Discover Duluth Redux: Congdon ParkMatthew R. Perrine's photo essay series sets its sights on the soon-to-be 100-year-old Tischer Creek park, which was donated to the city of Duluth by esteemed London Road resident Chester Congdon.
By: Matthew R. Perrine, Budgeteer News
Originally published Jan. 5, 2007, on DuluthBudgeteer.com.
Celebrating its 100th birthday this year is Congdon Park, the stretch of Tischer Creek from Superior Street to Vermilion Road that was donated to the city by Chester Congdon during the construction of Glensheen.
Tom Kasper, a park maintenance worker and expert on the city’s parks, said that before Congdon handed it over, he hired a crew to equip the nature area with wooden bridges and large stone steps. While Kasper said all of the bridges had to be replaced within the last 20 years, a majority of the steps are used to this day.
It’s only fitting, then, that a popular entry point to the park at East Superior Street and Congdon Park Drive features a trip down (sometimes too literally) some of those wide stone slabs masquerading as stairs.
What one first notices on this stark descent is really a mystery. Is it the painted canyons? Is it the abundance of water (now mostly ice)? Is it the general sense of tranquility, like you’ve stumbled onto a secret place in the universe only a few know about?
Whatever it is, it absorbs you. Something this great shouldn’t exist within any city’s limits. Its high rock walls let you leave Duluth, if just for the duration of your stay, and allow you to completely ignore the fact that you’re surrounded by houses on both sides.
But the experience only gets better. As you walk over the conveniently placed footbridges (which are, in themselves, odd for a city park), you start to hear even more water. Coming down from high above is a mini-waterfall, but it’s breathtaking in its own right.
And, not to take too much away from the photos, but this is soon followed by a series of cascading waterfalls among the twists and turns of Tischer Creek. (See attached photo gallery.)
As an added bonus, if you somehow get too tired walking up to the park’s terminus at Vermilion Road, Congdon Park is equipped with a spacious, even utility trail (which is quite a breeze) in addition to its fun-filled hiking trail.
Sure, you’ll miss out on all the views, but it’s nice to have at times, like on New Year’s Day when a large portion of the upper section’s hiking trail was completely smothered in ice.
“Discover Duluth” is an ongoing series by Matthew R. Perrine that highlights points of interest around the region.