Hartley Park Bike Trails
Hartley Park Trail Maps & Routes Available On:
Skill Level: Intermediate
Trail Length: 9 miles
Location: 3001 Woodland Ave, Duluth MN
Directions: From Interstate 35 take 21st Ave E up the hill. Take a Right on Woodland Ave and travel two miles to the entrance for Hartley Nature Center, which will be on your left. An alternate entrance with limited parking is at the end of Hartley Rd, which can be found off Arrowhead Rd.
Hartley Park is over one square mile of urban green space in the middle of the Duluth’s East end neighborhoods. It has been the longest standing mountain bike trail center in the City with the first official mountain bike trails developed in the mid-nineties.
Hartley has not always been a park. Up until the mid 1940’s over half of the land area was cropland called the Allendale Farm. When the farm folded the land sat fallow and eventually went tax-forfeit. The once productive fields were taken over by invasive shrubs and are now very common throughout the park. Other parts of the park have few invasive species and have large areas of mature hardwood forests with very little undergrowth.
In 2007 COGGS began an ambitious initiative to rebuild the entire trail system using best practices in design in order to improve the sustainability and trail experience for all users. After nearly 10 years of effort the multi-use mountain bike trails of Hartley have been almost totally reconstructed to be more user friendly and sustainable. What was once one of the most eroded and muddy trail systems in Duluth is now one of the first to dry out following a rain event.
The North West Hills of the park contain the greatest density of trails. To get there: Park at the Hartley Nature Center Main Trail Head, 3001 Woodland Avenue. From the trailhead travel West on the Duluth Traverse. You will see Hartley pond on your right. Take the New Tunnel Trail toward The Pines Loop. This route will give you the best access to the core of the system. Towards the Northwest corner of the pines you will see the Rhamnus and Fisherman Trails. Either of these can take you to the Guradrail loop and Bluepots/Blackened Bluepots trails. An alternative loop is to head South out of the Pines loop on the Wet Meadow Trail and then East on the Root Canal. This will take you to the Eastern most end of the park where a double track limestone trail called Old Hartley Road. Take Old Hartley Road North and you will be back to the main trailhead.
Many of the trails have roots and rocks which require finding a good line. The majority of the trails are hand built with the exception of the New Tunnel trail, Wet meadow and Root Canal trails. Overall the trails are considered traditional style mid-west single-track with rolling hills and some moderate sustained climbs.
In the center of the park is a large dome of bluestone, called Rock Knob, that has several intermediate and advanced runs off the top. The Wet Meadow Trail has the mid-west’s longest continuous single-track boardwalk at just over ¼ mile long through an expansive urban wetland.