Parks & Recreation

Waabizheshikana: The Marten Trail

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Project Status: Planning and Design

Project Overview:

The Waabizheshikana: The Marten Trail Mini Master Plan aims to increase connectivity from adjacent neighborhoods to the St. Louis River Estuary, increase recreational and development opportunities, facilitate stakeholder engagement, enhance neighborhood quality of life, and restore and protect natural habitat. The mostly city-owned, 10-12 mile corridor between Irving neighborhood and Jay Cooke State Park includes an existing 3.3 mile long pedestrian trail, historic rail bed, and five existing or planned river access points. A portion of the historic rail hosts the City to Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad for seasonal fee-based rail excursions.

The master planning process explored 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)

Project Update:

The City is actively working to secure funding to update the existing trail to improve accessibility, construct the future segments of the trail, and install comprehensive wayfinding and interpretive signage.

Timeline:

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: web subscriptions sign-up

Project Partners:

In 2022, the City of Duluth was awarded funding in the amount of $500,000 from the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund as recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The Trust Fund is a permanent fund constitutionally established by the citizens of Minnesota to assist in the protection, conservation, preservation, and enhancement of the state's air, water, land, fish, wildlife, and other natural resources. Currently 40% of net Minnesota State Lottery proceeds are dedicated to growing the Trust Fund and ensuring future benefits for Minnesota's environment and natural resources. 

Logo for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund featuring two loons and a star over a blue background.

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