Hiking has easily become one of my favorite hobbies. It gives me a new perspective on things that I would otherwise take for granted. It allows me to gaze at the scenery and discover things hidden from plain sight! Driving to and from work everyday has me focused and not paying attention to the little things. I’m usually busy thinking about work and other tasks needed to get done. By hiking, I have discovered an abandoned basketball court, a new view of the city, and a hidden waterfall. There are plenty of trails and woods to get lost in, and let’s not forget about those hills either. It’s amazing to me to be able to hike in the city, be a matter of yards from traffic, but yet doesn’t even feel like it.
The thing I love about hiking is that it slows me down when I would otherwise be distracted by this thing or that. It also allows me to hear God in a way I wouldn’t be able to because of all the distractions. I get distracted easily. It calms me when I’m feeling stressed and puts my life in perspective. When I’m alone, I usually talk out loud to God as if he was walking right next to me. It feels the same as if I talked to a good friend. I am encouraged and that the stress and burden has been lifted.
If you’re looking for new date ideas, hiking is easy and free. This is one of our favorite things to do together. It’s our goal to walk every trail in town. We’re not even close to walking all of them yet. If I were to list every one of them, I wouldn’t even know where to start. Each one is unique and different depending on the season. That’s what is so great about them. Once you’re on the trail, it’s just the two of you. We are out gazing at the scenery, enjoying each others company, and the best part is nobody is around! However, I do have three of my favorites I’m going to share with you.
1. Lester Park
There are plenty of trails in Lester Park. It’s great for winter time as well as summer. They have trails for cross country skiing, bike trails, and hiking. There is an open field if you want to play yard games, a playground, and several pavilions as well that allows for picnics and time for the family. There is definitely more to do there than just hiking the trails. If you wanted to, you could easily make a day out of it, hike in the morning and picnic in the afternoon. It’s no surprise that it has a creek too so in the summer when it’s real hot there are areas to swim in as well. It’s on the east end of town and right by a grocery store so if you decided you wanted to have a picnic it’s just down the street.
2. Congdon Trail
Sam and I discovered this by accident. We drove by one day near Woodland Ave and noticed a map right in front of a trail. The entrance was not obvious. We lived here our whole lives and had not even noticed it before. We were immediately curious about it and wanted to walk this new trail. The sound of the creek was peaceful and the smell of the trees was breathtaking. The trail is made of pine needles and wood steps. If you’re not paying attention, you could miss the hidden waterfall. We almost missed it ourselves. It’s perfect to capture a great photo! The trail itself is not very long. It’s roughly a mile and a half and the perfect distance.
3. Hartley Nature Center
This place is found right in the heart of Duluth. There is so much to do here and trails to hike on. There is a rather large sized pond that you’d be able to rent a canoe. When you look out to the water, you see trees as far as the eye can see. It is so peaceful and serene. Of course it’s breathtaking in the fall! In the winter, if you go at the right time, it’s a picture perfect winter wonderland. What I love about this place is it is right on the Superior Hiking Trail and it also gives you a little bit of everything. If you want steep windy hills, you’ve got it. If you want an easy stroll in the woods and not too steep of hills, you’ve got it. My favorite favorite spot in the whole place is that pond. Man oh man, when I have a lot on my mind and I’m overwhelmed with life, water always calms me down.
What trails do you like to take? If it’s out of Duluth, where do you like to go?