Saturday, September 6, 2008

When the Lakewalk isn't a Lakewalk anymore

Everyone, I mean everyone, loves Duluth's Lakewalk.Except maybe Duluth's millionaire crowd.

It's been almost 20 years now since the first stretch of it was built along the renovated shoreline of Canal Park. Tourists flood it in the summer. Locals beam with pride when they bring their out of town friends down for a stroll. Kids cruise it in strollers, with training wheels, and finally on their own, as far ahead of their parents as they dare.

Here's an image from this afternoon. If you look closely, you'll see people on the Lakewalk and in the water.

Now there's more of the Lakewalk to love. With the new extension, it's 3.9 miles of paved bike trail from the Marine Museum in Canal Park to the end of the trail at 36th Ave. E., in Duluth's Congdon neighborhood. The easiest way to get on the new section is to park behind the Holiday store on London Road and 26th Ave. E, just off the terminus of I-35.

But it's not exactly, shall we say, a "Lake" walk anymore.

I guess we should have known that the huge mansions along London Road are owned by folks who wouldn't take kindly to eminent domain seizure of their shoreline property so that the masses could continue their route along the shore. So about thirteen years after the last extension of the Lakewalk to London Road at 28th Ave. (or so), the newest extension opened just a few weeks back...and it runs inland, not on the lake.

Actually, just as with the rest of the Lakewalk, it parallels the railroad tracks:

The new extension adds about 0.8 miles. So it's not on the Lake, but it's still used more by walkers than bikers. And there's a scenic new bridge over Tischer Creek:

Like any facial tissue is Kleenex, and any self-adhesive bandage is a Band-Aid, any stretch of trail in eastern Duluth is a Lakewalk. Get out there and discover the new stretch for yourself.

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