On The Superior Hiking Trail

Sam Cook / News Tribune

Aspen leaves looked good against the sky Sunday afternoon along the Superior Hiking Trail near Two Harbors.

A couple of us hiked a new segment of the Superior Hiking Trail Sunday afternoon, going west from the Lake County Demonstration Forest toward the Rossini Road. We hiked about 2 1/2 miles of the 6.2-mile leg, then doubled back.

Sun had finally broken through after clouds all day Saturday and Sunday morning. The humidity dropped, and the sun poked through a canopy of maples, aspen and birch in various stages of turning color. The maples were well along.

This section of the trail, like every other section I’ve hiked, is a dream to walk, a single path rolling with the contours of the land. The 2 1/2 miles we hiked didn’t offer much for overlooks, either of Lake Superior or inland, but it didn’t lack for beauty or diversity of terrain. It eased through dense stands of balsam fir, opened into young aspen and birch, and even crossed a logged-over area for a short distance. The trail also crosses the Knife River and Ferguson Creek, a boulder-strewn stream that feeds the Knife.

Here’s the beauty of the Superior Hiking Trail, which runs continuously from Two Harbors to the Canadian border, 205 miles in all, plus another 39 in Duluth. It takes hikers where otherwise they would never go. Sounds simple, I know. But that’s the joy of the trail. Someone has walked those woods, flagging a route up the ridges and down in valleys, so that the rest of us can later walk along a well-signed path, seeing country that we’d otherwise need a compass and topo map to negotiate. Which means, most of us would never go there.

It’s a great privilege to hike this volunteer-maintained trail, restoring our souls, calming our minds, working our bodies. So, hat’s off to the Superior Hiking Trail Association for its efforts.

Describing the route to the trailhead is a little laborious, so just to the Web site, www.shta.org, and click on "trail sections" to get a description of each segment and how to drive to the trailhead.

The fall color should last another three weeks, easy.

And here’s one more image from along the trail today:

Sam Cook / News Tribune

Maple and other leaves in grasses along the Superior Hiking Trail near Two Harbors.

 

1 Response

  1. John David Lundy

    Sam,
    Amen to everything you’ve said about the Superior Hiking Trail. I haven’t hiked that segment yet … maybe this week.

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