The Superior Hiking Trail depends on volunteers.
Over 300 volunteers put in over 8,000 hours every year to keep the Superior Hiking Trail in great shape. Whether serving as a trail or campsite adopter or contributing to our Trail Renewal Program efforts, we strive to ensure volunteers are safe and successful in their work along the Trail.
Why volunteer with us? It’s a great opportunity to:
- Give back to the Trail
- Make new friends
- See the Trail from a different perspective
- Have FUN!
Are you interested in volunteering with us? Check out the options below. This page is being updated regularly as new opportunities become available, so if you don’t find the opportunity you’re looking for, check back again soon!
Check out our list of this summer’s volunteer projects!
No experience necessary. Join us for one day or multiple days. Complimentary camping will be available for all of these projects. Registration is required for all events and will be available on this page approximately six weeks in advance of each project start date.
Trail Renewal events start at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Expect to travel and work on rugged and uneven ground. Please register only if you can volunteer for a full day. If you are unable to join us for the entire day, please sign up for a different event when you are able to commit fully. Want to know more about what to expect on a Trail Renewal event? Check out our FAQ.
A special way to support our group projects – We’re looking for a few folks who are willing to participate as a camp cook. This person would arrive at camp at about 4:30pm to set up for dinner on the nights that there are shared meals. If you’re interested in doing this on one or more of our projects, please contact Barbara Budd at [email protected].
Bean and Bear Reroute - Register Here
Help move a very muddy section of the SHT to a much more sustainable route! Activities will include cutting brush and digging vegetation out of the new trail corridor, as well as creating a good walking surface for the trail with shovels and other hand tools. This is a great opportunity to learn or practice your basic trail-building skills! Nearest town: Silver Bay.
Spruce Creek Abutments - Register Here (scroll down past Bean and Bear)
Place and fill the geocell structure that will support the new Spruce Creek bridge. Activities will include digging, hauling material, filling the geocell pad with crushed rock, building the cribbing, and setting the sill. Nearest town: Grand Marais.
Woods Creek Reroute - Register Here (scroll down to the date you're looking for)
Help move the SHT away from an eroding bank. Activities will include clearing vegetation from the new trail site and digging with shovels and hand tools to create the new tread. Nearest town: Grand Marais.
August 10-15 - Register Here (scroll down to the date you're looking for)
Spruce Creek Bridge Build
Construct a new bridge across Spruce Creek. Activities will include moving pieces of the bridge into place and connecting them. All materials will be on site. Nearest town: Grand Marais.
Mystery Mountain Rehabilitation
Help complete some much needed maintenance on this section of trail. Activities will include building wooden structures to elevate the trail, digging and flattening tread to restore the trail, and possibly some switchback repair. Nearest town: Grand Marais.
Ongoing All Summer - Register Here
Join our southern area contractor, Larry, as he leads trail maintenance events in the Duluth vicinity. Depending on the day, you might find Larry leading groups of volunteers lopping, weed whipping, or building trail structures like stairs or boardwalks. Check out the list on the registration page for dates and details about what project will happen at any given event. We post these opportunities one to two weeks in advance, so keep coming back to find a date that works for you!
Adopt a section of trail: Section Adopters inspect and maintain a 2-5 mile section of the trail at least twice per year. The primary goal of a section adopter is to lop back the persistent brush that threatens to obscure the Trail. Check out the full job description. Update 5/10/22 - We are celebrating 100% adoption! If you would like to be on the waiting list for a section, please email [email protected].
Adopt a campsite: Campsite Adopters inspect and maintain a SHT campsite at least twice per year. They clean out the fire ring, clear brush, and report hazard trees in the area. Check out the full job description. Update 5/10/22 - We are celebrating 100% adoption! If you would like to be on the waiting list for a campsite, please email [email protected].
Update 6/14/22: To file your any volunteer hours since Oct 1, 2022 to present, please follow this link to get to your volunteer portal and the reporting system. If you have any questions about this, please email [email protected].
There are lots of ways to volunteer at SHTA, and not all of them require using a shovel or a saw.
Below are some areas where we can use help. If you are interested in any of these volunteer opportunities, please contact [email protected]. Let us know how you'd like to help out at SHTA, and we'll let you know when opportunities arise. If you have a skill to share or an idea of how you can help that isn't on the list, let us know.
- Trail store and office
- Camp cook (for group events)
- Education and outreach, tabling
Update 6/14/22: To file your any volunteer hours since Oct 1, 2021 to present, please follow the instructions below to get to your volunteer portal and the reporting system. If you have any questions about this, please email [email protected].
This link is for Adopters, Trail Clearing (sawyers/swampers), and other individual projects. If you participate in a Trail Renewal or Duluth Area Group Project, your hours are automatically recorded. Do not fill them out using the above link.
Thank you for your patience in waiting for our new system! Finally, we've got it up and running. It is not perfect, but it should be pretty straight forward and MUCH EASIER than Galaxy (for those who used it).
Here are the steps to follow:
- Click on https://superiorhiking.secure.force.com/requestVolPortalAccess
- If you use the email address that you gave SHTA, you should be in the system and it will automatically generate an email to you sending you a secure link that is your personal, secure volunteer portal.
- Go to that email and click on the link you find there.
- Scroll down to where it says "Submit a New Task" and click on that button.
- Fill out the form and click Submit at the bottom
- One note: Date you began is the date you started your adopter work this spring. If it was multiple days, don't worry, just one date is necessary. Then you can put the total number of hours (so yes, you could have 32 hours listed, but only one day listed). If you are also entering hours from last fall, please do a separate entry for fall.
- KEEP that link and use it to file all of your volunteer hours (except any hours spent on a group project like our Trail Renewal Projects or Duluth Trail Maintenance - those will be entered by the crew leader). If you lose the link, you can get a new one by requesting it using the same link above.
- If you use a different email address, or if you have never been in our database (for example, if you brought a friend to help you, they need to enter hours, but they won't be in the database), the above link will give you an error message to contact [email protected]. If you get that message, please send me an email with your (or your helper's) name, email address, and zip code, and I will send out a link to the portal. It may take me a day or two to respond to that request, depending on which day the request arrives. Once I get the request, I will initiate an email with a link to your (or your helper's) volunteer portal. Then follow the steps above starting with "Go to that email and click on the link you find there."
If you brought friends out with you, please have them file their hours separately. If they don't want to do that, please just let me know via email at [email protected]. But it would be very helpful to have everyone's hours logged in our system for accurate reporting. You can have them request their link directly from me, or you can send me their names and emails and I'll send out a link to them, whatever works best for you.
We will use this same form (with perhaps a few small edits) in the fall. However, larger improvements to the system are already forthcoming and we will be working on those this winter for use in Spring 2023. We would like to have your feedback regarding this new system so that we can make it more of what you need. In order to keep all that feedback in the same place, please fill out this short form (it should take about 5 minutes, maybe less).
Video Resources for Adopters
Documents for Existing Volunteers
- SHTA Trail Maintenance Manual (2021) *PDF*
- Volunteer Services Agreement with Appendix E *PDF*
- Superior National Forest Job Hazard Analysis *PDF*
- Form for Authorization for Injury Examination and/or Treatment *PDF*
- Addendum to OF-301A Volunteer Services Agreement *PDF*
Questions? Contact [email protected]