Out in western Duluth with a few minutes to spare? Rather than stopping in at Beaners for a cup of coffee, head the other way on Central Avenue to the riverfront for a short walk on the Grassy Point Trail. It's spring on the river front, the ice is almost gone, and whole flocks of migratory birds are coming through. You might have the best 20 minutes of your day.
Head south on Central Avenue from the Interstate 35 exit, 0.3 miles to Waseca Industrial Road. Turn left on Waseca Industrial Road and wind around behind the paper plant for 0.5 miles. Turn left on Lesure Street (sic), and go just 0.1 miles to the end of Lesure St. by the Weiss Coal company. The road dead ends at a parking lot, with nice signage for the trail.
Unlike most North Shore-area trails right now, the Grassy Point Trail is snow-free and ready for walking. It's a short trail...you can reach the end and back in 5-10 minutes. Take your time, though, as the trail takes you into neat St. Louis River wetlands.
The trail starts with a long boardwalk through alder and balsam poplar woods. I took the poodle, who insisted she knew the way:
The boardwalk ends at two interconnected viewing platforms, with well-done interpretive signs about the St. Louis River and the restored wetlands.
Here's a map of the trail:
There is a long story about the restoration of this site on the web. Suffice to say, what you see in twenty minutes is the result of many years of hard work. Enjoy!