Celebrate National Trails Day: 2021 SHT Summit Challenge

While we celebrate the Trail every day of the year, we’re joining other trails across the country on National Trails Day on June 5th. To celebrate, we’ll be kicking off another year of the SHT Summit Challenge!

Back by popular demand, we’re hosting another year of the SHT Summit Challenge after a successful inaugural year. Thank you to all who participated in 2020! Wait to see what we have in store for you this year.

The SHT traverses the rugged coastline along the North Shore of Lake Superior which provides ample opportunity for a diversity of beautiful landscapes. There are countless locations worth exploring all along the 300+ miles of trail from border to border. It wouldn’t be a Minnesota summit if you didn’t start at (unsalted)sea level and have to cross several creeks, bogs, and river valleys to get there. The Superior Hiking Trail Association invites you to get out this summer and experience the Trail by visiting some of our favorite locations by participating in the 2021 SHT Summit Challenge. We’ve selected some great locations that we can’t wait to share with you! 

To learn more and prepare for your Summit Challenge, please visit: 2021 SHT Summit Challenge

2021 Summer Season is Underway
Trail projects have begun and many trail users are hitting the Trail. The summer season is underway and we couldn’t be more excited.
We’ve already caught wind of thru-hikers completing their first (probably not last) thru-hike of the Trail. Day hikers and weekend warriors are out putting in miles in new boots while trail runners are training for upcoming races. The ephemeral wildflowers are trying to get the last bit of unfiltered sunshine as the Aspens and Maples leaf out. Volunteers have cleared miles of trail and checked on campsites from border to border. 

As you prepare for getting out on the Trail, here are some of our trusted resources to help you plan your next adventure. 

If you’re new to backpacking or would like to learn from a fellow trail enthusiast, check out this great webinar: An Absolute Beginner’s Guide to the SHT

Heading out on the trail and curious about our 2021 trail projects? Check out this video to learn more about what we’re working on this summer: 2021 SHTA Trail Projects

Happy Trails: A true steward of the Trail heads west
It is with both gratitude and well wishes that we say Happy Trails to our friend and colleague, Jaron Cramer (Development and Communications Director: 2018-2021). 

Jaron was a transplant to Duluth, MN from his native home in the foothills of the Cascades in Seattle, WA when he joined the SHTA in 2018. While he wasn’t a Minnesota native, he embodied Minnesota Nice and was committed since day one to the enhancement and protection of the Trail. While he was dedicated to ensuring trail users would Leave No Trace, it’s apparent that he’s left an impact on the Trail and the Association - and like many of you, the Trail and North Shore has left its mark on him as well. For Jaron’s last day we decided to have a little fun and put Jaron through a “very public exit interview.” Here are a few of the  highlights.

What is the most “Minnesota” thing about you now? How have you been changed?
"Resilience. It’s an art I’ve learned from fellow Minnesotans, and it has defined my time Up North. It’s a thread woven into the fabric of the culture, and, at least from my perspective, it is derived from the reality of living in such close contact with the rugged, diverse, and remarkable lands and waters. To endure the harshness of winter (and second and third winters), to withstand the two-month barrage of mosquitos, to ski uphill and climb a mountain’s worth of elevation between 600 and 1800 feet above sea level -- it all requires a certain level of fortitude."

What part of the Trail did you particularly connect with?
"Ely’s Peak was my very first hike in Northern Minnesota, when I came to visit my girlfriend before I was hired. From Grand Portage Trailhead (near Jay Cooke State Park) to the Lakewalk is special to me, as it was host to several trail races that pushed me to my limits, but rewarded me with the long descent from Enger Tower to give that finish line boost. I also had the pleasure of joining the NMTC folks on Wednesday nights each June to weed whip a few of those sections, so I developed a pretty clear mental image of every root, rock, and piece of rebar exposed in those miles."

While Jaron certainly left his trace on the Trail, his final request was to encourage you not to! To learn more about how you can Leave No Trace on the Trail, please visit the following page: LNT on the SHT

Trail Projects Coming to Duluth
There are some City of Duluth parks and trails projects this summer that will impact two sections of the Trail.

Several major improvement projects on trails adjacent to the Superior Hiking Trail will impact the route through Duluth this summer. Work will take place between the Spirit MountainTrailheads and Skyline Parkway Trailhead in West Duluth. Once complete, the projects will provide great upgrades to Duluth’s trail network. If you plan to hike in Duluth, please be mindful of temporary reroutes or schedule your visit to avoid construction.

To learn more about the Duluth 2021 projects and detours, please visit: Trail Construction Project Coming to Duluth

As always, visit the Trail Conditions page for all Trail related updates.


Check out the Trail Store to gear up for the summer season!
Everyday Leash by Stunt Puppy
Everyday Leash by Stunt Puppy
Logo Buff
Logo Buff
Circle T-Shirt Hoodie
Circle T-Shirt Hoodie

Do you have a four-legged friend who loves the Trail as much as you do? We now offer some products for your pups so they can join you safely on the Trail. We worked with Stunt Puppy out of Minneapolis to find the right products with both you and your pups in mind. Check out our online store to learn more about this new line of products. 

While summer is on its way, we’ve been experiencing some cool temps up here on the North Shore. We recommend both our Logo Buff and T-Shirt Hoodie to keep you warm.

All sales from our online store support the Trail!

Our office and store in Two Harbors is closed to the public until further notice. If you need to pick up a guide or maps on the way to the Trail, check out one of the many fine local retailers who carry SHT products

Header photo courtesy of Aaron Wernimont.
SHT Sign photo courtesy of Tony Webster.
The Superior Hiking Trail Association is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Tax ID: 41-1569104. Our mailing address is:  PO Box 315, Two Harbors, MN 55616-0315

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