Enger Park has a pretty Japanese-style garden. It's but a short drive from downtown. The five-story, 80-foot tower was dedicated in 1939 by Crown Prince Olav and Crown Princess Martha of Norway. The view from up there is the best of any point in Duluth.
Located at Skyline Parkway and US Highway 51 (at the western end of Skyline Parkway).
Driving the north shore, you'll pass through many parks and cross numerous bridges. At Gooseberry Falls State Park, you'll pass the main park entrance, then cross over a high arch bridge. To your left, you'll see a beautiful waterfall, just upriver from the bridge. This will temp you to pull into the parking area and visitor center just off the bridge and walk back to view the falls from the overlook walks on the bridge and around the river. Please do so, but if that is all you do, you'll miss Gooseberry Falls, well the biggest and most striking falls in this chain of rocks, rapids, and tumbling water.
You see, below the bridge, on your right as you crossed is the largest of the series. But, you're upstream and its well below the road level. Go back, enter the park (there's a fee most of the year) and drive down to the parking area by the falls. Walking through the woods, you'll hear the water and see the opening beyond the woods. In spring, you'll find a quarter miles (1/2 km) of water flowing down towards Lake Superior. It tumbles and rumbles over a rock bed. In late summer, you can walk all the way across this water course and never get your feet wet. By summer the water levels are so low that they need only the riverlets cut into the rock bed of the river. You can easily step over or leap these narrow channels.
Gooseberry Falls State Park is about 45 miles from Duluth.
Just north of Gooseberry Falls State Park is an overlook. The road reaches the top of a rise and begins to bend left and down again. Pull off at walk up to the stone wall. On a point of rocks, over looking Lake Superior is Split Rock Lighthouse. You'll be able to enter the park a mile further up the road, but this first impression will stay with you longer than the actual visit to the lighthouse will.
Split Rock is a warning beacon to shipping traffic. Here, Lake Superior is narrowing and the cliffs rise suddenly from the water. In the early years, all traffic to the lighthouse came by boat. The landing still exist at the Lake level and a trolley system is visible for hauling supplies up to the lighthouse on the bluff. You can walk down the several hundred feet (maybe 100 m or less) to the landing or marvel at the climb from above.
Split Rock is about 50 miles from Duluth (one-way)
Translated from french, this means the 'Great Swamp'. Located on a low flat area between two bays, Grand Marais is the county seat of Cook County and the largest town between Two Harbors, Minnesota and Thunder Bay, Ontario. Grand Marais is a thriving community of artist, northwoods clothing, a boat harbor, campground and access to the Gunflint Trail, which leads to the heart of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA), one of the largest wilderness areas usable by canoest. Canoe rentals, supplies, and routes area all available in town.
At 100 miles (160 km) northeast, it's a 2 hour drive offering many scenic views and plenty to do along the 'North Shore Drive'. My travelogue provides links and details of things to do and see.
One of the oldest recorded trading centers in Minnesota. Continuously inhabited by the Ojibwa peoples (now referred to as the Chippewa), Grand Portage National Monument and the community of Grand Portage preserve the heritage of the Native Americans and the European fur traders that came to this area in the 1700's.
It's 160 miles (256 km) from Duluth and takes about 3 1/2 hours each way.
Well, maybe you're not a mile in the sky, but the William I. Bong Bridge is the highest in Duluth, and fortunately when it was built in the 1980's a walking path was built. This walk is not for the faint at heart, but it's defintately exciting. You can get on the bridge in Duluth and walk over to Superior, WI over the St. Louis Bay. What an amazing experience! It's probably about a 30-40 minute walk, depending on how many times you stop to take in the beautiful view.
I grew up in the Lester Park neighborhood. It's a middle class Duluth neighborhood on the east side of the city. To the far east of the city you will find Lester Park. There is a parking lot near 60th Ave E and this park shouldn't be missed! Two rivers run through the park (one being Lester River of course) and there are lots of hiking trails. During the winter you will find numerous cross country skiing and snowmobiling trails. There are some senic views, small waterfalls and the opportunity to see nature. It's my husband and my favorite and we try to visit it every summer. He also likes to fish for trout in the rivers and sometimes is pretty lucky. If you hike far enough in the summer along one of the ski trails you will come across an overlook - which had a view of a local nude beach. But bring your binaculars because you will be pretty far up!
Gooseberry Falls State Park is known as the Gateway to the North Shore. There are plenty of trails to hike and there are three separate waterfalls (Upper and Lower Falls and the Fifth Falls). The Lower are the most impressive. I remember visiting here as a kid and loving it. Since then, I've seen more impressive falls in various parts of the world, but there's no doubt that this place is attractive and worth a hike.
Hours: 9am - 5:30pm, 365 days a year.
Address: 3206 Highway 61 East
Take Hwy 61 northeast from Duluth. You'll pass through Two Harbors and it's another 13 miles.
The town of Two Harbors is a short drive northeast up Highway 61. You'll get there in around a half hour and once there you'll find a very small town with ore docks down by the lake and most famously, this minor lighthouse that is available for tours for a small charge. The gift shop will sell you the tickets and can also give you information on staying at the lighthouse, which has been converted to a bed and breakfast.
The nearby Lester River is a great place to hike or to go fishing. The park is popular for family picnics as well. You can enter the park from Lester River Road approximately one block north of Superior Street.
Go over the lift bridge and follow the road out to the small airport on Minnesota Point. There is a fantastic beach near the parking area that stretches out for almost 2 miles.
To reach the lighthouse you can opt to either follow the path (Marked nature trail) or walk along the beach. The ruins of the original lighthouse are located several hundred feet
from shore in a clearing above the beach
not far from the present lighthouse. The old shell of this structure dates back to the mid 1800's and still stands as a slightly eerie remnant of a time gone by.
The walk on the beach is worth the trip alone.
Yes, Duluth is a rugged port city. A city of dock workers and a haven for former iron range miners. Yet, Duluth is a land of parks and streams and flowers. It is highly ranked by Outdoors Magazine as a top city for outdoors enthusiasts. Great for hiking, mountain biking, kayaking and cross country skiing. My favorite activity is walking along the many creeks which flow sharply downhill to their rendevous with Lake Superior.
Lutzen Ski Area is in Lutzen, Minnesota, about an hour and a half north of Duluth on Interstate 61 that parallels the lake. Not only do they have great skiing in the winter, but horseback riding, ATVing, gondola rides, and an awesome alpine slide! We found it almost by accident and had a blast! It was an expensive slide, but definitely worth it. And you could see Superior from the top of the hill! It was great!
About 20 mins north of Gooseberry Falls is another famous landmark: the Split Rock Lighthouse. Unlike the falls, there is an admission price to get onto the grounds. Instead of paying to take the guided tour ($6 a person) we paid the 'per-vehicle' rate ($7) and drove to the beach below for a beautiful view of the lighthouse and the lake! That's my insight suggestion.... it was really neat!
Just an hour north from Duluth, on the beautiful North Shore of Superior, lies a small, but very impressive state park with some awesome waterfalls! They are easy to get to, and are often full of other tourists, but still very neat to see. I spent about an hour here looking at the different falls (upper, lower, and middle). The falls were the most impressive to me, falling around 40ft from a big cliff that you could actually walk around on! It's a must see on the North Shore for sure!