Parks & Recreation

Waabizheshikana Heritage Trail Interpretive Plan


Project Status: Planning

Project Overview:

The City of Duluth has coordinated a stakeholder-driven Heritage Trail Interpretive Plan that defines important themes of interpretation along Waabizheshikana ("The Marten Trail"), previously known as the Western Waterfront Trail (WWFT). Waabizheshikana consists of an existing 3.3-mile segment that traverses the western shoreline of the St. Louis River. The trail will eventually be extended to a roughly 10-mile continuous recreational trail. The purpose of this planning effort is to produce a Heritage Trail Interpretive Plan that will focus on the themes, mediums and stories of the people and its region. The plan focuses on the historical, cultural, spiritual, and ecological lessons the river has to teach.

Waabizheshikana (waa-bah-zhay-shay-kuh-nuh)
Link to audio pronunciation:

Project Update:

The City began the planning process in spring 2020. A Heritage Trail Interpretive Plan is expected to be completed by Spring 2021. 

Funding Source:

This project is funded in part by the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, administered by the Office for Coastal Management, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration under Award NA19NOS4190063 provided to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for Minnesota's Lake Superior Coastal Program.


The Plan was approved unanimously by the Parks and Recreation Commission on March 10, 2021. Recommendation to the City Council will take place on March 22, 2021.

In Fall of 2019, the City Council approved the Waabizheshikana: The Marten Trail Mini-Master Plan which recommended the completion of a separate interpretive planning process that explores the themes, mediums and stories of the river, land and its people.

Waabizheshikana: The Marten Trail, is made up of the existing 3.3-mile trail alignment, the 7-mile trail extension (proposed) and the adjacent green space managed and maintained by the City of Duluth for recreational and conservation purposes.