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5 Best Places to Get Out and Avoid Summer Tourists in the Duluth and Superior Area

During the peak of tourist season, Duluth’s visitor hotspots like Canal Park and the Lakewalk have hundreds or even thousands of extra people milling about and enjoying what our area has to offer. For people that live here and want to get out to enjoy the area’s beauty, but avoid the crowds, where can you go? Here are a couple highlights that offer things to do and see for you to get out and enjoy the best of the Twin Ports without the huge crowds.

MORE: 10 Places You'd Be Ashamed to Admit You've Never Been in Duluth

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper – TSM Duluth


Kitchi Gammi Park, known to locals as Brighton Beach, is an enjoyable area along Lake Superior that offers a beautiful view of the greatest of the Great Lakes as well as a picture-perfect perspective of Canal Park.

This is one of the busier locations in this list with some tourists making a stop on their way to or from North Shore destinations, but it is still a pretty quiet alternative to Canal Park and the Lakewalk to soak up some of Lake Superior’s shoreline.

The park has multiple picnic locations and plenty of shoreline to walk, plus the mouth of the Lester River is at the southern edge of the park. It’s a great place to just sit and relax, or do a little fishing.


Duluth Parks Department
Duluth Parks Department


Even though Chester Park is promoted as one of Duluth’s most visited parks, its expansive park space along Chester Creek allows you to feel as connected or disconnected from society as you’d like.

With more highly-visited highlights including the Chester Bowl area, picnic area and playgrounds; the park also offers some quiet and secluded trails that are accented by waterfalls along Chester Creek. Many spots along some of the trails can make you feel like you’re not even in town at all.


Google Street View
Google Street View



Perched (no pun intended) on Skyline Parkway on the hillside above the Lakeside neighborhood in Duluth is the Hawk Ridge Nature Reserve, which offers hiking and wildlife viewing opportunities, along with a birds- eye view (sorry, they’re just too easy) of Lake Superior and the City of Duluth.

The best bird viewing is traditionally in the fall months, between August and November, as raptors migrate for the season, but other wildlife opportunities along the trails are present year-round.

The view from Skyline Parkway of the city and Lake Superior alone is plenty of a reason to make the trip, but a handful of trails offer more to explore. Among the trails to check out is the Snivley Trail, which follows Amity Creek from Amity Park into Hawk Ridge.


Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper – TSM Duluth


Lester Park is just blocks away from Brighton Beach, up the Lester River. The two parks are connected by a bike trail, so visiting both locations is very convenient either on foot or by bike.

The park features a photogenic brick bridge, waterfalls, open park space for picnics and games, and plenty of hiking and ski trails that form a network across the park. One of the often forgotten spots is the Amity Gazebo on the far edge of the park from the main parking area. Hiking the trails along the river to the gazebo to relax and enjoy the waterfalls is a personal favorite thing to do.

If you’re feeling adventurous, Amity Park is connected to the northern edge of Lester Park, offering more trails and nature to explore.


Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper – TSM Duluth


The counterpart to Park Point in Minnesota, Superior’s Wisconsin Point, rounds out our list. Although the drive to get out to this park is a little bit out of the way, the park is subject to significantly less tourist traffic and offers plenty to see and do.

Wisconsin Point features 2 3/4 miles of beach with trails, wooded areas for hiking and wildlife watching, swimming areas, and it even has its own lighthouse, marking the Superior entry to the Twin Ports Harbor.

Beside the quieter atmosphere, Wisconsin Point’s other distinctions from Park Point include fires being allowed and waterfowl hunting is permitted.


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