Two fantastic options for a quick outdoor experience
I always encourage guests at Larsmont Cottages to take some time and check out the “rest” of Duluth. There is more to this outdoor town than Canal Park. You can spend a day exploring Duluth during your stay or make time on your way home to check out these unique places.
Duluth has some of the best outdoor activities to offer anywhere along the shore. You can xc-ski, bike, snowshoe, hike, hang a hammock, and hang out for a while or find yourself a beautiful spot and sit and take it all in. In this entry, I will feature a couple of quick get-aways in Duluth.
Hartley Nature Center
Is located just up past UMD, off of Woodland Avenue, and it is a perfect go-to for me if I want to squeeze in a quick hike with my dog Jade. This place has everything you are looking for all in one place. Ski trails, fat-tire trails, hiking, a massive pond that you can use to skate, ski, ice-fish, or any other thing you can think of that you could do on a big, frozen pond. There are miles and miles of trails for you to cover. A better part of your day can be spent exploring the trails, wetlands, and wooded areas. You can go and keep going here with seemingly endless connecting trails, giving you vast hiking, biking, or skiing opportunities. There is nothing here that will be too difficult, so your day as a whole will be delightful. I would recommend staying alert while hiking these trails. Most of the trails are shared with bikes, so keep listening and looking as you go. But don't let that discourage you because the trails are wide enough to be shared. If you want to ski, there are trails groomed just for that activity.
On the east end of Duluth, you will find Lester Park right as you pull into town. This is a popular, easy to find area that offers even more hiking, biking, and skiing opportunities. The hiking trails lead to beautiful scenery, and you will find spots in the river, waterfalls, and rock outcroppings that rival the beauty anywhere on the North Shore. Hiking presents you with many options of trails which you can very easily decide as you go. It's always easy to go along the river as far as you want and loop back via one of the bridges that cross the river. Amity Creek runs alongside the Lester River, and along there, you can hop on the Amity east trails that will take you up along the famed Seven Bridges road, and if you have the motivation, you can take the hike to Hawk's Ridge. If skiing or biking is your thing, Lester River has both devoted ski and bike trails. Some of the trails merge on the Amity side and become multi-use but here also, there is more than enough room for everyone. This place has been a go-to for spur of the moment and quick days out for me on foot, skis and snowshoes. It's yet another gem that helps make Duluth the great outdoor town that it has always been.
These are two fantastic options for a quick, outdoor experience. If you choose to hike, ski, snowshoe, trail run, or want to pick out a nice spot to take a few pictures, these two places do not disappoint. If you run into me during your stay at Larsmont Cottages, don't hesitate to stop me and ask about other outdoor areas I would recommend.
Get outside, if even for a short time at one of these places, and your day will be a pretty good one.
As an avid outdoorsman Mark has explored the North Shore from Duluth to Grand Portage. And he's ready to spill the beans on the region's best hikes, vistas, and adventures. Stay tuned to his blog for trail reports, new activities, and more.
Mark runs the activities program at Larsmont Cottages which is open to all guests of Odyssey Resorts.