Sep 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm #1279098M GBPL Member
Currently planning my southbound SHT trip from Cascade River SP to Silver Bay. Looking at the map it appears that the trail does a huge loop inland away from the lake between Bensen Lake and Section 13 campsite, crossing over County Road 7 twice in the process. The terrain does not look as appealing as the more topographically interesting land across the more direct route. Has anyone in this community tried the direct route. I'm attaching a map showing a proposed route I'd like to try. Likely will be a horrendous bushwack but I'm always into that so….let me hear your thoughts.Sep 8, 2011 at 6:23 pm #1777553David NollBPL Member
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
Stick with the trail. It does cross the road twice but it has some very nice areas. A lot of the land around the SHT is private and posted.Sep 8, 2011 at 7:31 pm #1777582Say RaowMember
I also say stick to the trail. Private property is often not marked on the SHT. SHTA asks to stay on the trail because of this.Sep 8, 2011 at 8:29 pm #1777600
First, you've chosen a very nice stretch of trail! Many of my favorite SHT places are included in your hike.
Regarding your question …. Please, please stay on the trail.
That "huge loop" closes a gap that was one of the last sections of the trail to be built north of Two Harbors. I'm not familiar with all the details but I'm reasonably sure the trail association tried long and hard to negotiate an easement through private property in the area you propose to bushwack. The owner was obviously not interested.
We're now working hard to convince a newly elected congressman to support the "Arrowhead Re-route" of the North Country Trail so that it uses the SHT and some other trails in northeastern MN. The last thing we need is an irate landowner sounding off about a bleeping hiker not respecting private land (I'm imagining he/she needing to be bleeped).
Also, while that "huge loop" is not so interesting terrain-wise, it passes two nice lakes and a couple nice riverside campsites, is the only place I've seen a moose on the trail and was the first place I was serenaded by wolves at night. Also, if you are going in late September the loop goes through the maple belt and this year is expected to be better than average for fall colors.
Another also, starting with the little climb to Section 13 and continuing to Silver Bay you're in what is generally considered to be the most strenuous part of the trail and the easy going from C-M park to section 13 won't be such a bad thing.Sep 9, 2011 at 7:25 pm #1777962M GBPL Member
I spent some time looking at google sat images today and saw a large network of logging roads and cut blocks in various stages of regrowth so the area lost its appeal fairly quickly. I can see why the private owner didn't want to allow hikers, it's 'cos he wanted to log it! Didn't realize private property was such an issue. I grew up on the Canadian side of the border where its mostly all crown land and ownership is rarely an issue. also noticed hunting season would be open for certain animals and weapon combination. Bushwacking started sounding less interesting.
I'll be there from Oct 6-11 hopefully not too late for some fall colours. Can any local folks provide some insight on temperature range. I checked 30 years averages for two NOAA reporting stations (Grand Marais and Twin Harbour) and both seemed to indicate average lows above freezing and no snow. What are the realistic minimum temps I should expect in early Oct. I'm guessing a 20F bag should be plenty warm???Sep 9, 2011 at 7:50 pm #1777969Say RaowMember
Regarding weather, take into consideration the elevation difference from the towns on the coast and the trail further in land. A couple weeks ago, Grand Marais was forecasted for minimal rain, which came true. However, on the trail further in land we had over an inch of rain. A few locals who live on Cascade River told us this is to be expected.Sep 14, 2011 at 6:23 am #1779414David NollBPL Member
@dpnollLocale: Maroon Bells
A 20 degree bag will be just about right in October.Sep 14, 2011 at 6:59 am #1779422
+1 what Dan said … the lake moderates both high and low temps but that effect diminishes rapidly as you move away from the lake.
If your "20 degree bag" keeps you warm at 20 degrees then it'll be good for your dates.
Most years Oct 6-11 is a bit late for maple colors but is right in the heart of birch color season.Sep 16, 2011 at 1:29 pm #1780140Tom FerryBPL Member
I just saw on the DNR website that Moose season starts in NE Minnesota on Oct 1. Anyone know how this impacts the SHT?Sep 16, 2011 at 4:42 pm #1780196
I've backpacked the SHT during moose season each of the past 11 years and have yet to notice a hunter. If I'm correctly reading the DNR's info concerning moose hunting there will be 105 permits issued in 2011 …. compared to about 600,000 firearms deer hunting licenses in recent years.
However, regardless of how few hunters I think are out there I use a blaze orange pack cover and hat during all the hunting seasons. I also select red if I'm choosing between options for other clothing.Sep 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm #1780241Tom FerryBPL Member
Thanks! I knew they didn't issue many moose permits but had no idea it was that low.
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