Intro: Editor’s Note: Aimclear’s Lifestyle posts are intended to showcase the cities we love and call home: Duluth and St. Paul. Whether visiting for the legendary Zenith Marketing Conference, a workshop or a trip to one of our storied offices, we hope you’ll #staytheweekend and come to realize why we so proudly call Minnesota home.
Seclusion in an urban environment it’s a perfect way to describe the superb multi-use trails that Duluth, Minn. has to offer. Not only is this large amount of green space unique within an urban environment, but the variety and volatility of terrain rolling from west to east within city limits is unlike anything in the Minnesota — or (most of) the United States.
Low-Impact Trails for a Leisurely Escape
Not all Duluth trails are rough, rocky and difficult. Minnesota’s Zenith City offers an array of trails that are easily accessible and approachable to any skill level (or lack thereof). Many trails on this list are walkable in business-casual attire and offer an exceptional opportunity to escape during a stressful day at the office.
Chester Park Trail. Right in the heart of the city, this well-established trail follows Chester Creek through a small, but beautiful river valley.
Park Point Hiking Trail. On the world’s longest freshwater sandbar, this trail navigates the forest that holds the entire beach together.
Hartley Nature Center. Located in the heart of Woodland, Hartley offers trails for adventure levels of all walks of life. P.S. There are also designated trails for biking, so feel free to ride on.
Lester Park Gravel Trails. Nestled at the bottom of the hill near a playground, these gravel trails tour the edge of rivers, cliffs, and even some impressive waterfalls, most within a stone’s throw of a road.
Rougher, Tougher Trails for the Outdoor Enthusiast
With its sharp elevation and proximity to Lake Superior, Duluth has plenty of rugged trails with picturesque views. The trails on this list boast steep rocky climbs, varying types of forests, and hidden-gem streams. These trails are meant for the more-serious hiker who isn’t afraid to get his/her boots dirty and heart rate elevated.
Ely’s Peak. Quite possibly the most difficult hike in the city, Ely’s Peak boasts steep climbs, amazing views, and even a mysterious old train tunnel.
Superior Hiking Trail: Piedmont. Sure to get your heart rate elevated, this section of the Superior Hiking Trail traverses one of Duluth’s most rugged parks.
Hawk’s Ridge. Toward the western edge of the city, this trail traverses the hillside and offers impressive views of the St. Louis River.
Duluth Traverse: Enger Park. With its multiple entry points, the rocky Enger Park trail offers panoramas of both the west and east side of the city.
Trails for the Biking Enthusiast
Duluth has recently burst onto the nation’s mountain bike scene as a true destination for all types of riding. The variation in terrain, changing forest types, and trail difficulty from west to east make every system truly unique. This list contains trails for every level of mountain biker — from buttery flow trails to technical trails filled with rock rolls, and even lift-access downhill.
With the most flow of any trail in the city, the 12 miles of trail at Mission Creek will make you feel like you’re hours away from civilization.
Spirit Mountain Bike Park
Spirit has the largest lift-accessed mountain bike park in the Midwest, with a wide-range of downhill-specific trails. You’ll find everything from expert to beginner trails offering something for every rider.
Piedmont / Brewer Park
With a combined 23 different trail sections and 15 total miles, abundant with technical rocky-sections, these are possibly the most difficult cross-country trails in the city.
Far on the east side of the city, with a 5 mile, 2,413 ft. descent, these trails boast variety for both difficulty and terrain-type.
Yes, Duluth offers an amazing outdoor scene and tons of variety all within city limits and just minutes from any Duluthian. Whether hiking, mountain biking or exploring a trail with the family, there’s an experience to bring out your adventurous side and reconnect you with nature at its finest. Perhaps one of the most valuable attributes of these ultra urban-accessible trails is you’ll likely feel far away from the city, or anywhere — without driving too far to get there.
Hey, happy trails!