Waabizheshikana (The Marten Trail)
Honoring a River’s History
In 2016, Duluth Parks and Recreation began a robust public planning process to determine future recreational uses for more than 10 miles of shoreline corridor along the St. Louis River Estuary in West Duluth. The City’s vision was to update the original 1979 Western Waterfront Trail Masterplan for a multi-use, non-motorized accessible, natural surface trail connecting seven neighborhoods to the river.
LHB facilitated a year-long stakeholder and community engagement process to gain significant input, which included six stakeholder workshops, two public meetings, and several discussions with environmental agencies. This project required a thorough inventory and analysis of several sensitive and ecological areas. Planning had to address challenges such as balancing ease-of-access with protection of valuable and cultural resources while providing public access to natural areas. The plan defines guiding principles, establishes trail design standards, explores trail extension possibilities, and develops six masterplans for new linear parks and water access points. The trail is now eligible for MNDNR Regional Trail Designation.
"Duluth’s history and its future are profoundly tied to the health, sustainability, and stewardship of the St. Louis River and Lake Superior. We are excited to work the community to unveil the potential of the River Corridor and its historic and culturally rich gifts."
Emily Larson, Mayor of Duluth