It's time for the unofficial Trail Report! In my ranking system, all of these hikes start with a 10/10 because the Superior Hiking Trail is beautiful, well-maintained, and free to use. Then, points are added or deducted based on my experience hiking the trail.
Carlton Peak from Britton Peak - Sunday, July 10
We started strong Sunday morning with the lovely 3.4-mile out and back trail to Carlton Peak. It was a very pleasant and gradual hike with a few steeper climbs near the summit. +1 for not being overrun, despite it being a beautiful Sunday morning. +1 for the large granite slabs at the summit. -3 for the mosquito action. Overall, a very respectable 9/10 and well worth your time!
White Sky Rock and Caribou Lake - Monday, July 11
This mini-hike makes a great pre-swim warm-up. With a stellar climb-to-pay-off ratio, White Sky Rock is a great option if you are in the area and are looking for a hike under one mile. +1 for a great view, -1 for the steep climb, +2 for the swimming option at the Caribou Lake public water access at the end of the hike, and -2 for the super short nature of the hike. So overall she's a 10 when you take the swim into account as well!
Oberg Mountain Loop - Tuesday, July 12
This hike is the region's most popular, and for good reason. With more scenic viewpoints than we have any right to expect (+3), this trail delivers pure hiking joy. Honestly, I only have good things to say, and it easily deserves a 13/10 or more.
Leveaux Mountain - Wednesday, July 13
Another beautiful morning for a hike! This was a rewarding 3.2-mile that starts from the same parking lot as Oberg Mountain. +1 for the amazing cedar forest and fresh pine scent that starts the hike off strong. -2 for a bridge that is clearly marked as structurally deficient. -3 for the mosquitos, although that may be a result of the previous night's rain more than the trail's topography. +1 for the very cool overlook with a glacial erratic conveniently posed for a photo. Overall, a solid 7/10. It's got to be hard to be the less popular sister of Oberg Mountain, so let's make sure we give Leveaux Mountain some love too.
Temperance River - Thursday, July 14
I didn't really follow this route, but you can see my full route on Strava here. This hike does follow the SHT, but the parking area is run by Temperance River State Park, so you need a State Parks annual or daily parking pass to park (-1). This hike gets major points (+3) for not climbing a mountain, and therefore being very flat. An additional +1 for the notable lack of bugs! There was a group cliff jumping higher up the river, and the margin of error for landing on rocks was so small that I nearly had a heart attack (I would subtract points, but should we really blame human stupidity on the trail?). Overall, this trail was extremely beautiful, impressive, well-maintained, and had cell phone service to boot. 13/10.
We loved it so much that we did the same trail again on 7/15.
Did we miss your favorite regional hike? Drop us a line and let us know!