Great Outdoors – DWP Trail Undergoing Repairs
Old Railroad Corridor Isn't Officially Open for Public Use
DULUTH, Minn. – The DWP trail provides beautiful views along West Duluth’s hillside, but the old railroad bed isn’t officially open for public use.
The DWP, a city owned abandoned railroad corridor, runs ten miles along Duluth’s hillside.
“This trail is beautiful and I say that and, if you put this on the news, people are going to show up, but it’s not open and it’s not safe right now, so we don’t want to encourage use until we get the trail restored and the bridges restored,” says Jim Shoberg, a landscape architect with the City of Duluth.
City officials are seeking grants so they can fund necessary repairs to the trail.
“It’s about taking care of what we have and this is a fine example of the city putting its money and efforts at taking care of existing infrastructure,” says Shoberg.
Despite not being open, many people use the DWP for hiking, biking, and horseback riding.
“We’re really hoping that we can help the city develop a really fantastic multi use trail,” says June Breneman, secretary of the Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance.
The Alliance sees the DWP as an opportunity to expand their trail network.
“The next phase is to connect the DWP with the Magney Snively, the Ely Peak, and that would give us probably around ten miles of riding in a circle,” says Anne Gullion, a board member for the Duluth Area Horse Trail Alliance.
Horses can now be on the trail west of Clyde avenue, but not east of there.
Equestrians want to use the entire DWP, as do skiers, snowmobilers, and other groups.
“This is the only way across this hillside and all the groups want to be able to have access and we’re going to have to do additional process and engagement with the public to try to work all those out,” says Shoberg.
Many of those different outdoor clubs believe they can co-exist on the same pathway.
“We understand that there’s going to be hikers and bikers on this trail along with horses and so what are the things that we need to be thinking about as horse riders to help everyone stay save and help everybody enjoy the trail,” says Breneman.
Once improvements are made, the DWP is expected to be the newest Duluth attraction where everybody can come enjoy the Great Outdoors.
“It’s going to be stellar and it’s going to be beautiful views from up there where the trains used to go,” says Breneman. “It’s going to be really amazing.”