New to Tackling the Trail? Watch Episodes 1-5 to get caught up!

In June of 2017, Shannon Benolken embarked on a major challenge: hiking the entire Superior Hiking Trail in one year. That’s over 300 miles of tough terrain and breathtaking views along the North Shore of Lake Superior. No biggie, right? Yeesh.

Well, with just over 130 miles under her belt, she recently embarked on a 13-day hike that was expected to tack on another 170 miles to Pincushion Mountain in Grand Marais.

Shannon left the Demonstration Forest in Two Harbors with her hiking partner, Melissa Rauzi, on June 3. Their third companion, Katie Scharpf, joined them on June 9. Unfortunately, that was the same day Shannon encountered a major setback (see Episode 5) that shortened her hike by three days, but she hit the trail again shortly after.

We caught up with the trio as they made the final push through foggy, wet forest to Pincushion. Melissa finished the entire 13-day trip, clocking roughly 170 miles on the trail. Shannon estimates her mileage to be about 140, and Katie completed about 75 miles.

Shannon plans to finish the last 40 miles of the Superior Hiking Trail over the summer.

We want to thank our hikers for letting us follow along on this fantastic journey!

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