Current Trail Conditions
HUNTING: (Updated September 1, 2018): Please be aware that there are a variety of hunting seasons throughout autumn. The Superior Hiking Trail exists on a patchwork of private and public lands where hunting may be taking place. Trail users are advised to wear orange when hiking in autumn as a general precaution.
Most of the SHT will close, as always, during firearms deer season in November (11/03 – 11/18). Please plan ahead and follow any posted signs. Your cooperation keeps our landowners happy and ensures the future of our Trail.
TRAILHEAD CLOSURES AND ISSUES (Updated September 10, 2018)
- Lismore Road Trailhead had a couple of car break-ins this spring. As with any trailhead, hikers are reminded not to leave valuables in your cars.
- Sucker River Trailhead and Fox Farm Road Trailhead are affected by a road bridge construction project between the two trailheads. You can access Sucker River Trailhead from the Duluth area (via Pequaywan Lake Road to Fox Farm Road) and you can access Fox Farm Trailhead from the Two Harbors area.
- County Road 70 Trailhead (between Judge Magney State Park and Arrowhead Trail) is open, but the road to County Road 70 is in very poor condition for the last 3/10th of a mile. There is a small day-use ONLY parking area on Camp 20 Road if you don’t want to drive farther on County Road 70. A better option for overnight parking is within Judge Magney State Park (sticker required), Arrowhead Trail, or Jackson Lake Road.
- Andy Lake Road on the way to the Andy Lake Road Trailhead is very overgrown this year. While you can park at the trailhead, you may not want to because your car is going to get scratched on the way there.
ALL THINGS WATER RELATED (updated August 23, 2018):
Notice to Trail users! We have had very little rain recently and water sources are getting low. During this time, unreliable water sources may be dry, stagnant, and best used with a water filter as opposed to other water purification methods.
Have you encountered a water source that has dried up completely? Help us help other Trail users! Fill out the form on the bottom of this page.
- Jay Cooke State Park has limited running water. Running water has been restored to the Jay Cooke State Park headquarters area and one spigot in the campground.
- In the section Sucker River to Fox Farm Road, Fox Farm Pond Campsite‘s beaver dam has blown out, leaving the campsite with no water. Get water 2.7 miles southwest of Fox Farm Pond at Sucker River Campsite (or at the multi-use bridge across the Sucker River) or about 4.5 miles northeast at the West Branch of the Knife River.
- 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, or during spring snowmelt season. 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.
- Crow Creek near West Castle Danger Road: The bridge over Crow Creek was washed out during a recent heavy rain event. The creek is now a wet-water crossing. Take caution entering and exiting the creek at each bank. Like the Encampment River, this creek is rarely high. General rule: if the Encampment River is safe to cross, Cross Creek will likely also be safe to cross, and vice-versa.
- Split Rock River Loop: Split Rock River Bridge is out. Long-distance hikers can take spur trails to continue their hike through: 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.
- 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.
TRAIL DETOURS AND ISSUES (updated September 10, 2018):
- Enger Park to Rose Garden Section: Even though it appears you can’t access the I-35 pedestrian bridge between Railroad Drive and Michigan Street because of construction on Michigan Street, you can indeed get through; they have maintained pedestrian access there. But be aware that that could change.
- Enger Park to Rose Garden Section: In Canal Park, note a short detour along Harbor Drive near the Minnesota Slip (pedestrian) bridge that avoids construction on the sea wall there. Follow the well marked detour along the edge of the DECC (convention center) that gets you to the pedestrian lift bridge (or vice versa).
As of October 1 through possibly mid-November, that pedestrian lift bridge connecting Harbor Drive to Canal Park will be in the upright/uncrossable position due to work being done on the William A. Irvin. Continue down Harbor Drive to sidewalk at end of canal and cross to Baywalk (or vice versa). This detour will add approximately 0.3 miles to the section.
- New trail was constructed near Chester Creek and connects to a short segment near the Aftenro retirement home. This new trail segment eliminates about 8 blocks of street walking on Skyline Drive and 19th Avenue East. The SHT still follows Junction Road through the UMD campus to the Bagley Nature Area.
- The Gooseberry Re-route: 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!
This detour will continue through 2018 as we pursue wetlands permitting and assess route finalization.
- Cascade River State Park Spur Trail: One of two spurs from the wayside on Highway 61 is closed for maintenance. You will still be able to access the cascades by using the open spur. Follow signage. This closure will not affect the main SHT.
LOGGING (updated August 9, 2018):
- 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.
- 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.
- Rossini Road area: Logging north of Rossini Road.
- Between North Egge Campsite and South Sonju Campsite between Lake County Road 7 to Crosby-Manitou State Park, there was a logging operation adjacent to the Trail. There is a logging road crossing the SHT in this area.
- Sundling Creek spur trail: There was logging on this spur trail, but it impacted only a small portion of it. You can follow the spur trail with no navigational issues.
- 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.
- There was logging south of Jackson Lake Road. Woodland Caribou Pond Campsite has been compromised in the process and is currently missing its sign. Look for a tipi constructed to mark the campsite entrance.
- North of Jackson Lake Road, logging will be occurring within the next week (July 19-26). Hike this section with caution. Pink flagging will be hung to help guide hikers through the section until SHTA staff can get out there and fully re-sign it.
- 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. The trail is flagged with hot pink flagging tape — it should be easy to follow and it is easy walking.
ANIMAL ADVISORY (updated August 20, 2018)
- A hornet’s nest has been reported on a boardwalk near East Gooseberry Campsite on the section from Castle Danger to Gooseberry Falls State Park.
- There is a hornet’s nest in the Andy Creek Campsite in the section from Jackson Lake Road to Otter Lake Road. It is near the northernmost tent pad.
- There is a very large hornet’s nest on an SHT boardwalk near Andy Creek Campsite in the section from Jackson Lake Road to Otter Lake Road. As you hike north, it will be on the second boardwalk after you pass the campsite. Please use extreme caution. Avoid this boardwalk if possible.
Reminders about bears from DNR: Users of campsites need to take precautions to keep a clean camp, not leave any food or food scented containers in tents or packs (or vehicles!) that are easy to access. A bear’s nose is phenomenal & once they successfully find food, they are likely to come back looking for food again. As long as people take proper precautions & the bear finds no reward for its nuisance behavior, it should stop coming around.
What are “proper precautions” with food? Bear-bag your food. If you don’t bear-bag, please carry a bear canister. Never leave your food unattended in camp, not even for five minutes.
Here are our bear reports:
- A bear smelled food in a jeep with a canvas top at Fox Farm Road Trailhead. If you drive a similar vehicle, you will want to guarantee no garbage or food is left inside when you leave it at a trailhead.
- Bear Lake Campsite had a bear reported this spring.
- West Kennedy Creek Campsite had a very persistent bear hanging around camp.
- Section 13 Campsite had a bear hanging around.
- Lake Agnes Campsites also have bear activity.
- The Little Brule Campsites near Judge Magney State Park had a bear sighting.
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)