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Route Review: Spirit Mountain gravel tour

If you haven’t ridden up in Duluth yet, you are missing out on some of the best gravel in the state. Outside of Winona, Duluth arguably offers the best climbing on terrain on a bike in the state. This ride was one I did from my in-laws house that explored up on top of the hills in Duluth, and ventured down and around around Spirit Mountain.

This route is not all gravel, but rather mixed surface, which is not uncommon when cycling around Duluth. The first part of the ride takes you onto Skyline parkway, offering a breathtaking view of the Twin Ports area.

Eventually you will arrive at Spirit Mountain, and as you descend the other side of the hill from the summit you will hit a long stretch of gravel at the bottom. Following this will eventually bring you to the intersection of Skyline Parkway and the DWP, a multi-use trail that connects the Mission Creek mountain bike trails to Spirit Mountain. For the adventurous gravel cyclists, a new stretch of singletrack trail runs along most of the DWP between Mission Creek and Spirit Mountain. After reaching Spirit, you continue on the DWP until you are spit out by the Lake Superior Zoo on a paved trail. This trail will then take you through West Duluth to Lincoln Park. As is the case in Duluth, what goes down must go back up, so be ready to climb, as a fairly quiet road will take you back to Skyline Parkway, and then back up Hutchinson Road back to the Piedmont trailhead.

If you're looking for some breathtaking views, you can't miss out on this amazing ride on the North Shore.

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