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Happy Trails: Chester Park Trail gives a sense of nowhere in a city

The trail is on the edge of Duluth's Chester Park and East Hillside neighborhoods.

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Chester Park Trail is a 2.5-mile loop inside the city of Duluth between the Chester Park and East Hillside neighborhoods. (Adelle Whitefoot / awhitefoot@duluthnews.com)
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Over the past year, COVID-19 has made a lot of activities inaccessible. But one thing people have been able to do during this time is get outside and enjoy nature. The News Tribune decided to do the same thing this summer with a new series called Happy Trails.

Each week this summer we will feature a different trail and give you, the readers, a chance to find some new places to hike, or bike, during the warmer months we all love. We’ll tell you our favorite part about the trail, how long it is and what the difficulty is.

So look for the Happy Trails logo each week to learn about a trail in the Northland. And if you have a favorite trail you want us to check out, drop us an email at outdoors@duluthnews.com with the subject line “Happy Trails.”

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For our first adventure, we checked out Chester Park Trail between Duluth’s East Hillside and Chester Park neighborhoods. There are multiple places to start your hike. I started my hike from Chester Park Playground and hiked downhill on my way out.

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Many waterfalls can be seen along the Chester Park Trail such as this one just below the Chester Creek Bridge. (Adelle Whitefoot / awhitefoot@duluthnews.com)

Another location to start from is on Fourth Street at North 14th Avenue East. I would probably start there next time as it’s easier to hike downhill on your way back.

The trail, a 2.5-mile loop, is a fairly easy hike but can be challenging at times. This follows along Chester Creek and offers a view of many waterfalls, large and small. Dogs are allowed but they must be leashed at all times. Kids would enjoy exploring the trail as Matilda, 6, of Duluth, did Tuesday morning.

“I like this trail because it’s pretty,” Matilda said, adding that her favorite part is checking on how the raspberries near Chester Park Playground are growing.

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A mallard wades in Chester Creek Tuesday, May 25, 2021, near the Chester Park Trail in Duluth. (Adelle Whitefoot / awhitefoot@duluthnews.com)

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Even though the trail is in the middle of the city, you would never know while you were out there if you didn’t have to drive through the city to get to a trailhead. The sound of the river, the chirping of the birds and the quack of the ducks are enough to relax the tensest of people.

While hiking the trail I couldn’t hear any part of the noise of the city. Well, that is until the F-16s of the 148th Fighter Wing started flying. Though I have seen them as far north as Lake Vermilion, so they aren’t specific to the city of Duluth.

If you’re looking to get out of the house and have an adventure in the city but away from the hustle and bustle, Chester Park Trail is definitely a great option.

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The Chester Park Trail in Duluth is part of the Superior Hiking Trail. (Adelle Whitefoot / awhitefoot@duluthnews.com)

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Gary Meader / Duluth News Tribune

Adelle Whitefoot is a former reporter for the Duluth News Tribune.
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