Hike the Chester Creek Trail

2 miles 262 ft gain  - Out-and-Back Trail

Added by Jonathan Portinga

Escape the City on the Chester Creek Trail without ever leaving town. It's a simple hike to make you forget you're in the city!

Chester Creek is a prime example of how Duluth, MN values the many green spaces within its borders. The trailhead to Chester Creek is easy to find. Right on the corner of 14th ave east and 4th st, across from Burrito Union.  For those of you without another form of transportation, there is a bus stop right in front of the trail on Duluth Transit Authority route 13. The trailhead has a trail map and a little bit of information about the park itself. This is also a no biking trail. Don't worry though as there are many many better bike trails in Duluth. 

The starting point is at the bottom of the trail. This means the first half is all up hill and the last half is all down hill. Both sides of the creek are lined with a trail. You can hike up one side of the creek and then descend the other to get a look at both sides of the creek. There are also many little secondary trails that will lead you down to the creek's edge. Be careful, at certain points the trail can be 30-50 feet above the creek bottom. Although this can give you some great views it can also be a potential hazard. 

The creek itself is very picturesque. With over 260 feet in vertical rise over a 1 mile distance there are many waterfalls as the creek flows down to Lake Superior. The creek in most places is quite shallow. However, there are some deeper pools where the water slows but most of the creek is shallow enough to see the bottom. Along the banks of the creek and in the creek as well are many large round boulders that are fun to jump between. Sometimes you can even cross the creek on them. There are also a couple bridges that will allow you to cross from one side of the trail to the other. The trail is simple and makes getting lost impossible. To find the trailhead all you need to do is head down hill and you will find your way out. 

In 2012 Duluth was hit with one of the biggest floods on record. Trails along all the creeks in Duluth suffered damages including down trees and portions of the trails were even washed away. Many downed trees have found a resting place among the creek. These trees are an interesting addition to the creek. The city has been working on repairing the trail and replanting many of the lost trees. As of summer 2016 the trail is complete through on both sides. Much of the erosion has been fixed.  

This trail is smack dab in the middle of the Hillside neighborhood in Duluth meaning there are often many other people enjoying this trail. Lot's of people enjoy an afternoon trail run or evening stroll with the pup. Many of these people will pass by with a smile and say hello. 

After you return to the trailhead there is a great little restaurant called Burrito Union. Menu filled with burritos, tacos and locally brewed Fitger's Brew House beers. 

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Dog Friendly
Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Food Nearby


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Overall rating: 

I LOVE Chester

I hike through Chester pretty regularly. The trail is about 6 or so blocks away from my house, making it incredibly convenient. I think the best part about Chester is that once you’re in it you feel transported out of the city. Anytime my friends or family come up North to visit me I always bring them by Chester (weather permitting). It’s also a very pretty trail and I love sitting on the rocks near the water. If you’re in the area I would highly recommend checking it out. There are also plenty of trees you can use to put up a hammock so you’ll see plenty of people hanging out in groups or taking naps along (and sometimes over) the water.


🥇Top Contributor

about 4 years ago

Convenient location

I love that this is in the middle of Duluth. Ever-changing photo opportunities with the varying seasons and water levels.

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