Duluth natural surface trails closed during annual freeze/thaw cycle
[Duluth, MN] – In collaboration with the Superior Hiking Trail Association (SHTA) and the Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS), the City of Duluth Parks and Recreation division has closed all-natural surface (dirt) trails due to the annual fall freeze-thaw cycle until further notice. Overnight below-freezing temperatures combined with daytime above freezing temperatures create wet and vulnerable soil conditions that can damage trails with continued use. Please avoid these trails if the soil is damp or muddy.
“If you see footprints or bike tire ruts in the underlying dirt, then it’s best to turn around and find a different outdoor recreation opportunity,” Matt Andrews, Parks, and Recreation Trails Coordinator, said. “Until everything is frozen solid, the trails are highly vulnerable to damage, which could create erosion on the trails when the snow melts next spring.”
The City of Duluth Parks and Recreation division wants to remind the public of winter trail use opportunities. Gravel surface trails will remain open throughout winter, including the Duluth Winnipeg Pacific (DWP) Trail and Waabizheshikana (formerly Western Waterfront Trail). While the trails are open, they will not be plowed. Paved surface trails that include the Campus Connector Trail, Lakewalk, and Cross-City Trail, are cleared of snow and will open regardless of weather conditions.
The City anticipates fully reopening natural surface trails once surface conditions allow and the ground has completely frozen. To learn more about the City's trails, please visit https://duluthmn.gov/parks/trails-bikeways/natural-surface-trails/.