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Mountain Biking in Duluth When it’s Wet

Cyclists of the Gitchee Gumee Shores do a great job of keeping trail status up to date after a rainfall. I always abide by their recommendation to stay off trails when wet. Are there any trails that are rideable when wet or damp? Maybe some snowmobile trails or something similar?

14 Comments

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

The places you would do the least damage would be gravel roads and trails, like western and eastern Skyline Parkway, the Osaugie Trail in Superior and the DWP  Trail in West Duluth. Those will lack most of the bumps and twists of true mountain-biking trails, but it's not such a sacrifice for a few days. Any muddy trail will be damaged by cycling to some degree.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

DWP Trail

Although the DWP does offer a steady series of splashes at the moment.

StarryNight

about 4 years ago

Yes, the ATVs and mountain bikes are ruining the DWP. Not only are they riding on it when it's wet, they are doing circle spins and ripping out small trees. Most recently, they have started going around the big mud holes they have created, hence making them even wider. The trail is not able to completely dry out now, the ecosystem is actually changing. And ... nobody cares.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

The section of the DWP trail between Greene Street and Spirit Mountain is a planned part of the Cross City Trail and will likely be paved within a few years. There are many changes on the way.

StarryNight

about 4 years ago

That's what I hear.  These particular pictures are from Redruth St going East.  Even though there are boulders blocking the entrances to the trail the ATV drivers are now driving in from above and below, making new trails of their own.  They are also destroying the snowmobile trail that goes west from Redruth, up and across the creek.  They are actually driving up from the neighborhood below, cutting through yards.  The drivers have typically been young-ish men, no helmets, sometimes little kids on with them with no helmets, joyriding around wrecking stuff.  As you can tell, it's a huge irritation for me.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

Indeed, all of the above are everyday occurrences. Even worse, people drive trucks onto the DWP Trail and dump garbage.  It will be interesting to see if paving the trail will get rid of a lot of the nuisance users or if the city will have to ramp up enforcement.

By mentioning the garbage I should extend thanks to Solid Waste Compliance Officer Karen O'Donnell,  Volunteer Coordinator Cheryl Skafte and temporary Parks Department staff member Erick Anderson for their roles in the removal of what amounted to a large pickup truckload of miscellaneous junk, at various locations on the trail, ranging from tables and strange unidentifiable wire contraptions to nasty mattresses and blankets. Particular thanks to Erick, who I hope was fully deloused after his hands-on experience.

StarryNight

about 4 years ago

I have contacted the city and my city counselor, "We can't enforce something like that." is the answer.  I wondered if they could maybe put signs up (offered to put signs up myself under their direction)  that would maybe at least say, No ATV's allowed on trails, or something normal like that but they said,  "Not possible." 

Ok, I won't go on anymore about it but it's really too bad.  Thanks for the opportunity to vent.

MK2

about 4 years ago

Thanks for the comment that if ANY trails are wet, (not just official COGGS trails), there should be no biking on them. My observation is that in wet conditions, bikers are coming to the unofficial trails and SHT trails behind my neighborhood (Hunter's Park) and making huge and wide puddles where previously it was just people and dogs on foot. This type of behavior does not engender goodwill for mountain bikers.

Paul Lundgren

about 4 years ago

An update from Duluth Parks and Recreation on the DWP Trail alterations as it becomes part of the Cross City Trail:

Contractors working for the city of Duluth will be starting construction on the next stretch of the Cross City Trail from Greene Street over to the Lake Superior Zoo. This project will add a 1.13-mile, 10-foot-wide paved multi-use trail and will cost an estimated $960,000. The work will involve excavation, concrete work on abutments and driving pile, which will cause some noise for 3-4 days. Bridges will be installed by the end of October 2015 with trail work to start in spring 2016. The trail is planned for a July 1, 2016 completion. There should be no road obstructions for residents. This latest extension will travel above the Fairmount neighborhood from about 63rd Ave. West and Greene Street intersection to the north side of the Lake Superior Zoo. Another western extension is planned for 2016 to travel from the Zoo to Knowlton Creek. The first phase of the Cross City Trail was completed last year and runs from West Superior Street and Carlton Street intersection in Lincoln Park to the Duluth Sisters Cities Park (Canal Park). The West Duluth segment of the trail is still in the planning stage. Once completed, the entire Cross City Trail will connect users from the Lakewalk in Canal Park westward to the Munger Trail.

StarryNight

about 4 years ago

I snapped a picture of the other side of the DWP Trail yesterday.  They are digging up both ends now and apparently, huge trucks  have to drive on the smaller path, which is on the Grand Ave side of the trail.  Looks like this will be trashed in the process of re-doing the other side.  The trucks are driving up from Grand Ave to the middle of the trail, also digging up the little field area.  This will make both sides of the trail almost impossible to use until the work is completed, nearly a year.

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