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Western Waterfront Trail, Parks and Recreation Master Plan

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Project Status: Planning

Project Overview: The Western Waterfront Park and 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 bed has been leaded by the City to Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad for seasonal fee-based rail excursions.

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)

Project Update: A draft of the Western Waterfront Park and Trail Mini Master Plan was presented to the Parks & Recreation Commission on November 8, 2017. Parks staff are currently working on property negotiations with US Steel.

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:

Important Documents:

Spirit Landing Site Plan (Council approved February 26, 2018)

Western Waterfront Park and Trail Master Plan Meeting #2 (presentation June 13, 2017)

Western Waterfront Trail Online Survey Summary

Western Waterfront Trail 5th District Phone Survey Summary

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

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Lisa Luokkala
Parks Assistant Manager
Parks and Recreation
411 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 730-4312


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