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Camping not recommended on Superior Hiking Trail

The Greenwood Fire is not threatening the Superior Hiking Trail, but air quality is poor.

Superior Hiking Trail file
The Superior Hiking Trail pictured on the Brewer Park loop in Duluth. Adelle Whitefoot / 2021 file / Duluth News Tribune

The Superior Hiking Trail Association is not recommending camping and backpacking on the 300-mile trail that stretches up to the Canadian border, due to unpredictable fire conditions, poor air quality and unreliable water sources.

"In addition to your personal safety, any emergency response required will put an undue burden on local authorities, first responders, and wildland firefighters," the association's website said. "The risk is simply too high at this time. The resources available locally and regionally are stretched extremely thin."

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has closed all backcountry campsites in George Crosby Manitou State Park. The SHT Association is also advising against camping at eight of its campsites in the state park: Horseshoe Ridge, Aspen Knob, Blesner Creek, East Branch Baptism River, North Sonju Lake, South Sonju Lake, North Egge Lake, South Egge Lake, Leskinen Creek and Section 13.

"The smoke from the current fires is traveling far and fast," the association wrote. "Exposure to these conditions is dangerous. Falling ash has been documented at many locations along the North Shore."

Dehydration is also a risk for those camping on the trail. Due to the region's drought conditions, water sources are unreliable and in some locations, nonexistent.



  • Boundary Waters closure extended through Sept. 3 Permits have been canceled and refunded through Sept. 3.
  • Campgrounds closed on upper Gunflint Trail The U.S. Forest Service announced more closures as the fires continue to grow.

Those who chose to day hike on the trail are asked to be prepared and have an exit plan should conditions quickly change. Campfires are not allowed on the trail, nor are they allowed in much of northern Minnesota.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air quality advisory for the region the trail is in until 8 p.m. Friday.

The Greenwood Fire , which was first detected Aug. 15 about 15 miles southwest of Isabella, was last estimated to be 25,991 acres. It's not currently threatening the area surrounding the SHT, according to the agencies responding to the fire. The fire is between Greenwood Lake and the intersection of Minnesota Highway 1 and Lake County Highway 2.

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