I've wanted to hike the SHT ever since I saw it while on a bike camping trip from Hinckley to Silver Bay and back. That was quite a few years ago now, and I was never much of a hiker until a couple years ago. I'm probably still more of a camper than a hiker, but I'm improving and my base weight is finally under the 10 lb mark. I WILL eventually make it thru the SHT, even if it takes a few years!
Being in a north Metro burb, everything seems a drive to get to, so I tend to stick close to home. Wild River state park has around 35 miles of hiking trails, although many are multi use, meaning horse usage. It's only about 40 miles from the Cities, so I've overnight bike camped a few times, as well as driven there and hiked in to the half dozen hike in only sites.
When using hike in only sites, the park lets you gather wood for campfires, opposed to not allowing gathering when camping at a drive in site. Seems obvious I guess, who'd pack in firewood?! But thought it worth mentioning. I pack a silky pocketboy saw when camping there. There's also a separate trailhead at a park upriver from the main park. A state park sticker is still required to park there. It's about an 11 mile hike to the main park, and another 3-4 miles to the hike-in campsites. There is one hike-in site before the main park as well. Makes for a nice day hike or overnight in/out, mostly along the St. Croix river. No bluffage or anything exciting, just a nice easy, local stroll through the woods. There is also one first come first serve free federal hike-in campsite a short way from the satellite park, but I found that trail loop highly infested with wood ticks. 2 miles and I lost track after 30 ticks I stopped to pick off my shoes. That was before I Permethrin'd (sp?) my shoes tho. Could've just been the time of year I did that loop too. I just know I didn't go THAT way again!
I work weekends, so I always solo hike/ride during the week. If anyone does 3 season 2-4 day weekday hikes, or bicycle trips, give me a holler. I'm no "big-miler", but I won't hold an average rider/hiker back either... Just yer average Joe here lol