The Superior Hiking Trail stretches from the Minnesota border, near Carlton, along the rocky ridgeline above Lake Superior, to the Canadian border. Its versatility makes it a popular trail for backpacking, camping, and hiking. The trail is known as SHT in abbreviation form.
Gooseberry Falls Park is more prevalent amongst most hikers, mainly because it forms part of the more scenic section north of Duluth. Trail users will enjoy scenic overlooks, waterfalls, boreal forests, and wildlife, where trout fishing in the Gooseberry River is most popular.
This 300-mile trail is divided into sections accommodating every type of hike and hiker alike. The complete hike caters to backpacking, camping, hiking, nature trips, walking, bird watching, forest, lake, views, wildflowers, and wildlife. Thus, providing the best experiences with the best sceneries in the world for every outdoor adventurer.
Popular Scenic Parts Of The SHT
Popularity undeniably plays a role in the classification process of this trail’s most scenic sections. However, there is very little difference between being voted most or least scenic with nature. In the end, it is personal choice combined with the time of year that trumps.
Waterfalls have always been very popular when it comes to nature and scenery. It is then no surprise that the Two Harbors to Silver Bay section, which includes Gooseberry Falls Park, is the most scenic part of the hike.
There are many waterfalls along the trail, with favorites being Cascade Falls, Gooseberry, and Split Rock. Gooseberry Falls Park and its surroundings are beautiful, diverse areas, mostly forest. It makes the hike through the woods with scenic views extra spectacular.
The proverbial runner-up goes to the section Silver Bay to Caribou Falls by a photo finish. Again, the popular winner is the Caribou waterfalls. The first couple of miles offers spectacular views of Lake Superior, Bean Lake, and Bear Lake.
The Carlton and Silver Bay parts are spectacular during summer, and the woods are breathtaking. Nature’s summer color palette is fantastic, adding to those lively inner feelings. The trail takes you to rivers and streams ideal for fishing. Nature at its best, with various waterfalls and trees while the birds provide the music along the way.
The trail’s Schroeder and Grand Marais sections gain leaps in popularity when visited in the fall. Those fall colors have their magic that enlightens the whole area and views. Although rugged, there is no lack of beauty and splendor.
Sections Of Superior Hiking Trail
The trail’s total length is divided into sections to make it more manageable and better to plan hiking routes. The best times to hike the Superior trail are May through September. The favorite season is after the first frost up on the ridge. Plan your hike in the fall, and it will be an unforgettable experience.
The SHT comprises two main sections to allow for day-hikes south of Duluth and the thru-hikes north of Duluth, respectively. Miles and miles of backpacking and hiking adventures.
- Minnesota-Wisconsin Border To Duluth: 50.2 Miles. It takes an average of 26 h 43 min to complete. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
- Duluth To Two Harbors: 57.2 Miles. It takes an average of 20 h 16 min to complete. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
- Two Harbors To Silver Bay: 44.6 Miles. It takes an average of 23 h 16 min to complete. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
- Silver Bay to Caribou Falls State Wayside: 49 Miles. It takes an average of 24 h 5 min to complete. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
- Caribou Falls State Wayside To Lutsen: 45.3Miles. It takes an average of 24 h 5 min to complete. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
- Lutsen To Grand Marais: 35.2 Miles. It takes an average of 23 h 56 min to complete. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
- Grand Marais To 270 Degree Overlook: 54.2 Miles. It takes an average of 23 h 56 min to complete. The best times to visit this trail are April through October.
About Superior Hiking Trail
This beautiful 320-mile hiking trail is nationally recognized and part of the North Country National Scenic Trail route and managed by the Superior Hiking Trail Association. Accommodation with almost 100 backcountry campsites along the way.
Not many mountains in Minnesota, but the shoreline, rocky hills, and forests will provide ample landscape diversity to test any hiking abilities. The more significant part of the trail flows along the coastline, with sections diverting inland with valleys and hills.
Expect a well-managed beautiful trail with panoramic views flowing by rivers, streams, and lakes. The course with all campsites and parks is well-maintained. Camping and enough water sources on route ensure that the novice hiker or the more experienced adventurer can safely enjoy what Mother Nature offers.
Hiking the Superior Trail is truly an experience that encapsulates all adventuristic preferences. Some easy and more challenging walks, guiding through remote areas, yet near small towns for that short supplies or emergency. The variety continues to backpack or camping, lodge to lodge hiking, spur trails, or park to park hikes.
Is SHT Recommended For Beginner Hikers?
Experienced hikers recommend beginner thru-hikers and backpackers to start in the south, where the terrain is less daunting, especially between Duluth and Two Harbors. In addition, the southern areas are not as harsh and have some of the most beautiful sceneries on the trail.
Positives of Hiking the Superior Trail
A variety of hiking options leave the hiker comfortable and ready to enjoy, consisting of primarily free camping sites and re-supplying options along the way. In addition, the SHT provides some of the best scenery nature offers all year round.
Negatives of Hiking the Superior Trail
The SHT does not have many cons but rather pieces of advice. The most popular time to attempt the SHT is during summer, but with summer and beauty comes heat, humidity, mosquitoes, and summer thunderstorms. Plan and pack with that in mind.
It is challenging to put nature sceneries in scales of beauty as even the most average scenic views are lovely in the context of the surroundings. Choosing scenery beauty is a personal feeling and experience. The length and diversity of the SHT allow each individual to pick, plan and execute the optimal and ultimate hike.