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Superior Hiking Trail, MN

Sep 22 - Sep 29, 2018 -- $1300 ★★★

Important Note

This is the 2017 itinerary. The 2018 itinerary will traverse a different route on the Superior Hiking Trail.


The Superior Hiking Trail, is a wilderness trail along Lake Superior that goes from Wisconsin to Canada. We will be hiking a 45 mile section of this trail in early Fall when the bugs and humidity have subsided

While a battle rages on between which coast is more beautiful -- the East Coast or the West Coast -- natives of the Upper Midwest smile demurely and remain silent, knowing as they do that the most beautiful coast in the US is the little-known North Coast. The Great Lakes are the largest group of freshwater lakes on planet Earth and contain over 20% of the world's fresh water. Lake Superior is the largest of these, and indeed the largest-area freshwater lake in the world. Weaving along the ridgeline of Lake Superior's north shore, the 296-mile long Superior Hiking Trail offers a breathtaking opportunity to experience this natural wonder firsthand.

The Superior Hiking Trail was conceptualized in the 1980s and inspired by the Appalachian Trail and other long-distance hiking trails. It winds along the Sawtooth Mountain Range overlooking Lake Superior from just south of Duluth all the way to the Canadian border, meandering between the lakeshore at 602 feet of elevation up to 1829 feet at its highest. Rated in the top 10 hiking trails by Backpacker magazine, the SHT abounds in diversity of wildlife, geological wonders, and leaves! Join us for the beginnings of Fall color on the North Coast, the best-kept secret in the US.


Weather is always an important concern when backpacking. Historical September weather is much drier than even a month earlier and averages in the high-60s / low-70s during the day and 40s/50s at night. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures in the 80s and freezing temperatures at night, with the threat of rain on any day. But overall, expect a warm, dry beginning-of-Autumn treat.

Trip Leaders

Dan Shafto
Danielle Piscatelli


$1300 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a hotel room with another trip participant. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Minneapolis, MN (MSP) as well as personal equipment, restaurant meals and any gratuities.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, permits, fees and awesome guides.

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fly or drive into Minneapolis St. Paul Airport (MSP)

Take free airport shuttle to local hotel (TBD)

Equipment shakedown

Distribution of trail mix / Make-your-own trail mix

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Trip to REI Bloomington flagship store, 750 W American Blvd (Previously 750 W 79th St), Bloomington, MN 55420, (952) 884-4315 for forgotten or last minute equipment. Closes at 6PM

Go to local restaurant for welcome dinner (Dinner not included in trip cost)

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Second set of before body composition measurements taken

Free Hotel Breakfast

Check out of Hotel

Your spare bag(s) will be stored either at the hotel or in a storage unit for safekeeping

Shuttle about 3.5 hours north to the Reeves Rd trailhead near intersection of hwy 2 & 24, elevation 1300'

Hike Northbound 4.3 miles to Silver Creek campsite, elevation 1050'

Note: Although we're hiking Northbound overall on the SHT, the direction we start hiking is actually Southbound

Camp at Silver Creek campsite, elevation 1050'. 6 tent pads and reliable water here.

Miles today: 4.3 miles. Total to date: 4.3 miles

Possible Bailout: Route 24

Monday, September 24, 2018

Hike 1.1 miles to County Road 301 (Fors Rd.), elevation 850'

Hike 6.3 miles past the Encampment River and Red Pine Overlook (elevation 1200') to West Castle Danger Road

Hike 1.3 miles to Crow Creek Valley Campsite in Gooseberry State Park, elevation 1150'

Camp at Crow Creek Valley Campsite in Gooseberry State Park, elevation 1150'. 5 tent pads and water from small stream (unreliable in dry conditions)

Miles today: 8.7 miles. Total to date: 13.0 miles

Possible Bailout: West Castle Danger Rd.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Hike 7.3 miles to Gooseberry Falls State Park, elevation 750'

Gooseberry Falls State Park offers geocaching including free hand-held GPS loaner units

Front-Country camp at Pebble Creek group site, Gooseberry Falls State Park, elevation 750'. Group sites here have a water spigot and pit toilets, no showers or bathhouses.

Miles Today: 7.3. Total to Date: 20.3

Possible Bailout: Stubblefield Campground

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Hike 9.9 miles to Northeast Split Rock River campsite, elevation 690'

Camp at Northeast Split Rock River campsite, elevation 690'. 7 tent pads, reliable water.

Miles Today: 9.9. Total to Date: 30.2

Possible Bailout: Route 61

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Hike 8.7 miles to Fault Line Creek campsite, elevation 1320'

Camp at Fault Line Creek campsite, elevation 1320'. 8 tent pads, reliable beaver pond water

Miles today: 8.7 miles. Total to date: 38.9 miles

Possible bailout: Route 61

Friday, September 28, 2018

Hike 4.0 miles to Lax Lake Rd (Route 4, elevation 850') or 8.5 miles to Penn Blvd. (Route 5, elevation 1100')

We must arrive by 1:44PM to catch the Superior Hiking Shuttle if we plan to go to Penn Blvd. Otherwise we can wait until 1:53PM at Lax Lake Rd (Beaver Bay)

End of Hiking

Take the shuttle back to Reeves Rd.

Miles today: 4.0 or 8.5 miles. Total to date: 42.9 or 47.5 miles

Possible Bailout: Lax Lake Rd.

"After" body composition measurements taken

Shuttle about 1 hour to Duluth

Dinner and Awards Ceremony at local restaurant (dinner not included in trip cost)

Shuttle 2.5 hours back to local hotel (TBD)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Free breakfast in Hotel

Take Free Airport Shuttle

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