Volunteer this Fall with the SHTA

August 31, 2023

Summer 2023 has been a fun and project-filled season on the SHT. Volunteers have cleared logs, cut brush back, cleaned fire pits, completed a stone staircase and three stone step water crossings, built a bunch of boardwalk, and so much more. Thank you to all the amazing volunteers who have given back to the Trail this summer!

Volunteers Alex Korbel (left) and Katie Logan (right) at our Springdale Creek Project in July 2023. Photo by Barbara Budd.

We have just a few weeks left to finish some important projects, and we can use your help to wrap up the season. This fall, we’re also offering a couple of fun ways for you to learn about what it takes to maintain the Trail.

Below, you’ll find:

  • Fall Volunteer Opportunities
  • Learn How to Keep Water Off the Trail (mud reduction!)
  • Section and Campsite Adopter Update
  • Hold the Date: Volunteer Appreciation Parties

Duluth Area Trail Maintenance, ongoing all summer

Join our southern area contractor, Larry, as he leads trail maintenance events in the Duluth vicinity through October. Depending on the day, you might find Larry leading groups of volunteers lopping, weed whipping, or building trail structures like stairs or boardwalks. Early September dates are below. Keep watching our registration page for more September and October dates to come.

Indian Camp Creek Stone Step Crossing
Volunteers carry lumber for a new boardwalk at our Mystery Mountain Rehabilitation Project in July 2023. Photo by Tim Malzhan.

Join SHTA as we place rock stepping stones across Indian Camp Creek to create a sustainable creek crossing. Activities will include finding and moving rock, placing and stabilizing stepping stones, and using hand tools to shape the trail that approaches the crossing. No experience necessary! Please register separately for each day you wish to participate.

Introduction to Trail Work

Come out to learn what it takes to maintain the SHT. An experienced crew lead will give you pro tips on how to keep brush and water off the trail. No experience necessary! All tools and training will be provided by SHTA. Expect about a 1 mile hike from the trailhead to the project.

Drainage Maintenance (mud reduction!)

Have you ever wondered about how to get water off the trail so that hikers don’t have to slosh their way through the mud? Come join one of our Drainage Maintenance work parties where you can learn the right techniques for effectively getting the water off the trail. Find out more by clicking on one of the dates below. All of these work parties will be near Lutsen.

Corridor Clearing and Blazing

Have you been whacked in the face or tripped up by low-hanging branches while hiking the SHT? Here’s your chance to clear the trail corridor of woody brush using hand tools and to mark the trail you’ve cleared with fresh blazes. Join experienced volunteer crew leaders Nicole Halgrimson and Denny Caneff to clean up brush and add new blazes on the SHT north and east of Cascade River State Park. No experience necessary! Camping and some meals provided.

Adopter Update

September and October are the months for adopters to head back out to care for their sections and campsites! Please remember to file your adopter report and hours on the volunteer portal. Your volunteer report now goes into a database that we can easily access to track issues on the trail. We still welcome an email to report urgent problems or hazards. In addition, your hours help SHTA match grants that provide funding for other projects along the Trail. So using the volunteer portal is essentially doubling your gift of time and energy with just a few more minutes on your part. If you or any helpers you bring need a new link to the portal, please contact Barbara at [email protected].

SHTA’s fiscal year end is September 30. If you have contributed hours in 2023 that have not been recorded, please enter them before September 30. Hours contributed October 1, 2023 and following count toward next fiscal year, so do not report them early. We may have a few sections and campsites available this fall. If you are interested in being an adopter, please contact [email protected].

Hold the date for Volunteer Appreciation Parties!

We love to celebrate you and all the amazing things you do for the Trail! Please join us for one of the 2023 Volunteer Appreciation Parties this November. 

  • Duluth, Saturday evening, November 4
  • Grand Marais, Thursday evening, November 9, 2023
  • Twin Cities, Saturday afternoon, November 11
  • Virtual Party, Tuesday evening, November 15

-Barbara Budd, SHTA Volunteer and Education Coordinator