The Wetfoot Blog

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Trip Review - Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail - This trip review is written by two past Voyageur Backpacking Trip leaders, Anna Ficken and Nate Humphreys-Loving. This is a great open enrollment trip for 14-15 year olds that would like to experience a 9-day backpacking wilderness experience.

General overview:

The Superior Hiking Trail is a gorgeous and underutilized area for backpackers. The trail winds through different forest types and diverse North Shore ecosystems. It transitions between overlook views of the interior and Lake Superior. In planning an 8 day route along the 205 mile trail system you can easily select a route that encompasses everything from panoramic Lake Superior Views, heavily-forested trails and gorgeous lakeside sites.

Highlights of the area:
The area has a wealth of beautiful rivers, waterfalls and canyons that run perpendicular to the Lake. Some highlights include the Devil Track River Gorge, the Cascade River and the Temperance River.
At Cascade River State Park there is a lakefront hike-in backpacking site which would be a wonderful place for a duff day. A trail worth considering would be the Overlook Trail, a short spur trail which leads to the top of "Pincushion Mountain" and provides a extensive view of Superior and the surrounding area. Along the way you can catch a bird's-eye view of Grand Marais. Farther south, Lake Agnes is a gorgeous inland lake with a couple of well set-up backpacking sites. Additional info:
The trail has lots of good access points for both trip planning and emergency evacuations. Campsites are evenly spaced along the trail and provide flexibility in adjusting the difficulty of the trip. Plenty of Manito-wish folks have led trips in the area and are a great source of information as you think about planning your route; the log books also have helpful information. The Manito-Wish Leadership Library has a wonderful book called Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail, which has detailed descriptions about the trail itself (mile for mile), points of interest and the various ecosystems you'll encounter - definitely a worthwhile thing to pack in your map case! It helps both the leader and kids get more involved in the land that you are traveling.
Blog Post by:
Anna Ficken (pictured above) - Superior Hiking Trail trip leader in 2008, camper from 1999-2004 and will teaching English in Chile for the next year.

Nate Humphreys-Loving - Superior Hiking Trail trip leader in 2007, camper from 1997-2004 and a two year sectional.

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