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Boreal Emergency Preparedness Portal

Update on Superior Hiking Trail Conditions

Jun 08, 2022 12:54PM ● By Editor
From the Superior Hiking Trail Community - June 7, 2022

General Trail corridor information

Please respect all Trail and bridge closures set by land managers, State Parks, or the SHTA. You can help us maintain access to the Trail and honor our agreements with private landowners by staying off closed sections. When the Trail is routed through a trailhead, take a moment to check if there are any additional signs posted at the trailhead.

Shallow Water Crossings

Shallow water crossings may be impassable during high waters. Spring and fall water levels are pose significant risk when crossing, please cross at your own discretion. 

A recent high-water event during the spring melt flooded sections of Trail, washed out some small bridges, and undercut portions of Trail along rivers and creeks. Water levels may still be high along the Trail. During high water events, the force of the water can undercut creek and river banks on which the Trail and bridge abutments are built and the structure could be compromised but not visible to the eye. If you come to washed out or flooded Trail and bridges, please use caution. The full impact of this high-water event on the Trail is still being assessed.

Wet conditions and high winds have also brought down many trees, and spring clearing trips were delayed due to the late thaw. Trail section adopters are heading out to their areas during the next two weeks clearing and assessing conditions. Anyone hiking or running on the Trail now through at least mid-June should be prepared for wet conditions and downed trees.

Animal Advisories

The Superior Hiking Trail is a remote natural path trail, because of this solitude and open land there is the opportunity to encounter wild animals. Do not under any circumstances feed or approach any wild animal. It is highly unlikely that an animal poses a threat to you, however, if an animal approaches you it is either sick and needs to be avoided or should be scared away so that it does not become comfortable with you as a potential food source. For this and many other reasons, please keep your dog leashed on this and every section of the SHT.

Excerpted Trail Conditions 

Caribou Trail to Cascade River State Park

The Spruce Creek Bridge was washed slightly downstream last spring. We recommend staying off the bridge. A crossing of the creek is possible in low-to-normal water conditions. We plan to replace the Spruce Creek Bridge during the 2022 season.

Cascade River State Park and Cascade River Loop to Cook County Road 45

Trout Creek is a shallow water ford. Under normal circumstances, Trout Creek is a trickle. Only during snowmelt season or a big rain event is crossing an issue.

As of Monday, June 6, the road bridge on County Road 45/Pike Lake Road over the Cascade River, which the SHT uses to cross the river on the northern end of the loop, will be closed due to a road construction project. The project is anticipated to last the entire summer.

The western side of the loop is open, but Trail users will not be able to access the SHT north of the Cascade River Loop or the eastern side of the loop. Trips up the western side will be an out-and-back trip. Also, on the west side of the Cascade River, a small bridge failed and has been dismantled. The crossing there is a bit precarious, generally not due to water but due to a steep approach to the crossing.

The eastern side of the loop suffered washout damage during the spring thaw high-water event. There is a short section of Trail washed out about a half mile south of the Pike Lake Road Trailhead. The eastern arm of the loop will remain open to thru-hikers, but it is not recommended for day or section hikers or runners. There is a route around the washout, but it requires crossing a steep, slick hillside. Please use caution.

Leveaux Mountain to Lutsen

The bridge over the Onion River has a weight limit of two people.

Bally Creek Road to Pincushion Mountain

A bridge between the Gunflint Trail road crossing and the Pincushion Mountain Trailhead is severely eroded at the banks and may be dangerous to cross during wet or icy conditions.

Pincushion Mountain to Lindskog Road

Near Lindskog Road Trailhead, the trail parallels Woods Creek and severe erosion has developed. Use caution on this stretch of trail.

Judge C.R. Magney State Park

Due to park construction, the campground and park entrance road will completely close August 15 - September 1, 2022. The park, Superior Hiking Trail and trail to Devil's Kettle waterfall will remain open during this period and throughout the summer months.

The Superior Hiking Trail beyond the Devil’s Kettle is flooded, and park officials say hiking is not recommended at this time. Water levels on the Brule River are also extremely high.

Arrowhead Trail to Otter Lake Road Trailhead

Carlson Creek Bridge is out on the SHT to the east of Arrowhead Trail Trailhead.

Otter Lake Rd is washed out both East and West of the Otter Lake Rd Trailhead.

To stay up to date on changing trail conditions, follow this link to the SHTA website.

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