This major port city, located on Lake Superior, is the second largest metro area in Minnesota. Duluth is a major tourist destination of the midwest, owing to its waterfront location, Aquarium, and numerous cultural amenities. Duluth is also regarded as one of the top outdoor recreation cities in the United States, featuring 11,000 acres of green space, more than 100 parks, and dozens of miles of paved, multi-use trails, mountain biking trails, and hiking trails. There’s a great variety for running in Duluth, featuring gorgeous lakefront trails, parks, and some excellent trail running close to the city, with hills rising to 1,000 feet just to the west. There are fantastic wooded trails all around, with something for every ability. Runners should note this is a four-season city: winters are among the coldest and snowiest of any major city in North America!
The signature run in Duluth is the 8-mile Lakewalk. Our ‘runseeing‘ tour features the Canal Park area, over the Lift Bridge, and out the piers. North of the city, we’ve mapped a 7.5 mile section of North Shore Drive (‘Scenic 61’). For park and trail running, the routes in Chester Park, Hartley Park, Lester Park, and Jay Cooke State Park (south of the city) have excellent variety and some great views. Also, be sure to check out our routes on the lightly trafficked parkways, such as W. Skyline and Seven Bridges Rd. Good neighborhoods for running include Lakeside, Woodland, Hunters Park, and Observation Hill. For a long, flat run on a multi-use path, the William Munger Trail is a great bet.
Some notes about running in Duluth: The city is on a hill, so any run from the lakefront to downtown will require somewhat of a climb. Runners should be aware of Duluth’s ‘four season’ climate, which includes severe winters — 106 days where temps remain below freezing and nearly 100 inches of annual snowfall. It’s a mecca for those who love winter sports, but bring your Yaktrax and use the proper etiquette. For transport, there’s a decent local bus system. And, thank you to the folks at Duluth Running Co. for their help with this guide!