What’s the deal with the stairway at Birchwood Park that leads down into a ravine?

On the edge of Birchwood Park, a small playground park at 222 W. Heard St. in the New Duluth neighborhood, is an old stairway down to a ravine that I’m guessing runs into Sargent Creek. The existence of this stairway is probably common knowledge in New Duluth, but it is kind of tucked away so that others visiting the park are unlikely to notice. And it raises the question of what used to be down there.

So, can anyone enlighten us?



about 3 years ago

This stairway led down to a lower park where there were picnic benches and a well. It has no legal access to the creek as you would have to cross my family's private property. If you were heading down the stairs from the park to the right about 200 to 300 yards across the valley would have been the old Birch Park ski jump.

Paul Lundgren

about 3 years ago

Another Duluth ski jump? Interesting. I found this Google Maps sketch on Facebook of where it was located. The stairway did not access the ski jump, the jump was across the way.

There are apparently a lot of issues with people trespassing on the private property nearby, ripping down signs and leaving garbage behind. So I'm going to recommend that people who go to check out the stairs should not wander far and keep their empty beer cans to themselves.


about 3 years ago

A couple things:

I live in the trailer park out in Gary and take my dogs back in those woods all the time. The area that I mostly stick to is before the stairs and private property. However, those who own the property do not have it posted in a place that is legible. My dog wondered over that way as I followed, I didn't let him go far, but the signs were so high up on the trees that any normal person would not notice them. I only did because I was looking up for the crows making noise at that time. 

Second, I have found a bottle of grape alcohol stashed in a tree stump back there. I have also noticed a couple younger gentleman acting strange ... they were probably the ones hiding the alcohol given their age.

Last, that area is beautiful and I will not apologize for following trails and walking my dogs back there. I have been researching the ski jumps in Duluth for a couple years and honestly just wanted to know where it was. That area used to be a get together and picnic area. Making it private without fencing it off is just asking for someone to trespass. But also, when my dogs ran away, that is where they were because that is the place they know.

Nicholas Mrak

about 3 years ago

Always wondered about those stairs. Happened upon them as a kid when I would stay at my grandma's on 101st. Used to also walk and in the winter slide down Kruger's (sp?) Hill. JPPTOO, I would love permission and maybe even be shown the lower part of the park sometime out a curiosity rather than trespass. There's lots of old cars stuck in the wood back there, there was model a sticking out of the bottom of the old dump on the corner of the Alley off McCuen. Many good memories in that neighborhood. They even used to have a winter carnival, sledding event on Kruger's Hill back when I was a kid.

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