ON THE TRAIL: Hiking trail association ready for busy summer season

The Superior Hiking Trail Association (SHTA) said that the over 300-mile trail along the North Shore is 95% ready for hikers.
Published: May. 24, 2023 at 10:38 AM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - The Superior Hiking Trail Association (SHTA) said that the over 300-mile trail along the North Shore is 95% ready for hikers.

Thousands of Minnesotans and Wisconsinites will hit the trails this weekend for Memorial Day, which some consider to be the unofficial start to summer.

After a harsh winter and a fast snow melt, volunteers with the SHTA have been hard at work moving tree trunks, branches and other debris from the trail that stretches from Wrenshall to past Grand Marais.

“The wet, heavy snow that we received in December followed by kind of high winds we had a lot of trees down a lot of debris on the trail,” Lisa Luokkala, the Executive Director of the SHTA, said.

A group of three volunteers was out last weekend clearing the trails.

They plan to do the same thing this weekend.

“So anticipate if you’re on the northern sections of the trail north of Finland, Minnesota, you’re going to see and run into those folks,” Luokkala said. “If you do see someone who’s running a chainsaw, proper etiquette is just to kind of wait till they acknowledge that you’re there before you pass by them so you don’t startle them.”

Luokkala said to keep the trails safe for others, there are a couple of tips you should follow.

“There are still some muddy sections of the trail as things dry out this spring. proper etiquette though it feels counterintuitive, stay on the trail and go through the mud,” she said.

The Minnesota DNR recommends that you bring things like a hat, sunscreen, extra food and plenty of water before venturing out.

The SHTA also manages several primitive campsites along the trail.

“These are all come all serve, which means that if you are hiking in, you share your campsite, this is a communal campsite with other folks who are using the trail,” Luokkala said.

If you plan to have a campfire, make sure to keep the fire in the fire rings and put it completely out before leaving.

Make sure to monitor fire warnings on the Minnesota DNR’s website.

For more information about the Superior Hiking Trail Association, you can visit their website here.

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