New trail coming soon to Downer Park

Brandon Weathers
Updated: July 31, 2020 08:25 AM

The Duluth Traverse project entails the construction of several new trails this summer. Some, like the Craft Connector Trail between Enger Park and West Superior Street, are being constructed by professional crews. Others, such as the Downer Park Trail, are passion projects spearheaded by COGGS volunteers.


COGGS Lester Trail steward Curtis Cline lives near Downer Park. For the past several years he has held hopes of a mountain bike trail that would tap into the area’s steep hillside and rocky terrain.

Cline said, “When I’m walking through the woods I tend to look at it with the eyes of a mountain biker, look at what could be done, so the fact that it’s coming to reality now and we get to actually build what we pictured back here is very exciting.”

All said and done, the 1.5 mile trail will start at Vermillion Road. It will include advanced features inspired by West Duluth trails.

"Piedmont's got a lot of black and double black, so that's kind of the intention of this is to bring some Piedmont style riding to the East side of town," Cline said.

Volunteers gather each week to move the project forward. This involves clearing way through the brush to complete the loop, and spicing up the ridable stretches by adding rock features and jumps. Jump building is a process of trial and error with Cline testing them out himself.

"I like to ride as we build because you get a picture in your head as you're building something, you think you know how it's going to ride, and then you ride it, and sometimes you're right and sometimes not, and that'll give you the opportunity to adjust it while it's still new," Cline said.

There are still several months of work to be done before the new Downer Park trail will be open to riders.

"I'd love to say yet this fall that we would have a complete loop together, but there's still a lot of work to be done," Cline said, "Early next year at the latest."

Join WDIO News at Ten every Thursday to get the latest tips and tricks you need to enjoy the trails in the Duluth area as well as updated trail conditions.


Brandon Weathers

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