St. Louis River Water Trail


Project Status: Implementation

Project Overview: The City of Duluth and its partners are working with local and regional stakeholders to implement the St. Louis River Estuary Water Trail Plan. After the completion and approval of the Plan by City Council in March 2017, the Water Trail Plan was submitted to the National Park Service.  The Advisory Council who led the planning process, has shifted into a working group to implement the recommendations made in the Plan.  The first step was find a permanent host for the Water Trail Initiative.  In June 2017, the St. Louis River Alliance became that home for this multi-disciplinary Initiative and has secured funds to build their organizational capacity to carry on this work, as well as begin the branding and associated marketing around the newly defined Water Trail.  In 2018, the community can anticipate saying a completed Water Trail logo, map and the installation of the first Water Trail kiosk at key water put-in locations along the St. Louis River Estuary.

A National Water Trail designation would allow surrounding communities to engage both local citizens and visitors to once again return to this amazing resource and learn about its past, present, and future. This designation also assists local land management authorities and agencies to plan, and apply for possible funding streams to improve water sport access of all kinds on the river as well as plan and implement restoration efforts. Through careful planning and vision, the Water Trail can ensure access to all regardless of skill level or ability, or financial means.

The application for the St. Louis River Water Trail was submitted to the National Parks Service Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance Program in the April of 2017.  The national review committee has made the recommendation to the Secretary of the Interior to designate the St. Louis River Estuary Water Trail as part of the larger National Water Trail System.  The City of Duluth is awaiting word from the Office of the Secretary of the Interior on his decision.

To learn more about National Water Trail and the progress on the St. Louis River designation, click on the available materials below.

Project Partners: Click Here to View all Project Partners

Important Documents:
FINAL Water Trail Master Plan - (Approved by City Council March, 27 2017)


Lisa Luokkala
Project Coordinator
Parks and Recreation
411 West First Street
Duluth, MN 55802
(218) 730-4312


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