Duluth, a four-season city with 11,000 acres of green space alongside the greatest lake in the world, has miles and miles of trails that allow for travel on foot, skis, bike or snowmobile.Read more...
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• Population: 86,211
• Land area in square miles: 67.79
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Project Status: Feasibility Phase
Project Overview: After working with multiple partners an agreement was reached to move forward with the first proposed trail for equestrians.
The Ely Peak Ski Loop will be modified to withstand summer use of both hikers and equestrians. This will improve the ski loop for low snow conditions, and will make summer ski trail brushing maintenance easier. A portion of the 1/2 and 1/2 tourism tax funding will go towards this project to leverage additional dollars for design and construction. Currently, SAS & Associates is working with the City of Duluth to do trail design and wetland delineation. That process is expected to be complete by early summer 2016. SAS will also oversee construction. Other potential equestrian routes will be studied in 2016, and the findings will be incorporated into the update of the 2011 Trail and Bikeway Plan.
Project Background: In 2013, the newly formed DAHTA applied for and won a Parks Fund Grant. With that, they hired a trail designer to look at the feasibility of building a trail from the terminus of the Duluth Winnipeg Pacific (DWP) through the upper Mission Creek area to the equestrian trails in the adjacent Jay Cooke State Park. DAHTA has been in talks with both the state park and nearby Buffalo House to create destinations for equestrians.
In 2014, DAHTA worked to bring forth a resolution to City Council reopening the Amity Trail in eastern Duluth following culvert and ditch repairs to the old road. That trail reopened in 2015. In 2014, Duluth began its visioning for the use of the 1/2 and 1/2 tourism tax, which includes up to $250,000 for Equestrian Trails. Recently, in the summer of 2015, the City of Duluth commissioned a Magney Snively trail study to assess the potential for environmentally sustainable equestrian non winter season use of the main ski trail loop, the Ely Peak ski trail loop, and portions of the snowmobile trail in Magney Snively Natural Area.
The result concludes that any non-winter use of those trails would require significant hardening of the trail. Hardening the trail would also benefit skiers in that it is too wet to do off-season maintenance such as trail brushing. Hardening the trails would also remove the uneven terrain that is present in the current trail system due to damage done by unauthorized motorized vehicle traffic. The Ely Peak Ski Loop will be further studied and a trail design will emerge in the near future.
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Important Documents: City Council Resolution14-0628; Management Plan for Magney Snively Natural Area
Funding Source: Equal parts DAHTA fundraising and ½ & ½ funding
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Related DocumentsSt. Louis River Corridor Presentation (June 2016)
St. Louis River Project Overview
Resolution to Approve the 28 SLRC Projects
St. Louis River Corridor Presentation (March 2015)