Piedmont & Brewer Bike Trails
Piedmont Trail Maps & Routes Available On:
Skill Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Trail Length: 9 miles (but you can make it feel like 20 depending if you ride the trails in both directions)
Location: Piedmont Trailhead Parking, Duluth MN
Piedmont Directions: From I-35, take Hwy 53 (21st Ave West Exit) to Piedmont Avenue and take a left. Then take your 2nd left onto Hutchinson Rd and follow to the marked parking lot.
Brewer Directions: From I-35, take the exit on 40th Ave West and proceed north. Follow 40th Ave as it turns into Haynes road and winds up the hill. Either take a left on W Skyline Parkway and park, or continue about 1/3 mile and park in the small lot on the right.
Story: Planning and construction of the Piedmont trail started in 2007. This project was one of the first COGGS had undertaken in quite a few years where we had a big chunk of land as basically a blank slate to put a trail system in. In the past 5 years COGGS has learned a ton about sustainable trail design and also how to design “flow” into a trail. Piedmont has been a big teaching point for this because many of the mistakes we made at Piedmont are constant reminders of the importance of sustainable trail design. In the past few seasons many of the improvements at Piedmont have been rerouting around wet areas and also just improving the overall flow. Much work has also been put into building free-ride trails and challenging B-lines. As of 2013 these efforts have really started to pay off with Piedmont beginning to reach it’s potential as a challenging, rocky trail that you can really rip as well.
The Piedmont Trail has three access points. The best option with the most parking is located at the Piedmont ski trail parking lot off Hutchinson Rd. Two other options are along Haines Road at the Superior Hiking Trail and State Trail crossing point and also along Skyline Parkway near the Wheeler Field overlook. This is the most difficult entry point as it leads up Skyline trail.
Piedmont has 13 different trails of varying length that compose the system. They are:
Entry from the Piedmont Ski Trail Parking Lot. The State Snowmobile Trail brings you to the start of this trail.
Deerslayer - A winding trail descending to meet up with the Stovetop Loop.
Scarface - A short, flowing section with several fun technical features that allows you can keep them spinning all the way to meet the Upper Burner of Stovetop.
Red Dress - Technical, twisty short section meeting up with the Upper Burner. Several options to huck off some rock ledges.
Stovetop Loop - The Upper Burner of Stovetop is above the Powerlines and the Lower Burner is below. Together they make an intermediate level loop which all other trails spur off from.
Merritt Creek - Technical off shoot of the Upper Burner of Stovetop. A quick loop with very short lollipop, all of which have an old-school janky style..
Foxx Rocks - This trail travels along the southern park of the system and has several great overlooks and lots of rock features.
Admiral Rockbar - This is a short, extremely technical option off of the southern most part of Foxx Rocks.
Skyline - This is a burly, rocky ascent/descent to Skyline Parkway. The top of this trail offers several great overlooks and two great places to let the tires leave the ground. An alternate line descending Skyline is Valley Girl. This is double black diamond trail that leaves Skyline at one of the overlooks above Skyline Parkway. The top of this trail is loose rock and loamy soil and the bottom features the gnarliest section of trail in all of Duluth. It is an angled 30′ rock roll-down with some gnarly roots to negotiate. Body armor recommended!
NIMBY - A short trail off the eastern part of the Lower Burner of Stovetop. It is a two trail trail that leads to two extremely advanced trails. They are:
Medropolis - This is a great huck line with 8 drops from 12-30″. All drops are rollable or you can wheelie drop/huck off them.
Rickety Cricket - This is another huck line which features 4 drops and brings the rider back down to the start of the NIMBY trail.
DM - A double black diamond free-ride trail with 15 very steep bedrock roll downs. The lower half of this trail is entirely on jagged and steep bedrock. Not for the faint of heart but extremely fun!
The trail is now 9 miles long, with numberous bridges and features. The terrain in this area lends perfectly to technical mountain bike riding. Significant elevation changes and large rocky bluffs provide endless options for the adventurous mountain biker.
Building trail for the beginner/intermediate rider has proved a challenge in this area but we feel that accessing the trail from the Piedmont Ski Trail parking lot and riding Scarface, Stovetop and Deerslayer loops is a great place for the beginner/intermediate rider to test the waters at Piedmont.
A big thank you to Andrea Grygo for creating this GPS rendering of the trail, with trail names and difficulty levels.