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Equestrian Trail Development


Project Status: Post Construction. Trail signage to be installed fall 2018.

Project Overview:

The Ely Peak loop is being improved and hardened to create a loop trail for equestrians.  An agreement developed by multiple partners helped make this trail a reality.

Work to improve the trail for horse use is complete.  The Ely Peak Ski Loop was modified to withstand summer use of both hikers and equestrians. This improves 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 is going towards this project which leveraged additional dollars for design and construction.

 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 additional 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.  In 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 concluded that any non-winter use of those trails would require significant hardening of the trail. Hardening the trail also benefits skiers when conducting off-season maintenance such as trail brushing. Trail hardening would also remove much of the uneven terrain that is present in the current trail system. The Ely Peak Ski Loop is the first phase of development for equestrian use and is presently under development.

Ely Peak With Skyline Parkway
Click here to enlarge.

 Important Documents:

City Council Resolution14-0628; Management Plan for Magney Snively Natural Area

St. Louis River Corridor Trails Plan

 Funding Source: Equal parts DAHTA fundraising and ½ & ½ funding

 Project Partners:

DAHTA NEW LOGO      Ikes    

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Equestrian Trail Study Comment Form

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Jim Shoberg
Senior Parks Planner
411 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802


City of Duluth, 411 West First Street, Duluth, Minnesota 55802
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