Parks & Recreation

DWP Trail Corridor


Project Status: Construction

Project Overview:

The city-owned, abandoned, Duluth Winnipeg, and Pacific (DWP) railroad corridor is currently used as an informal trail. The 100 ft. wide corridor (wider in some locations) runs continuously for about 10 miles from 63rd Street West to Becks Road, and eventually under I-35 to Proctor. The DWP is a very scenic route high above the river estuary and the Munger Trail with two steel trestles and a tunnel under Elys Peak. The corridor provides an excellent opportunity for a multi-use regional trail in Duluth. Significant restoration and repair is needed on the trestles, rail bed, and tunnel.  Because of the wide right-of-way, the hardened nature of the former rail bed and its gentle grade, the DWP corridor is potentially suitable for mobility limited users, biking, hiking/running, cross-country skiing, scenic slow-speed snowmobiling, equestrians, and snowshoeing.  The DWP acts as a spine for planned western Duluth trail networks, being one of the few places these user groups can traverse Magney Snively Natural Area without damaging the sensitive ecosystem.

Project Update:

Infrastructure repairs included re-grading the DWP trail crossing at West Skyline to meet accessibility slope standards, repair of a large washout between Elys and Bardon Peaks, lining and replacement of culverts, installation of gates at access points, and grading and removal of vegetation from the trail surface to improve drainage and allow emergency, maintenance and construction vehicle access. Additional grading of the trail and parking lot of Becks Road will be completed in spring/summer 2019.

Project Partners:

Project is funded in part by a $150,000 Federal Recreational Trails Grant from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.