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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2019

    First time backpacking Superior Hiking Trail MN

    This spring I anticipate to begin my first hammock backpacking trip of the Superior Hiking Trail (2 to 3 group size) I have day hiked small sections of this trail in years past but nothing significant. I'm looking for suggestions on which section would be the best for me to concur first? I'm looking to do a 2 night 3 day hike with roughly 5 to 10 miles per day (absolute max 12 miles per day). My plan is to go early spring but have heard timing this out can be tricky, dealing with snow melt/mud. Is there a time frame that works best to avoid the bugs? I would prefer going in the spring due to a BWCA trip scheduled in the fall. Any input received would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Wayzata, MN
    Bandit TQ Lynx UQ
    I have not hiked any sections north of Caribou Lake, south of Martins Road or the area around Split Rock so sure there are plenty of beautiful spots I have not gotten to see yet (at least I hope so). That being said here have been my favorites.

    South of Crosby Manitou State Park - The campsites at Sonju Lake are amazing. I ended up pushing on to the Egge Lake sites that night which were very nice, but if I was going to plan that section again I would make a point of organizing it so I could stay at Sonju. This section also has the Section 13 site which I really loved but might be pushing it in terms of mileage if you are staying as Sonju one night (don't have my guidebook handy).

    Bear Lake - The whole section between Silver Bay and Tettegouche State Park is pretty but the campsite on Bear Lake is possibly the prettiest site on the trail. When I did this section though I was a tent camper and I remember thinking when I got to the site what the hell would you do in a hammock (if anyone knows please share!) so that might not work out so well. Due to the popularity of the overlook nearby, the site being pretty, and only having room for very few spots it is entirely possible it is full when you get there. My friend and I arrived early just because of how our day worked out and took one of the two tent spots. Couple of people arrived an hour or so later and took the other one and over the rest of the day a couple groups came wandering down, realized there was literally no where else to put a tent and wandered off again. So if you are banking on camping here I would say go during the week or get there early.

    Last couple of trips I did I have been taking panoramic photos of the camp sites and trail heads and uploading them to google maps so people can get a sense of what the tree situation is like for hammocks. Not too many documented yet but worth checking once you decide your route. In terms of bugs I have tended to early June, late August or September. Normally they are not too bad but sometimes you definitely just run into areas where they are everywhere. So far most campsites have been pretty clear during those times. Last few trips I treated my clothes with permethrin and that helped some, though still combine it with regular bug spray. Guidebook is definitely worth the money for planning purposes. The small pocket maps are okay but I normally bring along a McKenzie map just because I prefer the detail and download the section of trail to google maps on my phone for offline viewing. Google maps has saved me a couple of times even without service.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Rosemount, MN
    Hennessy Explorer Deluxe
    Asym or Rectangle
    This is an old post but if your still interested Bear lake site has an elevated campsite with space for 4 tents and suitable trees for hanging. It is above the Biffy about 30 ft up hill

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