From the start at the large gravel parking lot north of the main lodge at Spirit Mountain Ski Area, follow the orange cones around the parking lot, exiting the parking lot at the very southeast corner on a wide dirt ski hill access path near the chairlift. Drop steeply down the ski hill until intersecting with a gravel ski hill access road also known as Old Skyline Parkway.
Turn Right on Old Skyline Parkway enjoying views of the St. Louis River and West Duluth to your left. Cross the ski hill on the nearly level Old Skyline Parkway.
Once past the ski runs, make a sharp Left off Old Skyline Parkway past the Spirit Mountain Zip Line onto the Superior Hiking Trail SPUR TRAIL. The spur trail is marked with WHITE blazes. Don't miss this sharp Lefthand turn. If you reach paved Skyline Parkway, you've gone too far. Follow the SHT spur trail rather steeply downhill. Just before the intersection with the main Superior Hiking Trail, you will angle to the right on a vague deer path, follow the pin flags. Near a small bridge on the main Superior Hiking Trail you will go directly across the main SHT and continue downhill. This will be a confusing point on the trail. Do not turn right or left onto the main SHT, continue straight across down the hill. This intersection will be marked well with extra signage and possibly a course marshal. Continue down the hill to the old DWP rail grade.
Turn Right on the railgrade. Continue straight on the railgrade, crossing a gravel street near some houses. Continue straight on the railgrade until you see an arrow sign and orange pin flags directing you to turn sharp Left off of the railgrade just before a long railroad trestle bridge. Don't cross the railroad trestle bridge, it is unsafe!
Turn sharp Left onto a vague singletrack, bushwhack trail, downhill following orange pin flags to cross over Stewart Creek. Once across the creek follow the pin flags to the right along the creek and under the railroad bridge. Begin angling up the hill slightly to the Left on a very vague singletrack trail. Climb the hill steeply following the pin flags and vague trail. Eventually the trail becomes less steep and wider and more apparent. Follow the singletrack trail up to Skyline Parkway and aid station #1 at the Magney-Snively parking lot. There will be a short stretch of two way traffic as you intersect the course going the other direction. Be sure to leave the aid station heading the correct direction on the correct path.
After aid station #1, you will leave following an old rocky gravel road downhill. Do NOT follow the Superior Hiking Trail out of this aid station! Drop down the hill on a VERY rock strewn wide gravel road. Be careful descending on this road as there are many relatively large, loose rocks to sprain your ankle on. Take it slow and careful going down this old road. Keep following the old rocky road downhill until you get to a small railroad bridge going over the old rocky road. Follow the flagging off the old rocky road BEFORE the road crosses under the bridge. If you cross under the bridge you have missed the turn and gone too far! Follow the flagging up to the DWP railgrade off the old rocky road.
Turn Right on the DWP railgrade. You will follow the railgrade for the next approximately 4 miles to Skyline Parkway. There will be one brief detour off the grade to get around a washed out area, but other than that, you will remain on the railgrade. You will cross a couple gravel roads. Be careful to continue straight on the railgrade when you cross these roads. Look for orange pin flags on the other side of the road. Continue on the railgrade looking for the flagging to the Right and off the railgrade to Skyline Parkway just before a railroad bridge over Skyline Parkway.
Turn Right off the railgrade and down onto Skyline Parkway. Turn Left on Skyline Parkway and into Aid Station #2.
Leave the aid station and then turn Right onto Becks Road. Follow the orange cones along Becks Road for about 100 yards, then turn Left off of Becks road onto an old gravel road/ATV trail also known as Old 7 Bridges Road.
Cross through the concrete barriers and down Old 7 Bridges Road going over two bridges, one over railroad tracks and one over the paved Willard Munger State Trail. Continue down hill on Old 7 Bridges Road. Follow the pin flags around some washouts from the 2012 flooding. Continue on Old 7 Bridges Road until you see pin flags and an arrow directing you sharply to the Left and onto the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT).
Follow the SHT Left into the woods and cross Mission Creek Parkway again before climbing a hill. You will now be following the SHT all the way to the finish at Bayfront Park. Follow the blue blazes and pin flags to the finish.
After descending ridge, SHT crosses two more branches of Mission Creek, then climbs to long bluff with nice pines. Trail reaches overlook of Mission Creek valley and then descends to Duluth’s Mission Creek Trail. Cross the Mission Creek Trail and continue on the SHT.
