Waabizheshikana (The Marten Trail) Master Plan

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Western Waterfront Trail and Park Master Plan

Project Type: Trail Planning, Design, Master Planning, Feasibility Study, Community Engagement

Client: City of Duluth, Parks and Recreation

LHB was hired by the City of Duluth Parks Department to lead a public planning process to determine the future recreational uses of a mostly City-owned, 10-to12-mile corridor along the St. Louis River between the Irving neighborhood and Jay Cooke State Park, in West Duluth. The study area includes an existing 3.3 mile long pedestrian trail, an historic rail bed, and five existing or planned river access points. A portion of the historic rail bed has been leased by the City of Duluth to the nonprofit Lake Superior and Mississippi Railroad for seasonal fee-based rail excursions.

To date, LHB has conducted a thorough inventory and analysis of the corridor, has developed preliminary concepts for five put-in sites and trail extension alternatives with associated costs, and has facilitated four stakeholder workshops over the past four months. The final master plan report is anticipated to be presented for city council approval in early 2017.

Overall Project Goals

  • Increase connectivity from adjacent neighborhoods to the St. Louis River and Estuary.
  • Increase recreational and development opportunities within and along the St. Louis River Corridor.
  • Facilitate a stakeholder community engagement process to gain significant input on the future use of the area.
  • Enhance neighborhood quality of life.
  • Restore and protect natural habitat along the trail corridor.
  • Determine whether to retain and potentially improve the remaining riverfront rail line and renew the Lake Superior and Mississippi railroad’s lease for excursion rail trips.


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