Superior Hiking Trail

Great guided hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail
April 30, 2012 by Andrew Slade

Great guided hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail

Small group of hikers on the Tofte Overlook, Carlton Peak. Have you always wanted to hike the Superior Hiking Trail, but never felt quite ready? Maybe you heard about how difficult it can be, or maybe you heard one of the rare stories of people getting lost on the trail. Fear not! If you can follow driving directions to a trailhead, you can join a guided hike this spring, summer or fall on the Superior Hiking Trail. These guided hikes are a great way to get out on an excellent hiking trail. There is truly safety in numbers, and each hike has … read more


Best Duluth hikes by bus
September 6, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Best Duluth hikes by bus

Getting to a great North Shore hike can mean as much driving as hiking. It's a pretty good haul up the Onion River Road or all the way to Grand Portage for your outdoor experience.  Not so for hikers in Duluth. Just walk to the corner, hop on the Duluth Transit Authority bus, then ring the dinger for your trailhead bus stop.From downtown Duluth, you can catch the #3 bus going west toward Proctor. 30 minutes and a few quarters for the bus fare later, and you're at the corner of Highland Street and Skyline Drive. It's a rugged nine … read more


On the road with Sam Cook
August 2, 2011 by Andrew Slade

On the road with Sam Cook

Chris Evavold being photographed by Sam Cook at Divide Lake Every two or three years, the phone rings and a familiar voice with just a hint of Kansas in it says, "Hi, Andrew, Sam Cook." Just like the sound of a bell got Pavlov's dogs to salivate, that voice makes me start to stuff my day pack. We're going on an adventure.Sam wanted to do an article about North Shore hiking and our new book, Hiking the North Shore: 50 fabulous day hikes in Minnesota's spectacular Lake Superior region. "Where would you like to go, Andrew?," Sam asked. What a great … read more


Go soon to see the "flowers of the day"
May 17, 2011 by Andrew Slade

Go soon to see the "flowers of the day"

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400"] Hepatica on the Superior Hiking Trail in western Duluth, 5/15/2011[/caption] The spring ephemerals are blooming in the woods of the North Shore. Ephemeral is a lovely word from the Greek words for "of the day." It means short-lived, and these flowers pack a lot of living into just a very few days.  Along the Superior Hiking Trail, in the Bardon Peak area of western Duluth off Skyline Drive, there is a great two miles of trail leading through the heart of an old-growth northern hardwood forest.  [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="400"] Bloodroot along the Superior Hiking Trail in western Duluth, … read more


Fog dog: Before the storm
October 26, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Fog dog: Before the storm

The biggest storm of the fall (so far) is rolling through Minnesota today. Before the big blow, I took Chloe out for a spin on the Superior Hiking Trail. Duluth has been decked in in fog since Sunday; as I drove up 40th Avenue West we entered the cloud bank and stayed there for the whole hike.We hiked west from 40th Avenue West along the SHT toward Peace Ridge. The SHT in Duluth runs through four or five long stretches of what I call "dwarf forest." Aspen, oak and maple are growing there, but the soil is so thin and … read more


Best fall colors? Duluth has them now
October 7, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Best fall colors? Duluth has them now

The best North Shore fall colors are now in Duluth. Hit the Superior Hiking Trail west of Spirit Mountain and find lovely maple and white pine woods. The SHT runs through old-growth maple forest for over a mile. About half the leaves have fallen from the trees, carpeting the forest floor.In The Guide to the Superior Hiking Trail, this section is called "Munger Trail at 123rd Ave. W. to Magney Snively Trailhead." It's also on the SHT website.From the Boundary Ave. exit of I-35, head south on Skyline Drive through the Spirit Mountain area, a total of 2.5 miles from … read more


The man who knew too much
September 27, 2010 by Andrew Slade

The man who knew too much

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. On Sunday, I knew just enough about the North Shore that I made all the wrong moves.This weekend was probably one of the busiest weekends on the North Shore of the entire year. Tourists flock to the shore for the fall colors and for events like the Crossing Borders studio tour. Crowds of hikers head for the fall color favorites like Oberg Mountain or the Lutsen gondola.What about the Slade-Rauschenfels family? Could we join the crowd and enjoy those greatest hits? Naw, I'm the expert. Couldn't I find the best fall color destination … read more


Girl power on the SHT
September 23, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Girl power on the SHT

Leave the techie man-gear and the "I'm ridin' solo" attitude at home. Yesterday it was all about the girls.It was lovely. The valleys inland from Lake Superior are ablaze with autumn color. The sky was crystal blue. Best of all both of my girls were along for the day. Sally had the camera and was in her glory, composing pictures from the trees and leaves and rocks. Chloe was in her glory too, running on the trail, off the trail.We drove the back roads from Beaver Bay to Finland and found glorious flaming maple trees along the way. Then we … read more


Carlton Peak: A Slade family wild goose chase
August 22, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Carlton Peak: A Slade family wild goose chase

It's a Slade family tradition to go off on wild goose chase hikes. It probably started with my grandfather, Norman Slade. To vaguely remember an old trail and get lost along the way. To change plans halfway in and hike with two preteens an extra six miles. Especially on a hot summer day with a gaggle of cousins in tow. So when we took off for the summit of Carlton Peak last week, off some unmarked gravel road, on to unmarked trails, it was like Christmas Eve: I felt the weight of family tradition guiding my hand. I needed a photo from … read more


Advice from a trillium: Go big or go home
May 24, 2010 by Andrew Slade

Advice from a trillium: Go big or go home

I went for a short hike on the Superior Hiking Trail the other day. It was my birthday, and maybe I was feeling contemplative or open to new ideas. Who'd have thought a woodland wildflower would give me advice.We're past the first flush of those little spring wildflowers like violets, bunchberry or anemone. Those flowers are cute as a button and a wonderful surprise to the spring hiker.As the trees get all their leaves and the forest floor becomes fully in the shade, flowers and their leaves need to go big. Big leaves bring in more sunlight for photosynthesis. … read more