Hike & Go Seek – Superior Hiking Trail

Superior Hiking Trail sign cropped.jpg

The Superior Hiking Trail in Minnesota follows the rocky ridges overlooking Lake Superior for a total of 310 miles of pure adventure.  This unique trail takes you through forests of birch, pine, aspen, fir and cedar trees so hikers will enjoy views of boreal forests, babbling brooks, rushing waterfalls, abundant wildlife and the Sawtooth Mountains.  The lowest point in the patch is 602 ft above sea level and the highest point reaches 1,829 ft above sea level.  This footpath is intended for hiking only and motorized vehicles, mountain bikes and horses are not allowed on the trail.  Many avid hikers use this trail for long-distance hiking and there are 94 fee free campsites available for the attending hikers to use.


There are two primary sections to the Superior Hiking Trail.  The Duluth section of the trail is 50 miles long and starts southwest of the city of Duluth at the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.  This section is best suited for day hiking and there is only one backcountry campground located near the Minnesota-Wisconsin border.  The other section is called the North Shore section and it is approximately 260 miles long and begins at the Martin Road Trailhead on the northern boundary of the city of Duluth.  


The Superior Hiking Trail Association builds, promotes and maintains the trail.  It is a Minnesota based non-profit corporation with more than 3,200 members.  The association produces a quarterly newsletter called “The Ridgeline” for its members which contains news of the trail, trail volunteer bios and association financial info. The trail was mostly built y crews of people that ere hired from local towns by the Minnesota Conservation Corps.
In December 2000, accolades were offered by “BackPacker Magazine” where they named the Superior Hiking Trail with the “Best Trail/Camp Shelter conditions; the trail with the “Best Signage” in the country and one of the most scenic trails in the nation.

wiki

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Wilderness Wednesday

Pose lake Minnesota.jpg

Think there is not much wilderness left in the United States…think again.   And while much of it is in such states as California, Arizona, Washington and Alaska, we have a gem right here in the Midwest – Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota!

Bordering the Arrowhead Region of the Canadian Board, the combined region of the BWCAW, Superior National Forest, Voyageurs National Park, and Ontario’s Quetico and La Verendrye Provincial Parks make up a large area of contiguous wilderness lakes and forests called the “Quetico-Superior country”, or simply the Boundary Waters. Lake Superior lies to the south and east of the Boundary Waters.

190,000 acres, nearly 20% of the BWCAW’s total area is water. Within the borders of the area are over 1,100 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams. Much of the other 80% of the area is forest. The BWCAW contains the largest remaining area of uncut forest in the eastern portion of the United States.

The Boundary Waters area is within the Laurentian Mixed Forest Province (commonly called the “North Woods”), a transitional zone between the boreal forest to the north and the temperate hardwood forest to the south that contains characteristics of each. Trees found within the wilderness area include conifers such as red pine, eastern white pine, birch, ash and even raspberries can be found in cleared areas. 

Green Pine Trees

The BWCAW contains a variety of hiking trails. Shorter hikes include the trail to Eagle Mountain (7 miles) Loop trails include the Pow Wow Trail, the Snowbank Trail, and the Sioux-Hustler Trail. The Border Route Trail and Kekekabic Trail are the two longest trails running through the BWCAW. The Border Route Trail runs east-west for over 65 miles through the eastern BWCAW, beginning at the northern end of the Superior Hiking Trail and following ridges and cliffs west until it connects with the Kekekabic Trail. The Kekekabic Trail continues for another 41 miles (66 km), beginning near the Gunflint Trail and passing through the center of the BWCAW before exiting it near Snowbank Lake. Both the Border Route and the Kekekabic Trail are part of the longer North Country National Scenic Trail.

 

Junction of the Eagle Mountain and Brule Lake Trails

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boundary_Waters_Canoe_Area_Wilderness

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Hike & Go Seek – Eagle Mountain, highest natural point in Minnesota

Eagle Mountain is the highest natural point in Minnesota, United States, at 2,301 feet.  It is in northern Cook County, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest in the Misquah Hills, northwest of Grand Marais. It is a Minnesota State Historic Site.
File:EagleMountainTrail.jpg
Eagle Mountain is only about 15 miles (24 km) from Minnesota’s lowest elevation, Lake Superior, at 600 feet/  It is part of the Canadian Shield. Confusingly, there is another, much shorter, peak named Eagle Mountain in northern Minnesota. The shorter peak is part of the Lutsen Mountains ski resort.
The hike to the summit can be made in about two and a half hours. The distance to the peak is about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) with an elevation gain of 550 feet (168 m). The trail is rocky and moderately strenuous. Whale Lake is about halfway along the trail and offers two campsites to hikers. The peak of the mountain is marked with a plaque.
Permits are required because portions of this hike enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Self-issued permits are available at any Superior National Forest ranger station or at the trailhead. Instructions and the permit can usually be found at the trailhead kiosk.
Eagle Mountain, Minnesota.jpg
Among the highest natural points (highpoints) in each U.S. state, Eagle Mountain ranks 37th. (wiki)
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Hike & Go Seek – Eagle Mountain, highest natural point in Minnesota

