Words of Wisdom: Go West Young One

Breanne Tepler

Each week, I think about things I wish I had known when I was in my early 20s while earning my bachelor’s degree. I’ve been writing about financial literacy, networking, searching for jobs, interviewing and volunteering. All of these things are helpful for your future success and they are all things I wish someone had shared with me.

Fall is upon us. Leaves are turning color and falling like confetti in the woods. When I was in my 20s, I would head into Chester Bowl for a nice walk in the woods or run on the boardwalk for a good workout. These small adventures allowed me to reboot and de-stress, so I could jump back into studying or make it through a long week of work and school.

I’m going to venture to guess that many of you already know about the trails in Chester Bowl, Enger Tower and the Rose Garden/Boardwalk. Many of you have also heard about Hartley Nature Center and its trail system. Brighton Beach, too, may be a place you have visited once or twice since you have been a student on campus. These are all common places area students will go to enjoy the outdoors. But what about West Duluth? No one told me how absolutely beautiful, and often remote, West Duluth is.

I now live in West Duluth, just past the zoo, actually. My house is one block from the St. Louis River and Indian Point Campground. In the past few years I have started to discover all the beauty this area holds and I just can’t keep it to myself. Below, are two trails you should immediately add to your to-do list. For more ideas on parks and trails, go to the City of Duluth’s website and look under Parks and Recreation. Every city park has its own page with details and photos. I also recommend you check out the Superior Hiking Trail which runs throughout the city of Duluth.

Western Riverfront Trail – The western riverfront trail runs along the St. Louis River. There are many entry points, but a good one, with plenty of parking, is the Munger Trail parking lot just behind the Munger Inn on Pulaski St (just off of Grand Avenue). What I love about this trail is that it’s secluded and has lots of ups and downs and turns and twists. Let’s face it, Lake Superior is beautiful but the boardwalk is crowded and the pavement has an urban feel. On the riverfront trail, you won’t find a lot of people and you still get to walk/run along a beautiful body of water.

Ely’s Peak – I had heard about Ely’s Peak, but for some reason I assumed it was up the shore or up north near Ely. I could not believe it when I found out last year it’s only 10 minutes from my house. Take Grand Avenue past the zoo, past Morgan Park and past Riverside. Just before you get to the Gary neighborhood, you’ll turn left on Becks Road. Take that up and around the hill. You’ll find a small parking lot to the right. This trail is a part of the Superior Hiking Trail system. You’ll hike up steep slopes, walk along a grass covered railroad track, enter an old abandoned train tunnel. After that climb one of many trails to the peak. From there, you get a panoramic view of West Duluth, Mont du Lac ski hill and Cloquet.


Breanne Tepler is an Admissions Counselor in the Office of Graduate & Extended Studies and a current student in the Master’s in Management program.