Distance: 8.7 miles (14 km) one-way
Location: Hovland, MN
This is the first actual ‘section’ of the Superior Hiking Trail that I have posted. I recently hiked this section with a large group of people on one of the SHTA’s guided hikes. I enjoy taking part in these guided hikes once in a while. It is different to hike with a large group and fun to meet some new hikers.
Hiking the Superior Hiking Trail is not like the hiking around Thunder Bay. The trail is wide and very easy to follow. There are actual parking lots. There are campsites. There are bridges and boardwalks, and I have not yet hiked a section of the Superior Hiking Trail where I did not come across other people hiking. It’s more like a walk in the park than the kind of hiking that I usually do.
This is the most northern section of the SHT is near the start of the Border Route Trail. In this section the Superior Hiking Trail reaches its highest elevation of 1829 feet. It includes a scenic old growth maple forest and views of Jackson Lake and Swamp River valley. There are some fairly steep ascents and descents. There are no big views along this trail despite the elevations that are reached and I found that I really didn’t take many pictures along this hike.
Trail begins at the Otter Lake Rd trailhead parking lot. At Hwy 61 milepost 128.9, turn north on Arrowhead Trail and go 4.5 miles to Jackson Lake Road. Turn right on Jackson Lake Rd and go 8.4 miles. At T-stop, turn left on Otter Lake Rd and go 2 miles to trailhead parking lot.