Current Trail Conditions
GENERAL NORTH SHORE CONDITIONS (as of May 17, 2017): It was drying out but now it’s been raining for a day. Anticipate mud.
There are still pockets of snow and ice remaining farther north. While it is not an impediment to travel, there are still 6 inches of snow along the Cross River, and likely in other northern locations as well. Unbridged rivers may be dangerous.
Keep in mind that most spring trail clearing is in process. Volunteers and our Trail Maintenance Supervisors are not able to finish clearing the trail until later in the season. So far the Finland and Schroeder areas have been cleared (roughly from Split Rock State Park to Cascade River State Park). You will likely encounter blowdowns in other sections. The northernmost part of the trail is scheduled for clearing over Memorial Day Weekend.
- Wild Valley Road Trailhead parking lot at the southern end of the trail is open for the season!
- Grand Portage Trailhead parking lot in Jay Cooke State Park continues to be closed until Fall 2017, so we’re told.
- Fond du Lac trailhead parking lot in west Duluth was closed but is open once again!
- Beck’s Road (123rd Ave W) Trailhead is closed. Use the climbers’ parking lot to access the detoured route 1/4 mile north of Beck’s Road Trailhead.
- Hartley Nature Center’s parking lot is closed intermittently through June.
- Caribou River Wayside Trailhead parking lot will be closed sometime this summer through fall. It had been scheduled to close in May but has been postponed until later in the season. As always, there is no overnight parking allowed here.
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’s a good bet that during spring run-off (like right now), it’s not wise to attempt fording. 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 out indefinitely. 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.
- 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.
- The North of Gooseberry Reroute: A 1.6 mile section of the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) is closed permanently between Gooseberry Falls State Park to Split Rock River Wayside. 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.
- Munger Trail Reroute: The Munger Trail is closed where the SHT briefly shares it near Beck’s Road Trailhead. By parking at the climber’s parking access, you can follow a blazed detour around the closed area.
- Between Duluth and Two Harbors, there have been several logging operations over the last few years. The trail is back in place and marked. You will be able to watch the forest regrow while hiking some sections in this area.
- Between Lismore and Normanna Trailheads: South of the N. Tischer Road crossing on both sides of Lone Tree Campsite there has been a recent logging operation. The trail is currently marked with blue flagging. Tread will be repaired hopefully next week.
- Otter Lake Road area: There is a logging operation south of Otter Lake Road that has turned about a mile of the SHT into a logging road. The trail is flagged with hot pink flagging tape — it should be easy to follow. We will do trail rehabilitation once the logging operation is finished.
- Saturday, May 20: The Spring Trail Race will be taking place between Lutsen and Carlton Peak.
Problem Report Form
Report of Trail Condition, Problem, or Maintenance Needed:
(e.g. problem with bridges, downed trees, erosion, trail markers, or campsites)