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Topic: Superior Hiking Trail, anyone with experience?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2012, 8:28 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well haven't done any hiking since I was younger. But I want to do more.

I am starting to research a trip. This trail is kind of close to me.  So I wanted to know more about it. Anyone here hike it? I was looking to start by Grand Marais and go north. The reason was so that I was close to Canada for some sight seeing after the hike.

So here is the question. I was looking at those northern sections, and they are 10 miles or less. So is that enough miles for a day or should I try longer days? I have done some local hikes with the gear that I have now and I can do 3 MPH. By my calculation that would only be a few hours of hiking. What is a fair amount of miles to try and cover in a day? Should I try and get to the campsites early to ensure I have a spot? What do you do at camp if you get there in the afternoon?

Thanks for the help.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2012, 8:50 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In my opinion (a CA guy stuck in MN) the SHT is the very best trail in MN. It is the only one with some elevation gain and loss, has actual running water in the creeks and rivers and has great views. I wish I lived on that side of the state instead of the flat boring west side.

I have never seen a better marked trail in any state, plus it has a couple excellent shuttle services.

Go for it!


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2012, 9:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(IAJeff @ Aug. 09 2012, 7:28 pm)
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I was looking at those northern sections, and they are 10 miles or less. So is that enough miles for a day or should I try longer days?

Right now I am on limited mileage days because of my foot/ankle, but last year I pretty much doubled what was the "norm", planning 14-20 mile days. (I was used to big days in the Sierra with much more elevation so it was not that big a deal.) The big thing is to plan them around your water. Rivers are best. The creeks dry up at the end of summer and the beaver ponds can be pretty gross.

The trails do not have switchbacks but go straight up and down. When it rains (a lot in my experience) they can be fun (not). Don't expect the 3 mph all the time.

I do get in early and like to swim in the river each afternoon. There are state parks all along the trail and sometimes I went down to the visitor center if they have one for a diet Pepsi or something that is not hiking food. I saw a lot of other hikers doing the same thing. (Ah, tourist girls...)


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2012, 10:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks a lot for the information. That is some good stuff. I got my mileage from climbing up and down hills in our area over a 5 mile hike. I do not believe that I will get that pace all the time, but figured that was a starting point. Maybe I should up the mileage to 15 miles a day. I also like the suggestions about visiting the area once you arrive. Wished I live in that state. It has some truly beautiful places, and a longer ice fishing season.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2012, 10:37 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't know anything about the trail, but......  I did see several videos on Youtube about it!  Try a search for it!

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I'm a 24yr male who hikes, sails, freedives and woodworks. Have been hiking 3 years now mostly solo.!

I have a Youtube Channel too, SailingandSuch!  Check it out!  
http://www.youtube.com/user/SailingandSuch?feature=mhee
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 09 2012, 11:41 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you are starting to research the trip, then you need to go to my website.
I have the northern 160 miles of the SHT Photographed posted there.
the site is located at http://sites.google.com/site/isawtman/

So, I have hiked the SHT north of Grand Marais.  It is aproximately 60
miles from Grand Marais to Otter Lake Road.  There are a few major
ups and downs along the way, but they are spaced out enough
that you should only encounter one a day.

I think 15 miles a day is realistic.  That would make it a 4 day adventure.
Then when you get to the top of the SHT, you can take a right on
Otter Lake Road and Hike into Grand Portage, which is another 14 miles.
Or you can take a left and do the eastern 13 miles of the Border
Route Trail, which are pretty spectacular.

I have the instructions posted for the hike to Grand Portage
at the SHT yahoo Group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hiker/
Look for the file SHT-BRT to Grand Portage.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 10 2012, 6:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I would check these guys. They take care of the trail and can help with all info about trail and shuttle service. A section of the trail was highlighted in BP just last month. I have day hiked all over up there and never can get enough!

http://www.shta.org/
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 11 2012, 6:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

WOW, you guys have a lot of information. I have looked at the trail organization site quite a bit. That was were I started. I have also looked at those videos about your trip. I haven't seen the photos or knew about the yahoo group. I will have to check those out. Also it is good to know that it will only take 4 days. That would free up more time to sight see in Canada. Haven't been there and really want to make it there. Kind of why I also chose this trail.

