Current Trail Conditions
-February 22, 2017: Unusually warm weather and rain over the weekend continue to bring down the snowpack. Ice traction devices and poles will be helpful in negotiating slippery areas on heavily traveled sections of trail. Snow shoes may still be needed in less traveled sections.
-January 27, 2017: The Caribou River Wayside Trailhead parking lot will be closed from May – August 2017 for reconstruction.
-January 24, 2017: Warmer-than-average temperatures have brought snow levels down a bit in the last week, but in many places along the trail the melting snow has re-frozen into a layer of ice, making travel more difficult and dangerous.
-December 30, 2016: The MN DNR updates the MN snow depth map every Thursday so check there for up-to-date snow depths. In general it looks like the SHT has 4″-8″ on the trail with up to 12″ further back from the Lake Superior ridgeline. Near the northern end of the trail, it looks like the snow depth is up to 18″. There was a wicked ice storm on December 26 so be prepared for possible icy conditions and possible trees down or frozen brush across the trail. We haven’t gotten many specific trail reports.
-December 9, 2016: Not all of the SHT parking lots are plowed! Here is a list of the Superior Hiking Trail trailhead parking lots that are typically plowed:
-The Wild Valley Road trailhead parking lot at the southern end of the trail has been closed by the DNR until late May 2017. There is no parking on Wild Valley Road.
Duluth Section: Jay Cooke State Park Headquarters; Munger Trail at 123rd Ave West; Magney-Snively Park; Spirit Mountain Lower Chalet; Spirit Mountain Upper Chalet; Rose Garden; Hartley Nature Center; Martin Road.
North Shore Section: Martin Road; Normanna Road; Fox Farm Road; Lake County Demonstration Forest; Gooseberry Falls State Park; Split Rock River Wayside; Split Rock State Park; Beaver Bay; Silver Bay – Penn Boulevard; Tettegouche State Park; Finland Recreation Center; Crosby-Manitou State Park; Caribou River Wayside (sometimes – but unplowed as of 1/7/2017); Temperance River Wayside; Britton Peak; Oberg Mountain; Lutsen Mountains Recreation Area; Caribou Trail (possibly); Cascade River State Park; Bally Creek Road (northern parking lot only); Pincushion Mountain at Grand Marais (but no hiking on ski trail); Kadunce River Wayside; Judge Magney State Park (the big parking lot isn’t plowed but there is room to park cars right by the contact station). Jackson Lake Road and Otter Lake Road are generally not plowed at all during winter.
-October 18, 2016: The Split Rock River bridge is CLOSED. You can still hike up either side of the loop, but you will have to return the way you came. 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.
-August 24, 2016: BRIDGES OUT ON THE TRAIL: These streams are crossable in normal or low water conditions, but will be impassable in high water in the spring or after a rain event. It is impossible for SHTA to predict when the streams are crossable.
- North of Two Harbors in the Co Rd 301 to Castle Danger section: The Encampment River Bridge is out permanently. Here are the directions for a 6.8 mile roadwalk around this section:
- From Co Rd 301 (Fors Rd) trailhead parking lot, take the SHT 0.4 miles until it crosses Co Rd 3 (Hwy 3). Turn left (northeast) and go 4.7 miles to West Castle Danger Road. Turn right (east) and go 1.6 miles to where SHT crosses road. Go left on SHT 0.1 miles to Castle Danger Trailhead parking lot.
- Split Rock River Bridge on the Split Rock River Loop north of Two Harbors. Bridge is CLOSED indefinitely.
- South of Grand Marais in the section Cascade River State Park to Bally Creek Road (also on the Cascade River Loop), the Trout Creek Bridge on the east side of the Cascade River is out for the foreseeable future. In high water periods use the trail on the west side of the Cascade River.
-August 24, 2016: A 1.6 mile section of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is closed permanently from the northern boundary of Gooseberry Falls State Park to Blueberry Hill Road. There is a signed detour on the paved Gitchi Gami State Trail to go around this section.
- 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.
- At that point, there are two options.
- 1) Cross Highway 61 and walk 1.2 miles north on Blueberry Hill Road, a gravel Lake County forest road, to connect to the SHT and then continue east on the SHT to the Blueberry Hill Campsite, Bread Loaf Ridge, and the Split Rock River Wayside. Absolutely no parking on Blueberry Hill Road!
- 2) Continue another 2.4 miles on the Gitchi Gami Trail to the Split Rock River Wayside, and use the box culvert underneath the highway to reach the parking lot and the continuation of the SHT.
- This detour will last until Fall 2017.
-August 24, 2016: The Fond du Lac trailhead parking lot in west Duluth is open once again but there is a new 1.1 mile spur trail from the parking lot to the trail. The distance from the Palkie Road Trailhead Parking Lot on the northern boundary of Jay Cooke State Park to Fond du Lac is 8.0 miles. The distance from the Fond du Lac Trailhead Parking lot to 123rd Avenue West Trailhead Parking Lot is 2.4 miles. The Grand Portage Trailhead parking lot in Jay Cooke State Park continues to be closed until we’re told Fall 2017.
Problem Report Form
Report of Trail Condition, Problem, or Maintenance Needed:
(e.g. problem with bridges, downed trees, erosion, trail markers, or campsites)