After crossing the Mission Creek Trail, the SHT crosses a new bridge and ascends steep hill. SHT continues along pine ridge and then through maple-oak forest. Trail comes to towering white pine grove and then continues along bluff before descending steeply to Sargent Creek on a narrow trail with switchbacks and some nice exposure (Andy's Switchbacks). Trail crosses Sargent Creek on 50-foot bridge.
After Sargent Creek Bridge, SHT continues along creek, climbs steep hill, crosses Beck's Road, and continues to trailhead sign. Follow a short spur trail to the right to trailhead parking lot and Aid Station #2.
Leave the aid station on the gravel road and turn right onto Munger Trail and follow it for 0.4 miles to just before rock cut. SHT turns left at SHT signs and climbs rocky ridge to Ely's Peak with great views.
SHT reaches ridge top just past Ely's Peak. Follow the main trail to the right on rocky outcrops through mixed forest and overlooking faultline valley. SHT enters maple-oak forest, crosses U.S. Steel Creek, passes two scenic overlooks, and then climbs gradually to Skyline Parkway.
SHT crosses Skyline Parkway and travels through forest in Bardon's Peak area. SHT enters Magney-Snively old growth forest crossing Magney-Snively ski trail twice.
SHT crosses Skyline Parkway for second time and travels through pine grove coming to nice overlook. Trail continues through forest, crosses Snively Creek, and then comes to 350-foot spur trail to Magney-Snively parking lot and Aid Station #3.
Leave Aid Station #3 and take a right onto Skyline Parkway. Continue on Skyline Parkway for 0.25 mile roadwalk crossing Stewart Creek on stone bridge. 325 feet past 99th Ave W, SHT turns right off road and enters maple-oak-pine forest. Do not miss this righthand turn off of road. It will be marked. After Stewart Knob overlook, SHT continues through forest, crosses old road and passes historic stone-walled section of north branch of Stewart Creek and old house foundation.
SHT crosses power line and enters Spirit Mountain Recreation Area. SHT gradually descends through forest crossing Lenroot Street Creek and the south and north branches of Gogebic Street Creek. Stay on main SHT. Close to base of Spirit Mountain ski hill, trail reaches old DWP railroad bed, follows DWP toward ski hill for 150 feet, and then turns right and descends through forest to base of ski hill.
SHT comes into opening at base of ski hill. Enter parking lot and Aid Station #4.
Leaving the aid station, the trail continues between parking lot and ski hill through woods for 350 feet to Knowlton Creek. SHT turns left and climbs upstream along Knowlton Creek. Trail climbs to DWP, turns right to follow DWP for 225 feet, turns left onto trail on ridge, turns left to follow Spirit Mountain maintenance road for 200 feet, then turns right to ascend along Knowlton Creek once again. Watch carefully for signs and blazing in this area. SHT continues uphill along Knowlton Creek for another 0.5 miles, then climbs away from creek, makes sharp right turn onto old roadbed and continues to Knowlton Creek Bridge.
Main SHT continues across Knowlton Creek Bridge. Main SHT crosses bridge, turns right, and follows old road downhill for 0.1 miles. SHT turns left and ascends steep hill on 138 steps. Do not miss this sharp left turn off of gravel road. After passing through nice maple grove, SHT continues through forest mixed with open meadows and rock outcrops.
SHT comes to Kingsbury Creek and turns right following Duluth's Kingsbury Creek Trail 0.2 miles downstream. Trail reaches old road and turns left and crosses Kingsbury Creek on bridge. Main trail continues straight across old road and enters woods again, going through mixed forest with rocky outcrops.
SHT crosses snowmobile bridge with metal guard rails at 68th Ave W Creek and then enters aspen-birch forest alternating with open fields. Trail crosses 62nd Ave W Creek and then the West Branch of Keene Creek. After crossing creek SHT goes under elevated I-35 on old road, turns left (don't miss this left hand turn) and climbs hillside and travels through woods to Cody Street. Trail crosses Cody Street (be careful crossing this street) and follows N 66th Ave W for one block, then turns left and follows Westgate Blvd for two blocks. SHT turns right uphill following snowmobile trail for 200 feet, turns right, crosses powerline and heads into alder woods.
