Duluth Off The Beaten Path

  • Sunset seen from the tower
    Sunset seen from the tower
    by Tom_Fields
  • Summer at Gooseberry Falls
    Summer at Gooseberry Falls
    by Toughluck
  • Off The Beaten Path
    by acemj

Best Rated Off The Beaten Path in Duluth

  • Gooseberry Falls State Park

    by NateWill22 Written Jul 29, 2003

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    The Upper Gooseberry Falls

    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!

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  • Split Rock Lighthouse!

    by NateWill22 Written Jul 31, 2003

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    Split Rock Lighthouse

    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!

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  • Lutzen Ski Area!

    by NateWill22 Written Jul 31, 2003

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    alpine slide!

    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!

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    Coppertop View

    by Ironic1 Updated Apr 14, 2003

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    View from the Coppertop.  First UMC inset.

    First United Methodist Church (known locally as the "Coppertop") is one of the dominant buildings on Duluth's skyline. Its parking lot is also a great place to get a view of the city, the lake, and the bay. On weekdays around noon you will probably find a half dozen or so police cars, ambulances, and service trucks in the parking lot with their passengers eating take-out lunches appreciating the view. Get a clue from the locals and check it out!

    The inside of the church is interesting too and the side chapel is a beautiful and restful spot for contemplation. The church is almost always open, but I'd suggest checking in with the office. There's a nursery school in the building and one can't be too careful these days.

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    Hike in the Wilderness in the Heart of the City

    by Ironic1 Updated Apr 19, 2003

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    Chester Park Trail. Duluth is a dog-friendly city.

    Chester Creek Park stretches for over two miles right through the middle of the city. You can start at the entrance at 4th Street near 14th Avenue East right across from the Whole Foods Co-op and walk up the trail to Chester Bowl. It's a lovely hike all year round.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    The softer side of Duluth

    by zrim Written Sep 26, 2003

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    goldenrod found along Chester Creek

    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.

    Related to:
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Railroad Spurs jutting into the lake

    by zrim Written Jun 23, 2003

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    How the ore gets afloat

    I find this photo fascinating because it shows how the railroad spurs thrust unto the lake. The iron ore is pulled out of the ground in "Iron Range" cities like Hibbing, Chisolm and Virginia and then carried by rail to the port city of Duluth. The end of the line are these spurs that extend into Lake Superior for the sole purpose of depositing the ore into the vast ore ships that will eventually carry the iron to the steel mills of the lower midwest. Places like Gary, Indiana and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel

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    Gooseberry Falls State Park

    by Toughluck Updated May 7, 2007

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    Summer at Gooseberry Falls

    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.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Hiking and Walking
    • National/State Park

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    Split Rock Lighthouse

    by Toughluck Updated May 7, 2007

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    From the overlook
    1 more image

    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)

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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    Mile High Walk

    by skib Written Feb 5, 2006

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    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.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Hiking and Walking

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    Two Harbors

    by acemj Written Jun 1, 2005

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    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.

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    Grand Portage National Monument

    by Toughluck Written May 7, 2007

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    Renactors of native women in the Fur Trade

    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.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Road Trip
    • National/State Park

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  • Toughluck's Profile Photo

    Grand Marais

    by Toughluck Written May 7, 2007

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    Fall on the northshore

    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.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Eco-Tourism

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    Electric Fetus 12 E Superior...

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Electric Fetus

    12 E Superior St

    Duluth, MN 55802

    Phone: 218-722-9970

    This a record store. But it's a record store called Electric Fetus. What more could you ask for? Actually, it's a pretty cool place to stop by.

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    Ride the Pizza Train. This...

    by photobf Written Aug 25, 2002

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    Ride the Pizza Train. This train travels around the Duluth area and you get pizza for dinner. I wish I could remember the name of it, but I did this about 8 years ago.

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Duluth Off The Beaten Path

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