Indian Camp Creek Bridge CLOSED
The bridge over the Indian Creek has sustained damage from spring flooding and is currently closed. A shallow water crossing is easily achievable at the narrow creek during normal low water conditions, but please use caution especially after rain events.
Pincushion Parking lot on Co Rd 53 to the Pincushion Overlook has been cleared and is well packed.
There is heavy blowdown southbound from Lindskog Rd (Co Rd 58). There will be a salvage logging operation in the area sometime in the next few weeks, as for now the Trail is not passable. If you hear logging equipment in the area do not approach them. It is difficult for operators to see you and debris can be thrown a great distance.
Judge C.R. Magney State Park
Due to park construction, the campground and park entrance road will completely close August 15 - September 1, 2022. The park, Superior Hiking Trail and trail to Devil's Kettle waterfall will remain open during this period and throughout the summer months.
There is a temporary trail closure due to a large amount of downed trees above the falls. Though hikers can make it though. It is not advised for day use at this time
Arrowhead Trail to Otter Lake Road Trailhead
Carlson Creek Bridge is out on the SHT to the east of Arrowhead Trail Trailhead. This creek can be crossed during normal water levels without this bridge. Please use caution during any shallow water crossing.
The bridge over Andy Creek has been damaged in a recent storm. Please use caution while crossing the bridge or while crossing the shallow cobble streambed.
The pond at South Carlson Pond Camp is gone. The beaver pond that was there was drained most likely by spring flood damage to the existing beaver dam. Since the pond was drained there is not a water source at South Carlson Pond Camp. However there is reported to be a good flow <.25 Mi to the north at a Carlson Creek crossing.
Winter Trail and Trailhead Conditions
Many trailheads are not plowed in the winter and some roads to our northernmost trailheads are unplowed. The 9th Edition Guidebook and the Databook both list which trailheads are accessible in winter. Always have a backup plan when visiting the SHT in winter in case a trailhead has not been plowed or in case the trailhead is full. Cars have been towed for blocking the path of plows, so please find somewhere else to recreate if the trailhead is full.
Please do not ever hike on groomed ski trails!
The MN DNR maintains this snow-coverage map: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/snow_depth/index.html
The following trailheads are generally plowed. Please keep in mind this can not be guaranteed.
Jay Cooke State Park Visitor Center
Grand Portage Parking Lot
Munger Trail at 123rd Ave West
Spirit Mountain Lower Chalet
Spirit Mountain Upper Chalet
Hartley Nature Center
Martin Road Normanna Road
Eastern Fox Farm Road
Lake County Demonstration Forest
Lake County Road 301
Gooseberry Falls State Park
Split Rock River Wayside
Split Rock Lighthouse State Park
Lax Lake Road
Tettegouche State Park
Lake County Road 6
Lake County Road 7
Crosby-Manitou State Park
Caribou River Wayside: This has been sporadically plowed some years, but this year it’s been mostly unplowed. Do not rely on this parking lot being accessible, and do not park on Highway 61 here. It’s in a dangerous curve.
Temperance River Wayside
Onion River Road
Ski Hill Road
Cascade River State Park
Bally Creek Road (northern parking lot most likely)
Kadunce River Wayside
Judge Magney State Park (the big parking lot isn’t plowed but there is room to park cars right by the contact station)
Arrowhead Trail: This road is plowed in the winter, but our parking lot has reportedly been completely buried in snow. The road is not wide enough to safely park on. We recommend avoiding Arrowhead Trail’s parking lot.-Special note on Jackson Lake Road and Otter Lake Road: These roads are generally not plowed at all during winter. There is no reliable access to the northern terminus.
General Trail Corridor Information
Please respect all Trail and bridge closures set by land managers, State Parks, or the SHTA
You can help us maintain access to the Trail and honor our agreements with private landowners by staying off closed sections. When the Trail is routed through a trailhead, take a moment to check if there are any additional signs posted at the trailhead.
A Rugged, Remote Natural Path
The Superior Hiking Trail traverses many different ecosystems, varies in its proximity to population centers and experiences different levels of use along the length of the corridor. This means a trail user will experience a variety of conditions at different points and will possibly encounter parts of the trail that are rougher than others or a tree may be down. We work hard to coordinate annual maintenance, brushing and log removal but other issues may have occurred since the sawyers have been through an area. This happens on occasion and we will clear it soon or in worst case scenario it will be clear in the next annual cycle. Please report trail issues as these data points are valuable to us!
Shallow Water Crossings
Shallow water crossings may be impassable during high waters. Spring and fall water levels pose significant risk when crossing, please cross at your own discretion.
A recent high-water event during the spring melt flooded sections of Trail, washed out some small bridges, and undercut portions of Trail along rivers and creeks. Water levels may still be high along the Trail. During high water events, the force of the water can undercut creek and river banks on which the Trail and bridge abutments are built and the structure could be compromised but not visible to the eye. If you come to washed out or flooded Trail and bridges, please use caution. The full impact of this high-water event on the Trail is still being assessed.
The Superior Hiking Trail is a remote natural path trail, because of this solitude and open land there is the opportunity to encounter wild animals. Do not under any circumstances feed or approach any wild animal. It is highly unlikely that an animal poses a threat to you, however, if an animal approaches you it is either sick and needs to be avoided or should be scared away so that it does not become comfortable with you as a potential food source. For this and many other reasons, please keep your dog leashed on this and every section of the SHT.