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Lincoln Park Trail

Lincoln Park (originally named Garfield Park) is one of the oldest of Duluth parks. Straddling Miller Creek and stretching from 3rd Street up to Skyline Parkway, it encompasses some 35 acres. Easy to moderate trails, some paved and wheelchair accessible (lower end) and dirt or limestone pathways elsewhere allow one to amble alongside the creek or to several of the park’s highlights. Natural features in the park include waterfalls, gorges and the so-called Elephant Rock, a bit of exposed bedrock worn smooth by glaciers. One can view scratches in the rock, caused by scraping of rocks in the long since melted ice. White pine, cedar, mature paper birches and large willows can be seen throughout the park.

Creation of the park began in 1890. It took the name of its surrounding neighborhood, and the first phase of development consisted of planting 200 trees, some which are still standing today. By 1905 a dancing and skating hall was built. Large numbers of people congregated for concerts, festivals, swimming and family and church picnics. In 1933 the stone pavilion was built by the Works Projects Administration, and was used for concerts, plays, political campaign speeches and the memorable Scandinavian Mid-Summer Festivals. Today, a playground, picnic tables and a covered pavilion are utilized regularly by park users.

Lincoln Park’s Miller Creek is a cold water trout stream under stress and is listed by the State as impaired water. The creek’s upper reaches receive significant amounts of sediment, warm water and polluted runoff from development and parking lots. Its headwaters are in Hermantown and in the wetlands around the Duluth International Airport. The stream speeds up as it careens down the hill through Lincoln Park, where it enters a large culvert (seen under the 3rd Street entrance to the park) to finally enter the St. Louis River at 21st Avenue West. Nearly 500 cubic feet of sediment are removed from its mouth every two-three years.

Skyline Parkway originally ran from Chester Creek to Lincoln Park, and was completed here in 1891. The Superior Hiking Trail presently crosses the upper ends of the park as it winds from one end of the city to the other.


Miller Creek

Lincoln Park trail


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