The Superior Hiking Trail is saying goodbye to perhaps its biggest advocate: executive director Denny Caneff.
The trail’s association announced Monday that Caneff is returning to his home turf, Madison, Wis., in late summer.
“We are grateful for Denny’s leadership of the association and his enthusiasm for the trail these past three years,” said Amy Schwarz, who heads the nonprofit’s board, in a news release. “His depth of experience, passion for the outdoors, his big picture thinking and ability to build partnerships set the association in a dynamic new direction.”
Caneff took helm of the association in June 2017 and is lauded for initiatives including a trail renewal program that began in 2018. It has focused heavily on evaluating the 310-mile path and targeting its areas of most-pressing need. Some of the plans this spring alone include replacing a bridge deck, trail reroute work at the popular Bean and Bear lakes loop, and putting in native plants to limit river erosion along parts of the Encampment River.
Caneff helped secure grants from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources for some of the trail’s major projects in the coming years.
“Let’s make this [trail] last and hold up well,” he told the Star Tribune in August 2018 as momentum and plans came together for long-term enhancements to the trail.