Do the camp pads have toilets in them? I have seen them some in videos of the AT.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 11 2012, 7:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

tman you are an Eagle Scout? Me too. Congrats on the rank.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 12 2012, 7:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(IAJeff @ Aug. 11 2012, 5:52 pm)
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Do the camp pads have toilets in them? I have seen them some in videos of the AT.

All of the camp sites I have seen have pit toilets, which is pretty nice IMHO.

Actually the entire state has done a great job of digging toilets along trails and at fishing/hunting camp locations. In all my years of backpacking in the Sierra I can remember maybe 10 in the back country that were not at a Ranger's cabin. (And they lock them now.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 12 2012, 10:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hey thanks. It also looks like that is also bear country. I will have to get educated on that. I understand the bear canister part, but I need to be updated on encounters and avoiding them. Thanks for your help.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 12 2012, 10:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(IAJeff @ Aug. 12 2012, 10:01 pm)
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Hey thanks. It also looks like that is also bear country. I will have to get educated on that. I understand the bear canister part, but I need to be updated on encounters and avoiding them. Thanks for your help.

I don't really use a bear canister.  I just hang my food and smellables in a watertight bag between two trees.  I haven't had any encounters with bears on the SHT
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 13 2012, 12:42 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I too have never seen a bear up there, just their poop. I bear bag just to be safe though.

Last time I was in Voyageurs I saw that they put bear boxes at some of the island campsites, so they must be starting to have problems there. Probably because the boaters bring big coolers that just sit out.

I laughed when I saw the simple S-hook for securing them. The CA bears would have that open in a couple seconds.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 17 2012, 5:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Some of the sites have a bear wire, but not all of them.  We hang the food bag as well.

I second the yahoo group listed above - they always have very nice local information, as well as which water sources tend to run dry late in the season, if it is a dry one.  The guidebook is very nice.

It is a beautiful trail, we enjoyed it a lot last year.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 17 2012, 10:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Really wanted to get out and go do some hiking this weekend but taking the truck into the shop. Hopefully I will be able to make it next weekend. The weather this weekend here is awesome. After having a blistering summer, it is much needed relief. I will try and work on some of my meals and work on some orienteering.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 21 2012, 9:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We have done many sections of the SHT.  We had two bear encounters in the last 10 years.  We hang our food in a bag strung between two trees or the one branch method, however they have never eaten our lunch!  The last encounter was last year and I think we scared him more than he scared us!    We never have a problem getting a site, but have plenty of room in most sites for sharing.  They all have latrines.  The guide book is great for planning and the shuttle service works great!! Enjoy the SHT!!!
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 21 2012, 9:26 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you don't have the guide book, make sure to stop at the SHT Store in Two Harbors!  The hours are on their website.  Lou's Smoke House in Two Harbors is a must stop!  Their smoked salmon and lake trout makes for a great pre hike lunch!
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 21 2012, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

In planning this, is there a better time of the year to go? It looks like their August was pretty cool. That would be cooler than we are in August.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2012, 7:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mid Sept to mid Oct is the best time. A little less water but NO BUGS and the fall colors can be spectacular. Here are some pictures I took on a fall trip. http://www.flickr.com/photos/d1948n/sets/72157624957662005/
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 22 2012, 9:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(dnoll @ Aug. 22 2012, 7:13 am)
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Mid Sept to mid Oct is the best time. A little less water but NO BUGS and the fall colors can be spectacular. Here are some pictures I took on a fall trip. http://www.flickr.com/photos/d1948n/sets/72157624957662005/

Boy I was hoping to go in August, just in case the boys want to go without missing school. But those pictures are are making me re-think about it. Looks like a great time.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 25 2012, 2:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A friend of mine has a hiking group called Liking Hiking. Mostly hikes around SE MN, but every October she has a big hike weekend on the SHT. Her family has a cabin a couple miles inland from Little Marais and it's used as a base area. This year she's talking about hiking from the cabin to Sawbill Dome (I think)... and backpacking. Would drop the packs somewhere along the way and they go back to them and pick up to go somewhere to camp... most likely anyway. She's still debating it.

