The Superior Hiking Trail depends on volunteers.

Over 400 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? 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!

Want the most up-to-date volunteer info in your inbox? Check out our monthly volunteer newsletter, Boots on the Ground. Sign up here.

2024 Volunteer Events

We have an exciting summer planned! Watch our 2024 Volunteer Opportunities Webinar to find out more.

Or click on any area below to see dates and descriptions. If you’d like to see the whole list of events by date, you can visit our registration page here. We upgraded our registration system this spring. If you have any problems registering, please contact [email protected].

Check out this summer’s volunteer projects!

No experience necessary. Join us for one day or multiple days. All tools are provided. Complimentary camping and most dinners will be available for all of these projects, and details will be emailed to participants prior to the event. Registration is required for all events. Because we now have an electronic waiver, all volunteers must each register separately 

Our registration system was upgraded in winter of 2024, and we have experienced a couple of small glitches. If you have any difficulty registering, please contact [email protected].

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].

2024 Projects  Please note that these dates and locations are subject to change as we see what spring brings us.

Trail Clearing Weekends  Come help SHTA clear trees off the trail that have come down over the winter. Certified sawyers will cut, all others will help remove the debris. No experience necessary! Expect to hike several miles while removing downed trees. Register here for  Grand Marais May 18-19Finland June 1-2

Cascade River Loop  Join us in renewing the Cascade River Loop. Activities will include using hand tools to repair and reroute the current trail. Expect a less than 1mile hike from trailhead to project. Nearest town: Grand Marais. Register here for June 20-24July 11-15

Mission Creek (All Women)  In partnership with Unruly Women, this project is reserved as an event for women, which means all folks who are female identifying and/or femme leaning non-binary individuals. Join us as we reroute a section of trail near Mission Creek. Activities will include digging with shovels and hand tools to create the new tread. We will also build structures (either stairs or boardwalk). Expect a 0.5 mile hike from the trailhead to the project. Nearest town: Duluth. Register here for July 26-28September 13-15

Bean and Bear Loop  Come help us get more of the Bean and Bear Loop up and out of the mud. Activities will include using hand tools to repair and reroute the current trail. Expect up to a 1.5 mile hike from trailhead to project. Nearest town: Silver Bay. Register here for August 1-5

Corridor Clearing and Blazing Weekends  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 Trail! Expect to hike up to 3 miles round trip to the work site. Register here for Grand Marais Area August 10-11Finland Area September 7-8Two Harbors Area September 28-29

Gooseberry Backpack Team  A new type opportunity! There is an eroding section of the Gooseberry spur trail that isn't easily accessible by a day trip, so we're planning a backpacking trail maintenance team! Activities will include using hand tools to repair and reroute the current trail. This is a strenuous trip that is open to volunteers with at least one day of trail maintenance experience. Previous backpacking experience required. You must commit to all three days, and you will need to provide all your own food and backpacking gear. In addition, you will carry 5-10 lbs of SHTA-provided tools to the site. The hike in will be about three miles and mostly uphill. If a strenuous trip is your jam, please join us!  Register here for August 16-18

Drainage Maintenance (mud reduction!), You can be a drainage hero! Join us as we do the work to keep water off the SHT so that the trail stays dray and mud-free.  Expect to hike 2-6 miles while working. Register here for September 21October 12October 26

Ongoing All Summer - 

Trail work between the southern terminus and Two Harbors has begun for the season!!

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.  When you get to the registration page, look for events that start with the words "Duluth Area."

Dates and projects will be posted regularly throughout the summer. We post these opportunities four or more weeks in advance, though last-minute opportunities will also arise, so keep coming back to find a date that works for you!

Register here!

Introduction to Trail Work  New to trail maintenance? Have you ever wondered if this was something you'd enjoy? This half-day event is a great way to check out what it's all about. No experience necessary.

There are currently no Introduction to Trail Work events scheduled.

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].

To file your volunteer hours, please follow this link to get to your volunteer portal and the reporting system. If you do not yet have a portal, or if you have any questions  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.

  • Facebook moderators
  • Trail Ambassador
  • Trail store and office
  • Camp cook (for group events)
  • Photography
  • Education and outreach, tabling
  • Professional/Technical

These instructions are for Adopters, Trail Clearing (sawyers/swampers), and other individual projects (i.e. tabling, office/store, board activities). If you participate in a Trail Renewal or Duluth Area Group Project, your hours are automatically recorded. Do not fill them out using this system.

Please note that there were several years that records were not being kept in this system. At this point, we do not have plans to enter them here, but know those hours were recorded in the fiscal years when they were performed.

Instructions for filing your hours.

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 Your Volunteer History and click on the "Submit a New Task" button on the right.
    • Fill out the form.
      • If you are entering adopter hours and need to file a full report, at the volunteer activity question, choose "Adopter, Section and/or Campsite (full report)" and the long form report will open. Please fill out the entire 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.
    • Scroll to the bottom and click "Submit."
    • You can keep that link (by saving the email and/or bookmarking your portal 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.

Because the SHT is an affiliate of the North Country Trail, SHTA volunteers have access to the Volunteer-In-Parks program. The VIP program for the NCT is co-managed by the National Park Service and the North Country Trail Association. The VIP program provides important protection for volunteers. All VIPs are entitled to the same injury considerations that NPS employees receive (provided they are operating within their approved scope of duties and NPS policies). Additionally, VIPs are recognized for their contributions and earn annual recognition items based on hours of service and are eligible to attend certain skills and leadership training.

To sign up as a VIP, please follow this link. Choose "Individual Agreement Sign-Up Process" and take into consideration the instructions below.

Under Step 1, there are multiple categories to choose from. Please select all titles where you could potentially volunteer. If you ever choose to add a position, you will need to update your VIP paperwork if you do not choose it now.

* As an SHTA volunteer, please contact [email protected] when the position description states to contact someone within NCTA and the Chapters.

Follow the rest of the steps as outlined.

Finally, have fun and be safe! Remember to submit your volunteer hours on a regular basis. (See the File Your Volunteer Hours link on the SHTA Volunteer Page).


Video Resources for Volunteers

Documents for Volunteers

Questions? Contact [email protected]