Western Waterfront Trail, Parks and Recreation Master Plan

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Project Status: Planning Phase

Project Overview: A public planning process to begin August 2016 will determine future recreational uses of a mostly City-owned, 10-to12-mile corridor along the St. Louis River between the Irving neighborhood and Jay Cooke State Park. The planning area includes an existing 3.3 mile/pedestrian trail, a historic rail bed, and five existing or planned river access points. A portion of the historic rail bed has been leased by the City of Duluth to the nonprofit Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad for seasonal fee-based rail excursions.

The Master Plan's overall project goals include, but are not limited to:

  • Increasing connectivity from adjacent neighborhoods to the St. Louis River and Estuary.
  • Increasing recreational and development opportunities within and along the St. Louis River Corridor.
  • Facilitating a stakeholder community engagement process to gain significant input on the future use of the area.
  • Enhancing neighborhood quality of life.
  • Restoring and protecting natural habitat along the trial corridor.
  • Determine whether to retain and potentially improve the remaining riverfront rail line and renew the Lake Superior and Mississippi railroad's lease for excursion rail trips.

With these project goals in mind, the master planning process will explore options to:

  • Extend and improve the Western Waterfront Trail as cited in the 1979 WWFT Master Plan.
  • Rebrand the Western Waterfront Trail as a heritage trail that celebrates and interprets the rich culture and natural heritage of the corridor.
  • Develop potential new river access nodes opposite Tallus Island and at the area known as Slag Point.
  • Develop potential new canoe/kayak water trail entry points at Munger Landing, Boy Scout Landing, and Perch Lake.
  • Decide the future use of the City-owned riverfront.
  • Create synergy between the Water Trail, the Western Waterfront Trail, and the excursion rail (if the City determines to extend the excursion rail lease).

Public meetings related to the planning process will announced via City of Duluth press releases and community calendars. Please sign up for City of Duluth communication updates, subscribe by using: http://www.duluthmn.gov/web-subscriptions/sign-up/

Important Documents:

Western Waterfront Park and Trail Master Plan Meeting #1 (presentation November 15, 2016)

To receive a hard copy of the Western Waterfront Park and Trail Corridor Survey please call Lisa Luokkala at 218-730-4312, or stop by the Parks and Recreation Office: City Hall (Ground Floor), 411 West 1st Street, Duluth MN 55802. 


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Lisa Luokkala
Project Coordinator
City Hall - Parks and Recreation
411 West First Street - Ground Floor
Duluth, MN 55802


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