The Pack Report

Amazing Day Hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail

When looking for great hikes along the North Shore of Lake Superior, the Superior Hiking Trail is full of wonderful day hike options. This rugged trail begins at the remote Minnesota-Wisconsin border roughly 7 miles before Jay Cooke State Park. This trail is a total of over 300 miles long and ends at the Canadian border. While you can thru-hike this entire trail, many opt to do it in sections, and even more people opt to use this trail system for wonderful day hikes. Duluth Pack has put together some of the top day hikes along the Superior Hike Trail to help you find a great hike to match your skill level and time restraints. Duluth Pack also has an assortment of great outdoor packs for day hikes including the Sling Pack, Medium Standard Backpack, and the Large Fanny Pack to make sure you are geared up correctly for these adventures.

Before you go packing list:

  • Adequate amounts of water
  • Snacks for on the trail
  • A map/navigation material
  • Extra apparel for the weather changes
  • First Aid Kit

NOTE: Don’t forget to let someone know where you are headed and wear proper footwear as some of these hikes are on varied terrain.

Ways To Day Hike

The Superior Hiking trail is set up as a start-to-finish trail but there are several loop options that you can take for a day hike. Another option is to pick a section of the trail and hike with a group, you will want two cars and will park one car at your finish point and then drive to where you want to hop on the trail, leaving your other car at your starting location. You can also hike out and back on the same path. For the out and back method, you will plan the number of miles you would like to go and hike half that before turning back for your vehicle.

Whatever method you pick you will want to make sure to leave your car empty of valuables or stow them out of sight and ensure that you have your keys on you before you lock your car!

Top Three Day Hikes on the Superior Hiking Trail

There are so many great day hike options for you to try on the Superior Hiking Trail. Here are three hikes that Duluth Pack would recommend! Grab your Duluth Pack backpack and all your hiking essentials and hit the trails with these great recommendations.

Ely’s Peak (Roughly 4.1 Mile Out & Back Trail)

Hiking Ely’s Peak is a moderate hike and Duluth Pack would recommend wearing hiking shoes as there are rocky areas. Don’t forget to grab a water bottle for this hike as it does take over an hour to complete and has some sunny sections. To start your hike you will go to the Munger Park Trailhead and will be on a paved trail for .4 miles after that there are blue trail markers painted on trees to show that you are on the Superior Hiking Trail. You will follow these markers up and when you arrive at the top you have made it to Ely’s Peak! This peak has stunning views and is easily traversed in an afternoon. This hike is an out and back so you will take the same route you took out to head back to your car.

Notes from the Superior Hiking Trail Website on finding the trailhead:

From the South:  From I-35, take Midway Rd. Exit #246. Go south on Midway Rd./Becks Rd. 2.7 miles. Turn left on 123rd Avenue W. and follow the road to the parking lot on left.

From the North: On Grand Ave. in Duluth, go south to Becks Rd. Turn right on Becks Rd, go 1.8 miles to 123rd Avenue W., turn right and follow the road to the parking lot. No overnight parking.

Bean & Bear Lake Loop (Roughly 6.5 Mile Loop)

This is a moderate hike on the Superior Hiking trail that is most popular during the changing leaves in the fall but has stunning views in all seasons and some opt to hike or snowshoe this trail in the winter months as well. The Superior Hiking Trail is dog-friendly so you can bring your pup on this hike, but they must be leashed. This trail has a slow incline for the beginning and then has some steeper inclines as you get close to the lookouts of Bean and Bear Lake. This hike takes over 3 hours for most to complete and makes for a great lunch spot to snack at the outlook before you continue your loop back to the car. This trail is also marked with blue markers and is easy to navigate.

Find more details on this hike from All Trails

Split Rock Lighthouse Loop (Roughly 7.2 Mile Loop)

The Split Rock Lighthouse Loop is an easier hike with less elevation and stunning views. Parts of this trail are on the Superior Hiking Trail and some of this loop is also on the Gitchi-Gami Trail. This hike also has access to many beaches that you can stop at during your hike. We suggest bringing a daypack like the USA Made Sling Pack or Medium Standard Backpack to carry water and snacks during your walk. This trail takes at least 3 hours, so you will want to be prepared with food and water.

Find more details on this hike from All Trails

While these are three great recommendations, the Superior Hiking Trail is 300 miles long and has many wonderful options that you can tailor to your hiking wants and needs. To learn more about the Superior Hiking Trail and plan your trip out you can get the Guidebook for the Superior Hiking Trail called: Guide To The Superior Hiking Trail. Exploring the 300-Mile Footpath On Minnesota’s North Shore on Duluth Pack’s Website or learn more on the Superior Hiking Trail’s website. You can also stock up on apparel, food, and drinkware for your next hike whether it is on the SHT or another great trail system at Duluth Pack! Find all of your gear needs including the USA Made outdoor packs and lifestyle bags online at or at Duluth Pack’s flagship retail store in canal park in Duluth, MN.

Happy adventuring, friends!

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