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Staff Picks: Discover Duluth

aerial shot of two people running on a trail next to Lake Superior
May 5, 2020

Take time during finals to explore some nature spots picked by our staff

With finals, the start of summer jobs, and social distancing, it can be hard to get a breath of fresh air. Luckily for us, Duluth is surrounded by beautiful parks, trails and nature centers. Our Office of Sustainability staff contributed some of their favorite places to visit in Duluth. Try putting your textbooks and worries down for a few moments this week to explore some of these spots. Thanks for a great semester, Bulldogs!

Stephanie Nielsen

  • My favorite spot in Duluth is definitely the French River. orange fox next to shorelineThere is a pull-off spot about 20 minutes up the North Shore, I believe, where you can get out and walk along a small portion of beach where the French River meets Lake Superior. You can walk up the river using the smoothed stone that the river has carved out, which I think is really cool. This spot is special to me, because when my dad died my freshman year I was drawn to that spot of the lake where we pulled off, and I was approached by a wild fox! I think the fox was my dad’s spirit, or something like that. 

Corrin Thell

  • My favorite place to go is Enger Tower look-out. If you walk up to the observation deck, there are lots of rocks to climb on while you overlook the entire city of Duluth and the lake. I go there during the day to hammock and hike around and even drive up there at night when I need some fresh air and see the lights. Anytime I have someone visiting Duluth, I take them there. 

Jaeger Moser

  • Hawks Ridge is definitely my favorite place to go hammocking because of the great view of the lake. There are also a ton of hiking and biking trails. shot of sunset through trees

Joe Murphy

  • My favorite place to connect with nature that's near Duluth is Boulder Lake Environmental Learning Center. I love spending warm summer afternoons and frigid winter days fishing on the Boulder Lake Reservoir. mushrooms in the woodsI also enjoy hiking its trails and camping at its sites! Pictured is some Shaggy Mane mushrooms I found last fall out near Boulder Lake! 

Alaina Lawrence

  • My favorite place to go is Chester Creek! It's a minute from my house, is full of beautiful plants, and makes for a relaxing and fun hike. The area is great for hammocking & foraging too, and you'll always find friendly faces. It's a classic for a reason :)

 Jonna Korpi

  • Pattison State Park in Wisconsin. Jonna, her partner and baby in front of waterfallsIt's worth the drive (about 30 minutes from Duluth) if you have access to transportation. The park offers lots of hiking trails, picnic area, and is home to the tallest waterfall in Wisconsin! The Black River runs through the park and there are three separate entrances -- one for Little Manitou Falls (pictured), one for Big Manitou Falls, and one for the campground/additional trails. Also, Big Manitou Falls is surrounded by giant cedar trees and the smell is so fresh and so clean -- it's a pretty unique place! 

Abigail Ohmann

Chester Park Trail is one of my favorite places to go in Duluth that is near campus. black and white dog in woodsIt is a simple place, but one I have taken full advantage of. This is a great place to go for a short or long walk, hang up a hammock, and even sit by the stream and have a picnic. The house I lived in for two year was right next to this trail and I would always go for runs and take Rio, my dog, on long walks down it. It is also a perfect place to unwind if you're feeling stressed or study for an exam coming up. It is a pretty well known area but is still a place you can make your own.