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Wind and Waves Whip the Trail

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Wind and Waves Whip the Trail

October 17, 2018

Waves’ Goodbye To the ‘Walk?

Duluth’s Lakewalk got hammered again by the fury of Lake Superior, almost a year after a similar pounding that ripped out swaths of both the boardwalk and the asphalt trail.

We’re used to rocks and roots, but Duluth’s Lakewalk is a new kind of rugged trail.

For those of you compiling your SHT mileage, you will need to pick your way around Canal Park to get to  the Rose Garden.  As of October 17, the City of Duluth had not closed off the the Lakewalk, but they are bound to, given the extent of the damage. (Oct. 25th Update: The City has now closed most of the Lakewalk, but reopened a section from the pier to Endion Station.)  We will offer an alternate route once things settle down there.  There is still damage from the October 2017 storm that the City was getting around to — just two days before the most recent gale hit.

 

A Horizontal Forest

The same storm that hit Duluth early in the week of October 14 also walloped the eastern end of the SHT, the area of Grand Marais.  We estimate, based on reports from Trail users and our own assessments, tell us that the number of downed trees is in the high hundreds.

A crater in the middle of the SHT caused by an uprooted tree.

Dozens have already been cleared from the Trail by our team and our friends at the US Forest Service, but many more will have to wait until next spring. It’s late in the hiking season; deer season is approaching when we close much of the SHT anyway; and it’s hard to mobilize the necessary volunteers this late in the season.

Be patient!  We conduct an annual trail-clearing bonanza every May and we fully intend to account next spring for what will be an even higher number of downed trees than usual after the winter.  Trail users are already creating clever detours around these obstacles.  We trust you will find your way too, until the chain saws find their fodder come next May.

As always, check the Trail Conditions page for closures, re-routes, and other issues on the SHT before you head out!