Eagle Mountain is the highest natural point in Minnesota, United States, at 2,301 feet.  It is in northern Cook County, in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest in the Misquah Hills, northwest of Grand Marais. It is a Minnesota State Historic Site.
File:EagleMountainTrail.jpg
Eagle Mountain is only about 15 miles (24 km) from Minnesota’s lowest elevation, Lake Superior, at 600 feet/  It is part of the Canadian Shield. Confusingly, there is another, much shorter, peak named Eagle Mountain in northern Minnesota. The shorter peak is part of the Lutsen Mountains ski resort.
The hike to the summit can be made in about two and a half hours. The distance to the peak is about 3.5 miles (5.6 km) with an elevation gain of 550 feet (168 m). The trail is rocky and moderately strenuous. Whale Lake is about halfway along the trail and offers two campsites to hikers. The peak of the mountain is marked with a plaque.
Permits are required because portions of this hike enter the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Self-issued permits are available at any Superior National Forest ranger station or at the trailhead. Instructions and the permit can usually be found at the trailhead kiosk.
Eagle Mountain, Minnesota.jpg
Among the highest natural points (highpoints) in each U.S. state, Eagle Mountain ranks 37th. (wiki)
Trekking The National Parks: The Family Board Game (Second Edition)

Birding in Minnesota

This list of birds of Minnesota includes species documented in the U.S. state of Minnesota and accepted by the Minnesota Ornithologists’ Union Records Committee (MOURC). As of the end of 2018, there are 444 species included in the official list.   Of them, 87 are classed as accidental, 39 are classed as casual, eight have been introduced to North America, two are extinct, and one has been extirpated.

The barred owl, also known as northern barred owl or hoot owl, is a true owl native to eastern North America. Adults are large, and are brown to grey with barring on the chest. Barred owls have expanded their range to the west coast of North America, where they are considered invasive.

The common loon or great northern diver is a large member of the loon, or diver, family of birds. Breeding adults have a plumage that includes a broad black head and neck with a greenish, purplish, or bluish sheen, blackish or blackish-grey upperparts, and pure white underparts except some black on the undertail coverts and vent. Non-breeding adults are brownish with a dark neck and head marked with dark grey-brown. Their upperparts are dark brownish-grey with an unclear pattern of squares on the shoulders, and the underparts, lower face, chin, and throat are whitish. The sexes look alike, though males are significantly heavier than females.

Here are some good resources if you like birding:

           

  National Geographic Birds                          Birds of Minnesota 

Birds of Minnesota

The barred owl, also known as northern barred owl or hoot owl, is a true owl native to eastern North America. Adults are large, and are brown to grey with barring on the chest. Barred owls have expanded their range to the west coast of North America, where they are considered invasive.

The common loon or great northern diver is a large member of the loon, or diver, family of birds. Breeding adults have a plumage that includes a broad black head and neck with a greenish, purplish, or bluish sheen, blackish or blackish-grey upperparts, and pure white underparts except some black on the undertail coverts and vent. Non-breeding adults are brownish with a dark neck and head marked with dark grey-brown. Their upperparts are dark brownish-grey with an unclear pattern of squares on the shoulders, and the underparts, lower face, chin, and throat are whitish. The sexes look alike, though males are significantly heavier than females.

Here are some good resources if you like birding:

           

  National Geographic Birds                          Birds of Minnesota 

Birds of Minnesota

 

The barred owl, also known as northern barred owl or hoot owl, is a true owl native to eastern North America. Adults are large, and are brown to grey with barring on the chest. Barred owls have expanded their range to the west coast of North America, where they are considered invasive.

The common loon or great northern diver is a large member of the loon, or diver, family of birds. Breeding adults have a plumage that includes a broad black head and neck with a greenish, purplish, or bluish sheen, blackish or blackish-grey upperparts, and pure white underparts except some black on the undertail coverts and vent. Non-breeding adults are brownish with a dark neck and head marked with dark grey-brown. Their upperparts are dark brownish-grey with an unclear pattern of squares on the shoulders, and the underparts, lower face, chin, and throat are whitish. The sexes look alike, though males are significantly heavier than females.

Here are some good resources if you like birding:

           

  National Geographic Birds                          Birds of Minnesota