There hasn’t been a lot of hype surrounding it, but as of June 1 the Superior Hiking Trail is complete from Duluth to Two Harbors. The missing link is no longer missing. You can now hike the trail from Jay Cooke State Park to the Canadian border … you know, if you feel like a nice 296-mile trek.
Above is the starting point of the Duluth to Two Harbors section, from the trailhead at Martin Road on the Duluth / Rice Lake Township border. The start of this section is cut on the old North Shore State Trail, and a sign there pays tribute to C. J. Ramstad, “Mr. Snowmobiling.”
Andrew Slade’s blog tipped me off about the completion of this section of the trail. Slade noted the section off Martin Road is more like the “English countryside” than what SHT hikers will be used to … and he’s right.
Because some of the trail follows a snowmobile trail, the grass is longer than most SHT hikes, but I only picked up one tick in 6.9 miles (plus 6.9 miles back). Above is a section that someone mowed.
Here is the spot where the trail splits. Follow the deep grass to the right if you’re a moron and want to hike the overgrown snowmobile trail; hook left to get into the woods for the more typical SHT experience.
Watch out for gooey blacktop while crossing Riley Road.
The trees are mostly aspen, maple and basswood.
There are several swampy ponds along the hike.
Shortly after crossing these skunk remains, I saw a black bear scampering away — disappearing too fast for my camera.
The biting flies are tolerable, but kind of annoying. I probably killed about 40 of them, so you have fewer to bother you.
The Lester River crosses the trail about one mile from the next trailhead at Lismore Road. More adventures await beyond that.