Superior Hiking Trail

The Superior Hiking Trail is a natural footpath along Lake Superior's North Shore that runs 310 miles, from the WI/MN border to the Canadian border.

photo: Poplar River Crossing from above. Photo by Fresh Tracks Media.

Length: 326.00 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Type: Backcountry
Agency: Nonprofit
Entry Fee? No
Parking Fee? No

Allowed Uses:

Dogs - On leash
Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Snow - Cross-country Skiing
Snow - Snowshoeing
Wildlife Observation

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Location: The Superior Hiking Trail follows the ridgeline above Lake Superior's North Shore for over 310 miles, from the WI/MN border to the Canadian border.
State(s): Minnesota
Counties: Carlton, St. Louis, Lake, Cook
Longitude: -92.06367
Latitude: 46.8657

Driving Directions

Accessible from 53 trailheads - in Duluth, at many waysides along Minnesota Hwy 61, and many secondary roads. You can also access the Trail in eight MN State Parks, including Jay Cooke SP, Gooseberry Falls SP, Split Rock River SP, Tettegouche River SP, George H. Crosby Manitou SP, Temperance River SP, Cascade River SP, and Judge C. R. Magney SP.


The Superior Hiking Trail is one of the best hiking and trail running destinations in the United States. The SHT is built, maintained, and renewed by the Superior Hiking Trail Association, a Minnesota nonprofit organization based in Two Harbors. SHTA operates 94 shared backcountry campsites along the Trail that do not require registration and cannot be reserved. The Trail is a footpath only, with a natural surface 18-inch treadway through a clearing approximately four feet in width. The entire Trail is marked with either blue or white paint blazes or SHT logo signs.

The Trail is routed principally along the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior.The Trail is characterized by ascents to rock outcroppings and cliffs, and descents into numerous river and creek valleys. Most rivers and streams are crossed by bridges. Overlooks of Lake Superior, the Sawtooth Mountains and inland woodlands, lakes and rivers are abundant. The Trail follows rivers and creeks, often for distances of a mile or more, showcasing waterfalls and rapids, bends and deep gorges where thousands of years of rushing water has cut into layers of ancient volcanic rock.

One of the more challenging aspects of hiking the Trail is the elevation changes. Instead of long climbs and descents found in mountains, the SHT is constantly ascending and descending.

SHTA publishes a "Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail" and maps to help trail users plan their trips. Visit for more information, to join the Association, or to volunteer on the Trail.

Additional Details

Width: 18 inches.
Primary Surface: Soil
Secondary Surface: Gravel
Soil, compacted
Wood, running plank

Average Grade: 10%
Maximum Grade: 100%
Elevation Low Point: 602
Elevation High Point: 1,829
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Trail Management:
Jaron Cramer
Development and Communications Director
Superior Hiking Trail Association
731 Seventh Ave, Suite 2
Two Harbors , MN 55616
(218) 834-2700



Mt Trudee from above. Photo by Fresh Tracks Media.

Mt Trudee from above. Photo by Fresh Tracks Media.

 Photo by Erik Lindstrom.

Photo by Erik Lindstrom.


Poplar River Crossing from above. Photo by Fresh Tracks Media.

Poplar River Crossing from above. Photo by Fresh Tracks Media.


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