The northland is riddled with hiking trails. So, if you’re looking for something to do it’s a great way to spend an afternoon, whether you’re an avid hiker or just dipping your toes in the water. Even if you’ve lived in Duluth, MN, your entire life, there’s probably a hiking trail or two that you haven’t checked out yet. For those who are just visiting, it may be hard to figure out where to start. Here are some of the best trails that we recommend checking out this summer (and any other time of the year):
1. Piedmont Trailhead
Located off of 2226 Hutchinson Rd, Duluth, MN 55811, the Piedmont Trailhead is a perfect place to explore, no matter the season. Whether you’re looking to hike, bike, cross-country ski, or even take a snowmobile ride, the Piedmont Trail is a beautiful spot to check out and brings you directly to the Superior Hiking Trail (SHT). “There are little to medium inclines and wide pathways on the main thoroughfare, perfect for kids, pets and people alike; and there are many side paths, made by bike or deer, to explore”
2. Skyline Trailhead
Like many of the hiking trails in Duluth, they’re part of the aforementioned SHT, and the Skyline trail, too, falls under this umbrella. There are a few different points where you can access this trail, but 7051 W Skyline Pkwy, Duluth, MN 55810 is a great place to start (especially if you want to hike the whole thing). It’s a little over 5 miles of hiking and runs along Keene Creek. Eventually, the trail goes along the St. Louis River Bay and the Lift Bridge.
You can find more information on this section of the SHT here.
3. Chester Creek Trail
Chester Creek Trail is a popular place for Duluthians and visitors alike to spend a day hiking. Located nearly in the exact center of Duluth, MN, you’re able to step into an alternate reality and completely escape the city without actually having to escape the city. You can access the trailhead from 14th Ave East and 4th St and it runs along Chester Creak on both sides. Hikers beware: you’ll find yourself quite high along the edge of the creek. So, if you’re not comfortable hiking 30-50 feet above the creek, then this might not be the trail for you.
You can find the trail map here.
4. Waabizheshikina Trail
Waabizheshikina Trail (pronounced wah- ba-zhayshe- kuh-nuh, meaning “The Marten Trail” in Ojibwe), is a trail suited for both hikers and bikers and has entrances in the following locations:
- 7300 Block of Grand Avenue
- Pulaski Street
- South 63rd Avenue West
According to the City of Duluth website, “the trail was renamed [in 2019] from The Western Waterfront Trail to Waabizheshikana or “The Marten Trail” in Anishinaabe, in honor of the Marten Clan that settled in this part of the St. Louis River.” Running along the St. Louis River, you’ll be able to bird watch and gain beach access in addition to exploring the trail.
5. Hartley Nature Center
The Hartley Nature Center is both another popular location for hiking and includes a section of the SHT. You’re able to visit the nature center by journeying over to the Woodland area of East Duluth. You can access their parking lot at 3001 Woodland Ave, Duluth, MN 55803, and explore the various trails that run through the area. Maps are placed all throughout the center so you always know where you are and where you’re going.
6. Park Point Trailhead
If you live in or have been to Duluth, you’ve likely ventured across the lift bridge and spent some time at the Park Point Beach and Recreation Area, but did you know that there’s also a trail beyond that beautiful sandy shoreline? From the beyond the beach, you can travel across the beautiful plains all the way to the end of the peninsula—keeping the beach accessible the entire time.
You can find a map of the Park Point Trail here.
7. Congdon Park
The Congdon Park hiking trail follows Tischer Creek in the east side of Duluth, MN. According to the City of Duluth web page dedicated to Congdon Park,
“It was developed in 1908 on land donated by Chester Congdon, who was then building his Glensheen estate. The creek runs through the property, and he gave Duluth the park land and paid for its development on the condition that the city would stop using the creek as an open sewer.”
The trail is filled with old bridges and sparkling waterfalls and has been well-maintained over the years. You can access the park at 33rd Avenue East & Greysolon Street.
8. Willard Munger Trailhead
The Willard Munger Trail is a series of trails that stretch between Hinckley, MN, and Duluth. Between all of the trails, you’re able to use it for “hiking, bicycling, in-line skating, snowmobiling and horseback riding.” There are three different trails that you can choose from, including:
- Hinckley to Duluth – completely paved and 70 miles long
- Alex Laveau Memorial Trail – bike trail traveling 16 miles from Gary-New Duluth to Carlton County
- Matthew Lourey State Trail – 80 miles of “natural surface” great for “snowmobiling, horseback riding, hiking and mountain biking”
You can access Munger trail in Duluth on Grand Ave. (Hwy 23) and 75th Avenue West. Learn more here.
9. Kingsbury Creek Loop
The Kingsbury Creek Loop is also a trailhead to the SHT and travels along Kingsbury Creek. The trail is accessible from 7215 Waseca St, Duluth, MN 55807, and moves through the woodsy area of West Duluth. If you bypass the loop, you’ll meet the SHT. Once there, you can head east to meet the Skyline Parkway access point where you’ll also be able to check out Keene Creek.
10. Lester Park Trails
Lester Park is a beautiful, woodsy location in east Duluth that has a great playground for kids, a spot to enjoy the water, and an area to picnic. For those interested in hiking or biking, there are 9 miles of trails for you to explore from Amity Creek to Lester River.
Check out this map for more information.
We’re not short on hiking trails here in Duluth, MN. If you’re interested in seeing everywhere you can go for a hike in town, you can check out this link. If you’re wanting to head out of town, here are a few trails that we recommend:
- Hike out of town by following the Superior Hiking Trail
- Gooseberry Falls State Park
- Split Rock State Park
- Tettegouche State Park
- Oberg Mountain Loop