SHT reaches main branch of Keene Creek and follows creek upstream. Trail climbs steeply to cross Highland Street and Skyline Parkway over a guard railing and continues to parking lot and Aid Station #5.
SHT leaves parking lot on east end, crosses Skyline Parkway and comes to old historic bridge over Keene Creek. Trail crosses bridge, turns left onto singletrack and continues upstream past old pump house and scenic waterfalls. Trail crosses Skyline Parkway again and enters forest.
SHT enters Brewer Park and travels through maple-oak forest. Trail continues along Brewer Ridge for 1.4 miles with great views. Trail descends from ridge, crosses under powerlines and turns right following snowmobile trail and reaches Merritt Creek.
After crossing Merritt Creek on two culverts, SHT crosses Haines Road (Be very careful crossing Haines Road - traffic goes fast here!) and enters predominately maple forest crossing Piedmont Ski Trails twice and then climbs to Ski Trail Knob with great views. Trail crosses North Branch of Merritt Creek and climbs to Fire Ring Knob.
After descent from knob SHT climbs to Grassy Knob and then continues to Piedmont Knob 1,300 feet in elevation with Lake Superior below at 602 feet. Trail descends and crosses Skyline Parkway.
After crossing Skyline Parkway, SHT descends through alder thicket passing Aspen Knob and continuing through alders. Trail comes to clearing and turns left following old road by enclosed city water reservoir. SHT crosses N 27th Ave W and continues straight on W 10th Street for one block until just past the street sign for Lincoln Parkway. SHT turns sharply left into woods (don't miss this turn!). Trail crosses branch of Miller Creek, crosses N 25th Ave W, crosses Lincoln Park Drive, and then crosses bridge over Miller Creek. After bridge, SHT turns left and follows Duluth's Miller Creek Trail upstream to N 24th Ave W and crosses street at an angle to the left to parking lot and Aid Station #6.
SHT leaves aid station and follows Skyline Parkway on sidewalk crossing Piedmont Avenue on bridge. Trail continues along road for 200 feet past bridge and then bears right through wooded field. Trail continues through field and then enters woods coming to the "Forgotten Park." SHT descends hill and crosses Coffee Creek. Trail continues through pine trees, open meadows with great views, crosses Skyline Parkway, goes a short distance through woods, and crosses Hank Jensen Drive.
After Hank Jensen Drive, SHT follows left side of Enger Tower Road for 80 feet. Trail goes along edge of flower bed and then turns sharply left and follows Duluth's Enger Park Trail. After passing spur trail SHT continues through pine woods, passes historic Peace bell (be sure to ring it!), and follows "Scenic View" trail down to Skyline Parkway. Trail crosses Skyline Parkway. Cross Skyline Parkway and an angle to the right. Main SHT goes to right after Skyline Parkway and enters birch woods by yellow metal post through small boulders. Trail meanders through woods, crosses W. 5th St, and enters Duluth's undeveloped Central Park. Trail continues downhill through woods dotted with rock outcrops and nice stand of jack pine.
SHT crosses W 3rd Street, continues downhill through woods and turns left and then left again to follow along rock ledge above old quarry with views of harbor. Trail comes to N. 14th Ave. W., turns right and follows avenue downhill for 325 feet crossing W. 1st St. Trail enters woods again by three small boulders and goes though Duluth's Point of Rocks Park. Trail descends series of rock steps through woods, then descends from rocky ledge turning right onto old asphalt pad. Trail heads diagonally to right across asphalt pad, enters woods again, turns left, and follows with good views of harbor.
SHT crosses Glen Place and then crosses W. Michigan St. to bus stop bench. Trail turns left and travels 0.1 miles to I-35 overpass. Trail turns right, crosses I-35 on pedestrian overpass, turns left and descends long concrete ramp, and then travels on asphalt path under elevated I-35 to Railroad Street.
SHT crosses Railroad St., turns left and follows sidewalk 0.1 miles along Railroad St. Follow the sidewalk around the perimeter of the playground parking lot going right at S. 5th Avenue W and following the sidewalk to the end of the parking lot. Turn right onto paved trail entering Bayfront Park towards large arch for Bayfront Park. Pass under the arch and finish line of the Wild Duluth 50K. You are now finished!