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Lake Superior Trail is a 16.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Ontonagon, Michigan that offers the chance to see wildlife and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 16.6 mi Elevation gain 918 ft Route type Out & Back

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Nature trips

Walking

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

Views

Wildlife

Bugs

Muddy

Waypoints (0)
Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (46)
Photos (46)
Recordings (27)
Completed (116)
Andrew Izzo
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat May 30 2020
HikingBugsMuddy

We hiked out from the lake Superior trail head to sites 15/16, mid-May. Really beautiful and maintained trail for the first 2 miles to buckshot cabin, with a few lookout point to see Lake Superior. The next mile started to get muddy, but nothing hiking boots couldn’t handle. The trail to visit site 17 was very muddy, and took some time to traverse. Site 17 was very nice, although occupied, with tall pines and lots of space. We continued on to site 16 and 15. The last 1/4 mild was extremely muddy. Some logs and stones have been placed sporadically, maybe by previous hikers, which did help. The view at the destination was definitely well worth it, and the camp sites are spacious. There were swarms of knits (no biting but annoying) and some biting black flys, anytime you stopped in the trail or campsite, which was very annoying. Strong winds and cool temperatures overnight took care of this though. Overall, would recommend in Spring only if your prepared for some mud and bugs.

Allyson Hayden
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon May 25 2020
HikingBlowdownBugsFloodedMuddyRocky

You can tell the state DNR does nothing to maintain the trail and it’s obvious there are no community groups passionate about stepping in and picking up the maintenance either. Downright swampy and impassible in several places. It doesn’t make sense how/where the footbridges are placed. Intended to do the out and back, but conditions were so bad I didn’t want to go back through where I’d already been. When you get to about mile 7.5 there are so many downed trees you think it’s the end of the trail, but it’s not - found a way through and then abandoned the LS Trail for Big Carp River Trail, which requires wading across two rivers. There were about three miles of firm ground and clear air gaining elevation off the beach to the Big Carp fork before it was bugs so bad I had to mask up all the way back to Lake of the Clouds. 18.3 miles total after taking the road from the overlook back to the LS Trailhead. Will never repeat. The views of Superior are nothing too exceptional - they’re better at Pictured Rocks. Grateful I was wearing long sleeves and pants - lots of ticks. Bugs are so bad at Lake of the Clouds you can’t even enjoy the view, nor can you stop to take a break anywhere because you will get swarmed immediately. Miserable but well marked trail. The blue blazes are easy to follow.

Carrie Van Beck
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Nov 30 2019
HikingBugsMuddyRocky

Great trail- it was SUPER muddy when the group I went with was there and water proof boots saved my feet, had lots of friends lose shoes on this trip in the thick mud. Lots of bugs (biting flies) at the sites and very rocky at most sites so you definitely will want a sleeping pad to save your back. The trail was very fun to traverse- but I would mostly recommend to experienced hikers.

Josh Forster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Oct 09 2019
Hiking

Solid trail and easily navigated. Some moderate inclines. We only hiked to Buckshot Cabin and back. Weather was excellent for October and allowed for great views above Lake Superior.

View Josh's Recording
Sara McCormack
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Aug 05 2019
BackpackingMuddy

Hiked in from Lake Superior trailhead to LS 13 to spend the night. The campsite was beautiful with secluded access to the beach, doesn’t get much better! The trail was muddy and overgrown in some parts but was a pretty mellow hike with some gorgeous views

Kelly Emmons
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 27 2019
Backpacking

Hiked in on pickerton trail to campsite LS-11 this past weekend, it was beautiful. It did rain hard the night before so a few muddy spots but after a week of dry conditions was ideal. I would like to go back and do the entire length of the trail, I did see a few with head nets but I was fine without it.

Chad McNutt
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jul 20 2019
Backpacking

The trail was quite buddy and very buggy the closer to Superior you got. The closer you got the less of the lake you see though. Until we got to the campsite which was incredible. I had access to my own personal secluded beach right on the Great Lake.

Laura G.
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSun Jun 30 2019
HikingBugsMuddyWashed out

Still a mosquito infested swamp. We had to turn around because of the bugs and mud.

Reba Greer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 18 2019
Hiking

The trail was not as muddy as we thought it might be. We decided not to start at the trailhead to avoid the muddiest part and instead took Pinkerton Trail to Lake Superior Trail up to our LS-12 campsite and both trails were great. Bugs weren’t too bad all weekend on the trails or at our site. The slight breeze from the lake kept most of the mosquitoes away. I would do this trail again, ideally the full distance later in the year to avoid the mud.

Amanda Keene
Yellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 13 2019
Hiking

Hiked this trail yesterday and finished today. It was a mosquito infested swap. There was nothing but mud for 2/3-3/4 of the trail. At one point it was up to my calf. I will never hike this one again.

Dovah Brii
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 03 2019
BackpackingBlowdownBugsMuddyWashed out

Hiked the whole length of the trail in about 2 days. I won't be hiking this one again, and I don't suggest it to anyone. We hiked from Presque Isle toward Lake of the Clouds. The hike to Little Carp (the NCT portion of the Lake Superior Trail) was very muddy and flooded. This, of course, results in a ton of mosquitoes and gnats, and bug spray will NOT save you. Unless you trudge right through the mud/swamp (definitely up to 12 inches of water in some places), the hike will take you much much longer to complete. We had no choice but to go off trail in these areas, balancing on dead trees, tree roots, rocks, etc. BRING TREKKING POLES SO YOU DONT FALL IN! Or wear knee high waterproof boots... The hike from Little Carp to camp LST11 isn't too bad. we stayed at that campsite, and it was nice! There was even a little waterfall next to us going out to the lake. There was even more flooding the rest of the trail up til the elevation started to increase significantly. More balancing on things to avoid all the mud and water. Will not be touching this trail again.

Preston Butina
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSat May 18 2019
HikingBlowdownMuddyRocky

Just finished a 3 day backpacking trip this weekend. The majority of the trail was flood and extremely muddy. Many blown down trees throughout as well. Would likely be a much better hike during the late summer/fall.

Jim Goodman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 08 2018

I have hiked this trail a few times, different times of the yr. muddy sometimes, cold sometimes, hot sometimes but that what I love about hiking the UP, Unpredictable weather, solitude and amazing views.

Kate Jurcak
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Jul 17 2018

Cool

Josh Connelly
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarWed Jun 20 2018
Hiking

We hiked this trail the past week and it was not that enjoyable. Plenty of muddy sections and stays in the woods for the most part. The view of lake superior were cool but stayed about the same the entire time. Doing the whole hike was pretty brutal and I would not repeat this tail. It also took us a very long time to finish this and carp river trail back to lake of the clouds.

Tori R
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 11 2018
Hiking

Budget more time than expected- trail is very muddy and obstacles i.e. fallen trees are very prevalent. Second half is nice when hiking along Lake Superior, but beginning portion is standard forest.

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