Community Extra: Fall colors spectacular on Duluth's numerous trails

Fall in Duluth is one of the most spectacular times of the year. Bright colors of orange, red and yellow canopy the city. This year, enjoy the fall colors by taking a hike on any of our 13 city trails.

Para Seesah
Hartley Park is a terrific place to photograph Northland trees reacting to the incoming season's cooler temperatures. Matthew R. Perrine/Budgeteer News file photo

Fall in Duluth is one of the most spectacular times of the year. Bright colors of orange, red and yellow canopy the city. This year, enjoy the fall colors by taking a hike on any of our 13 city trails.

Many city trails have been rated for distance or degree of difficulty to help you to identify a trail for your fitness and experience level.

Trail maps are available at the trail head or can be printed by visiting Parks and Recreation's website at . If you are interested in picking up our new trail brochures, simply stop by our offices at 12 E. Fourth St. In the meantime, here is a brief overview of Duluth's recreational trail system:

Chester Park trails

High above the central hillside of Duluth, in rocky and sometimes steep terrain, is one Duluth's most well-loved parks. Hiking trails following the contours of Chester Creek take you past graceful white pines, spectacular views of Lake Superior, tumbling waterfalls and quiet, cedar-shaded pools.


Congdon Park trails

A combination of stream and hillsides, woodland, waterfall and canyon lay on both sides of Tischer Creek. Cedar clings to the walls of the trail canyon, as do the willows. Bridges constructed in the early 1930s take hikers past a view of a hanging waterfall, and other trails follow both sides of the river.

Grassy Point Trail

Grassy Point is an area of more than 100 acres of wetland and shallow open water habitat located in the St. Louis River Estuary. Stroll along an accessible boardwalk while observing many species of migrating waterfowl and nesting birds.

Hartley Park trails

A variety of scenic recreational trails nestled amidst 660 acres of forest hills and wetlands. These trails pass through beautiful forests with breathtaking views of Lake Superior.

Kingsbury Creek Trail

This hiking trail provides spectacular views of the western part of town. Oaks, big-toothed aspen and birch are seen throughout the park, along with huge stumps leftover from white pines logging operations in the 1920s. Large second-growth pines are in the park today.



Take in the beauty of the lake and the fascinating lure of a working port as you walk the Lakewalk. Many places to visit lie along this 7.3-mile pathway that traces the shore of Lake Superior. The Lakewalk's newest expansion (out to 60th Avenue East) will be complete by the beginning of October.

Lester Park trails

These trails are located in one of the city's oldest and most popular parks, Lester Park. The hiking trail runs up one side of the creek and down the other with old white pines along with cedar, spruce, aspen and birch. An extensive mountain bike trail system is also a part of the Lester Park trails. Fall offers some great leaf-color views of the Lester River gorge and Lake Superior.

Lincoln Park trails

Straddling Miller Creek, some trails are paved and wheelchair accessible on the lower end (with dirt or limestone pathways elsewhere) to allow one to amble alongside the creek or to several of the park's highlights.

Magney Snively trails

Located in the heart of an old-growth forest, the Magney ski trail system winds through rugged terrain. In addition, the Superior Hiking Trail crosses through the park.


Mission Creek trails

Avid hikers will find this trail the most challenging in the city. Panoramic views of the St. Louis River valley and Ely's Peak await those who climb the numerous ridges. Trails also lead to the Munger Trail and the Superior Hiking Trail.

Park Point Trail

A great place for bird watchers. This is a level but challenging four-mile walk, mostly in the sand.

Piedmont trails

This cross country ski trail leads you through aspen, birch and hardwood forest to a beautiful overlook of the St. Louis River Valley. The Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS) recently established a premier set of mountain bike trails south of the ski trail system. This added several miles of high-quality single-track mountain bike trails for all levels of expertise.

Western Waterfront Trail

This trail follows the scenic St. Louis River; it abounds with waterfowl and marsh plants.


This Community Extra column by the Parks and Recreation department appears monthly in the Budgeteer. Questions? E-mail .

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