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John and Patís Superior Hiking

Trail Adventure 2006


This website contains pictures taken during John and Pat Dickinsonís Superior Hiking Trail (SHT) Adventure of 2006.The Superior Hiking Trail is 205 miles long and runs from Two Harbors, MN Northeast paralleling the North shore of Lake Superior to within a mile or so of the Canadian border Northeast of Grand Marais, MN.The trail predominantly follows the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior and it follows portions of the Sawtooth Mountain range.At its low point, the trail elevation is 602 feet (Lake Superior elevation) and goes to its highest point of 1829 feet near the end of the trail in the Jackson Lake area north of Hovland, MN.For more information about the trail, check out

 It was our plan to through hike the entire trail taking about 22 days and traveling roughly 10 miles per day.We started out on September 18th and planned on reaching the end of the trail on October 10th.Besides the food that we would start out with, we prepared two re-supply packages that would be dropped off along the trail on 9/23 and 9/30 by the shuttle (more on the shuttle below) and one package that we would mail to ourselves for general delivery to the Grand Marais Post Office.Unfortunately, things do not always work out as planned.

We hiked in some miserable rainy weather for four days and got north of Beaver Bay, MN when Pat badly strained her ankle.We took a couple ďzero daysĒ (no hiking) on Friday 9/22 and Saturday 9/23 to see if perhaps the ankle would recover enough so we could go on.As it turned out, the sprain was bad enough where we decided to get off the trail for a couple days to get it well and then resume our hike.

There is a shuttle service for the trail that runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from mid May to mid October with scheduled stops along the trail.We hiked back to a scheduled shuttle stop on Sunday and took the shuttle back to where we left the car and returned home for Patís rehab since Minneapolis was only about 180 miles from the start of the trail and it was less hassle to rehab at home than to tough it out in a motel up there.The shuttle was still carrying our first food package so we took that home with us too.

 On Wednesday 9/27 we headed back to the trail.We jumped ahead on the trail to about where we would have been had we not been sidelined by the ankle injury. The first couple days were very low mileage to test Patís ankle.Things went well so we returned to the daily mileage as originally planned.We picked up the second food package at the appointed spot and continued on with the hike.The weather was much improved but it was still misting and drizzling on and off, mostly at night but at least we were able to dry the tent out during the day and we managed to avoid the rain during setup and take down of the tent each day.

As we were approaching Grand Marais, things were going so well and Pat was such a trooper that I thought I would treat her to a motel night in Grand Marais when we got there since it would coincide with our 36th wedding anniversary (10/3) and we had to pick up the food package at the Post Office anyway.The trail crosses the Gunflint Trail (Highway 12) about 1.5 miles North of Grand Marais.We left the trail and were walking along the highway to Grand Marais to pick up our food package and spend a comfortable night in a motel when Pat re-injured her ankle!This time much more seriously than before.She was able to hobble to town and we got a motel room and immediately started icing her ankle to see how bad it was.In the mean time, I went to the Post Office and picked up our food package, did some laundry and started investigating transportation options if Pat could not go on.As it turn out, the ankle was bad and we decided that it would be best if Pat would return home and I would continue on to finish the last 55 miles of the trail alone.I arranged a shuttle to take Pat back to where we had parked the car and to drop me off at the trail on Wednesday, 10/4.Pat would return to Minneapolis and come back on Sunday, 10/8 to pick me up at the end of the trail.

The weather was perfect for the last few days of the hike.The days were sunny and the nights were mild and clear with a full moon.Many of the leaves had dropped from the trees making it interesting to find the trail in open areas of the woods with the forest floor covered in leaves.Pat and our oldest daughter Tracey, who lives in St Paul, met me on Sunday, 10/8 to pick me up at the end of the trail.They arrived at about noon and we were all back home by 6:30 pm.

 In summary, the trip was kind of chaotic with all the shuttling here and there.The weather was a challenge the first few days but turned out to be gorgeous by the end of the trip. It appears that Pat completed about 75 miles of the trail and I did about 130.It was unfortunate that Pat got injured and had to miss so much of the trail and we were not able to complete the entire trail but that is the way things work out sometimes.Patís ankle is fine now and we have the memories of the beautiful fall colors, amazing waterfalls and many wonderful ridge top views of Lake Superior.Most importantly, we had the opportunity to share the experience together. 

Pictures Organized by Topic

An assortment of the pictures that we took on our trip are grouped in various topics. Use this link to access the Topic Menu.From the Topic Menu, thumbnails of each picture are provided to use as poke points to access an expanded view of that picture.Use your browserís forward and back buttons to navigate through the pictures and return to this page.  

Trip Diary and Other Data

Pat kept a daily hand written diary and I continued it in her absence.The Diary has been typed up and is organized by day and can be found by clicking here.The SHT was GPSed in 2003 and GPS data can be found at statistics and the longitude and latitude of each nightís campsite can be found by clicking here.  

Contact Information

If you wish to contact us you may do so using the contact information below.We enjoy answering any questions you may have about our trip.We also enjoy hearing about trips that you may have taken. 

John and Pat



Last revised: October 2006