Duluth, MN

Jay Cooke State Park

Flickr: Sharon Mollerus

Jay Cooke State Park is located 18 miles south of Duluth, and offers some of the most extensive trails for running in the area. Enjoy running through hardwood forests, viewing the park’s gorges, steep valleys, and massive rock formations. There are 8 miles of paved multi-use trails, 50 miles of hiking trails, and 13 miles of mountain biking trails. See attached trail map for trail information.

For runners, there’s something for everyone here. Some recommendations for easy-to-moderate running:

Swinging Bridge. Flickr: Steve Moses

William Munger State Trail. A section of this 70 mile, paved multi-use trail runs through the park. Two options, both of them straight and fairly flat: Starting in Carlton, head east, along the northern edge of the park, for many miles. It’s up to 9 miles one-way to Becks Rd./Short Line Park. Or, head south, mostly paralleling Rt. 1, for 6+ miles to Rt. 23. This direction alternates between wooded and open.

CCC Trail: 1.8 mile loop. Starts behind the River Inn. Nice views of the St. Louis River.

Silver Creel Trail. Great for trail runners. Some hills but not too challenging. The 3.5 mile loop crosses the Swinging Bridge and follows a wide grassy route through birch and basswood trees, with views of the St. Louis River and Silver Creek.



  • Depends on route chosen
  • Options for flat or hilly!
  • Park entrance near Carlton is a good starting point