Q: What is the weather going to be like two days/weeks/months from now?
We don’t know.
The SHT is 300 miles long; weather conditions for one part of the trail are completely different from what’s happening on another. Weather along Lake Superior can fluctuate wildly; it could be in the 40s in July and 90 degrees in September. SHTA staff are not able to monitor the conditions of the entire trail or make predictions about what conditions will be like in the future. Please check an online weather forecast for this information.
Q: Do I need a permit to use the SHT campsites? Are there fees for camping?
There are no reservations, fees or permits required to use these campsites. This means that campsites must be shared with other hikers and may not be be reserved for the exclusive use of a single individual or party. Really large groups are asked to plan their trips so that the group is dispersed into multiple campsites.
Q: What is a SHT campsite like?
Each campsite has 2 to 8 tent pads, a fire ring and a backcountry latrine. Users must pack out all trash and should not dispose of trash in the fire pit or latrine. Keeping a clean campsite and hanging food at night will help to prevent bears and rodents from becoming a problem. Campfires should be built only in the constructed fire ring. This ring has been dug out to remove root structures which can smolder and burn below the surface.
Q: Where are the SHT campsites located?
Except in the Duluth trail sections, campsites are spaced along the trail to support backpacking the SHT. The Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail – Seventh Edition provides campsite descriptions including the number of tent pads, water source, setting, and the trail miles between the previous and next campsites. Another helpful resource for trip planning is the ” SHT Reference Sheet” which can be found on the Thru Hiking page.
Q: What if all tent pads are occupied when I arrive at a campsite?
Use an area near the established tent pads for your sleeping gear. Share the established fire ring area and latrine. Do not build additional fire rings or camp in locations other than established campsites.
Q: Where can I park while I am hiking the SHT?
There are 55 designated trailhead parking areas — most from five to ten miles apart. In the Jay Cooke State Park and Duluth area, the SHT trailheads are accessible from Interstate Hwy. 35, Highway 23, and city streets. On the North Shore they are accessible from Hwy. 61 and the state, county, and forest roads that intersect Hwy. 61. The Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail, Seventh Edition provides access directions and parking limitations for each trailhead. Trailhead parking areas are designated with a P on all SHT maps.
Q: How long can I leave my car in a trailhead parking area?
Hikers should check the guidebook to determine if overnight parking is allowed at the trailhead. Many of the trailheads in the Duluth trail section do not allow overnight parking. Trailheads that share highway waysides along Hwy. 61 do not allow overnight parking (ex. Split Rock Wayside, Caribou River State Wayside, Temperance River Wayside, Cascade Wayside, Kadunce River Wayside). Trailheads located within a State Park require a park sticker for overnight parking. If overnight parking is allowed at the trailhead there is no limit on the number of days a car may be parked there.
Q: I want to get an early start on my hike; can I sleep in my car or camp at the trailhead?
No. There is absolutely no camping or campfires allowed in SHTA trailheads.
Q: Are there facilities at SHTA trailheads?
No facilities are provided at SHTA trailheads. There are no trash bins, toilets, or water. Trailheads shared with other groups (city parks, snowmobile trails, waysides) may have facilities. Check the guidebook as needed.
Q: Are the parking areas secure?
While local law enforcement may occasionally patrol roads near SHT trailhead parking lots hikers must take common sense precautions — leave valuables at home or secure them out of sight, lock your car and take your keys. You are not allowed to store food food or other supplies in the woods near trailheads.
Q: What if the parking lot is full?
If you are day hiking you may be able to park on the street or road shoulder. Check for any posted parking restrictions. Use caution on narrow secondary roads that may be traveled by logging trucks. If you are planning to leave your car overnight you must park within the parking lot. If the lot is full you must find another trailhead. Do not park on property adjacent to the designated lot. Some of the SHT trailheads are located on private property with the permission of landowners.