Here's the last info she sent out: "The BIG hike on the SUPERIOR HIKING TRAIL is October 20th.  This hike is challenging - Around 10 miles (4 - 6 hours) of rugged terrain and steep hills (small mountains) and awesome views.  To prepare for it, find some hills and start walking them regularly.  This hike requires a good level of fitness. Details will be coming soon.   Lodging is on your own.  I included LODGING OPTIONS at the end of this email."

OK, so she's still deciding on backpacking.

Let me know if you want more info on that.


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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 25 2012, 10:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(lizsbaby @ Aug. 25 2012, 2:01 am)
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A friend of mine has a hiking group called Liking Hiking. Mostly hikes around SE MN, but every October she has a big hike weekend on the SHT. Her family has a cabin a couple miles inland from Little Marais and it's used as a base area. This year she's talking about hiking from the cabin to Sawbill Dome (I think)... and backpacking. Would drop the packs somewhere along the way and they go back to them and pick up to go somewhere to camp... most likely anyway. She's still debating it.

Here's the last info she sent out: "The BIG hike on the SUPERIOR HIKING TRAIL is October 20th.  This hike is challenging - Around 10 miles (4 - 6 hours) of rugged terrain and steep hills (small mountains) and awesome views.  To prepare for it, find some hills and start walking them regularly.  This hike requires a good level of fitness. Details will be coming soon.   Lodging is on your own.  I included LODGING OPTIONS at the end of this email."

OK, so she's still deciding on backpacking.

Let me know if you want more info on that.

Hey thanks, but this will be for next year. I still need to get some gear yet. Maybe I will hit you up next year. I would like to hear how it went. Sounds like a great time. I would to get to know a group of people that make some sort of annual trip. Something to look forward to every year. Good luck with the hike.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 26 2012, 8:42 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Might be a nice get together for us Mid-westerners. I would be interested.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2012, 7:30 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

there is a short article/map in the August BPer mag. we were at the area near Finland and it was very nice. hope to make it back soon. Oct hike would be nice...

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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 28 2012, 8:21 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Heading up Sept 29-Oct 3 for about 40 miles. Hoping for good colors in the woods.
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PostIcon Posted on: Aug. 31 2012, 11:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(campinjim @ Aug. 28 2012, 7:30 am)
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there is a short article/map in the August BPer mag. we were at the area near Finland and it was very nice. hope to make it back soon. Oct hike would be nice...

Sounds good, but I would be the weak link. This would give me more time to save and prepare.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 10 2012, 1:06 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Check out Terregouche Park.
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(CanoeCommunicationsBlog @ Sep. 10 2012, 1:06 pm)
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Check out Terregouche Park.

It's Tettegouche State Park
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2012, 1:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

On of my all time fav sections is to the stretch around the Split Rock River. The campsite across from the split rock might be the best on the whole trail. What time of year are you going? Fall is the best for cool weather and colors but water is more scarce. If you love waterfalls go in the spring. You will also be able to see more of Superior.

Here is a trip report on the Split Rock Section. Split Rock River Hike


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 30 2012, 1:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

My thought was during the summer in case the boys want to go, they would be out of school. I really like Fall the best, but Spring isn't bad either. So to answer the question, I am still undecided. I like the information about the characteristics for each season. I will definitely keep that in mind in planning for this trip.
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