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My boys are fascinated with this discovery they made last night at Brighton Beach.  Our bedtime talk was filled with the possibilities of the other worlds that just might lie at the other end of a tunnel. 

way too exciting

Do you have a favorite culvert in Duluth?  I think we have more exploring to do.

16 Comments

Jeepers

about 10 years ago

When I was a teenager we used to go "spelunking" starting below what is now the Burrito Union on 4th street all the way down to Lake Superior.  Some of the tunnels were over a block long.  I certainly would not suggest going in there with children though.

Paul Lundgren

about 10 years ago

There's a similar spelunking location in the West End where Miller Creek goes under West Third Street.

osbie feel

about 10 years ago

speaking of not-safe-for-children tunnel-type adventures, the old steam access tunnels underneath downtown were great to explore. i used to live in the brownstone apartments (now demolished) on 4th avenue east between superior and 1st street (above the motel). the tunnels were connected to our laundry room, and the one time my roommate & i explored them we ended up somewhere deep, deep in the bowels of downtown. they tunnels kept going, but we chickened out somewhere around the electric fetus.

huitz

about 10 years ago

There are a few small tunnels/bridges on the small dual trickle that flows next to 40th ave w and 8th and continues on down by Wheeler Field.  The stream(s) can be riddled with bugs and brambles during the summer, but the stone monolith halfway up to skyline is worth it.

There used to be an abandoned, rusted, mostly crushed car riddled with antique fitgers beer cans half-way down the steep hillside on the left side of one of the stream legs (there's only two, I think).  The first time we saw it, we thought me might find human remains.  To this day I can't find it again, and I've covered most of the area on foot.  If anybody finds it, let me know.

lojasmo

about 10 years ago

Yup.  Chester from the lake to Burrito Union.

samh

about 10 years ago

Although not a culvert per se, the area where Chester dumps into the Lake is a cool spot.  Home to equal parts drunks/fishermen/rock climbers/graffiti artists/youth it's a neat little place.

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

First as (sometime) parent educator I must say that it is not safe for kids to play in culverts at any time, especially alone.

Second, I can say from experience that my friends and I had hours, maybe even days of joyful/terrifying experiences exploring the miles of tunnels and culverts throughout Duluth's Lester Park neighborhood, most of the time alone, sometimes with flashlights. It was a mini-masculine thing, figuring out who had the guts to do it and go the whole way, etc.  Also the desire to do such a "pointless" thing is a little male - exploring 'cause it's there.  But it is all very awesome, in that same way.  

Third, I am experiencing some really tough days this summer dealing with young parents, i don't know if life is actualyl getting worse or it just feels worse to me.  But this has been a doozie, including one case I worked on today where the young parents are in a situation so bad I bet no one would even think about changing places with them for all the gold in fort knox.  So I really start to lose hope sometimes with how bad things often are.  BUT this post with it's whimsy and lovely photos of the human, childhood experience, and how awesome it is to be a parent has been a great restorative for me.  Thank you double dutch!  

(And remember inspiring as this was, don't let your kids play in culverts alone it's very dangerous! love, Wildgoose)

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

Oh I love the place Sam H mentioned at the mouth of Chester Creek, accurate description, he forgot to mention the semi-private beach there, too, though.  I have brought my kids there and they love it.  They think it's our beach because dad is the only one who knows how to get there.  Just a few weeks ago my ten year old told me, "Dad, some other people found our beach."  Fatherhood is precious.

wetclimber

about 10 years ago

Oregon Creek tunnel at East 1st Street entrance..
Long with twists and turns. Can do it standing most the way. Not too many bums. Some high brick arched ceilings. Barbecues in autumn.

Goldilocks

about 10 years ago

I grew up out in Gary/New Duluth.  There was a tunnel leading from the bottom of Krueger's Hill, into the woods a bit, to the St. Louis River.  It was the source of numerous fantastical stories, dreams and an unpopulated route to my favorite fishing hole.

Harry Northern

about 10 years ago

I grew up on Oregon Creek just south of College Street. You could start taking the tunnels going under Woodland Ave and eventually make your way down to 1st St or Superior St (cant remember where it got too impassable). My favorite time to go through them was during winter. The water would freeze, and the ice inside the tunnel would create the perfect bobsled track. Just had to watch out for giant ice stalactites that would lurk in dark corners after a thaw.

doubledutch

about 10 years ago

these all sound amazing, but i had no idea culverts could be so treacherous.  my own childhood memories are of a completely horizontal tube hosting a modest flow under hwy 3 a bit north of the stewart river.  as boring as that may sound, i loved it.  it was a cool little oasis after the hot walk up the road - we'd go there to pick raspberries and then just chill and be girls, i guess.  i thought it was pretty sweet, so i was happy my boys were so into this one.

wildgoose, i'm guessing your first statement was not referring to my kid standing in an inch of water while i took his photo from the other end of the culvert, but just in case . . . 

my kids are 2.5 and nearly 4, so they don't play alone anywhere but the next room.  however, i give them a lot of freedom while i watch (or sometimes just listen) from nearby.  they do try stupid stuff, and they do sometimes get hurt.  i know not everyone is comfortable with my approach, but i'm okay with a little disapproval in exchange for my boys developing an experience-based (rather than fear-based) concept of safety and a realistic awareness of their own physical abilities and limitations.

i'm sorry you're having a difficult summer of  clueless or apathetic parents and i'm glad this 'my kids are so great' post cheered you up, even if it simultaneously made you nervous at the idea of tiny urban spelunkers.  rest assured, they won't be doing that until middle school.

Ruthie

about 10 years ago

I too used to travel underground via the culverts and I too used to sled inside them in the winter.  My favorite was the one that started up by Marshall school and ended down by the gas station on 6th av east and 9th street.  Well, it was my favorite until my leg made contact with some dislocated rebar sticking out from the side.  I could have poked out an eye!

wildgoose

about 10 years ago

Clarification for Ms. DoubleDutch,

I don't think there's anything but awesome displayed in your pictures.

The Doog

about 10 years ago

that brown slime is a little unnerving though...

scotth

about 10 years ago

osbie feel -  its a shame those apartments were demolished...that sounds like the makings of a sci-fi novel.

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