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Tags:
Level: Intermediate
Length: 5 mi (8 km)
Surface: Singletrack
Configuration: Network
Elevation: +290/289 ft
Total: 75 riders
 

Mountain Biking Lester Park

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#35 of 128 mountain bike trails in Minnesota
#3165 in the world

The singletrack at Lester has been around for about a decade. Originally it was roughed in deer trails and some ninja built trail that was unofficial. In 2009, the City of Duluth authorized COGGS to officially manage this trail and we commenced connecting the different sections and improving sustainability and flow. We worked with the Yes! Duluth program who provided student workers to work with a COGGS supervisor for 25 hours per week throughout the summer of 2010. The trail was complete in July of 2010 and hosted the Great Hawk Chase Minnesota Mountain Bike Series race in August.

As Lester is the most recent COGGS trailwork project, it is our best built trail to date. By a substantial margin, it manages water better than any other local trail. It is rare that the trail is too wet to ride the day after a rain. The trail rides along the ridges above Amity Creek on either side of Seven Bridges Rd. The access points are on either side of the 2nd bridge and the 7th bridge. Both have small gravel parking areas nearby.

Beautiful views of the river valley and smooth, flowing singletrack are what you will find when you ride Lester. There are a handful of rocky or rooty sections, but overall the trail is non-technical and the best option in the Duluth area if you are newer to mountain biking. There are several game and spur trails that off shoot the main trail but if you follow the white COGGS signs it is easy to find the whole loop.

In the summer of 2011, professional trailbuilder Aaron Rodgers of Copper Harbor, Michigan selected a corridor for 4.5 additional miles of trail in Lester Park. COGGS volunteers and a hired sub-contractor built 1 mile along the east side of Seven Bridges Rd down to the community park in the fall of 2011. Having a professional trailbuilding team finish the remaining 3 miles is the top priority of Phase I of the Duluth Traverse.

First added by dgw2jr on May 2, 2020. Last updated May 2, 2020. → add an update
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Getting there
From East Superior Street, go up Seven Bridges Road (a.k.a. Occidental Blvd); or go up Lester River Road to city park parking lot.

http://www.duluthmn.gov/parks/pdf files/trail_maps/Lester_Park_Trail_Map.pdf
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Lester Park Trail map

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jasfoto (on Feb 15, 2020)
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Good (on Aug 16, 2019)
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Reviews

  • Trish22
    ****

    I'm giving the trail a low score because it's easy to get lost. The trail starts out being well marked until you get deep into the woods. The trail offers some beautiful views of the river.

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  • stumpyfsr   ✓ supporter
    ****

    Amity Creek is nice flowing singletrack with some pedaling involved. As of 07/2015 Lester trail is closed for repair/construction. therere roots and rocks in places and very doable short climbs. Very similar to Mission Creek.

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  • Dan Bailey
    *****

    Definitely my favorite of the Duluth area courses. Scenery is great, especially along the river bluffs. I didn't have a ton of time, and the trail wasn't marked particularly well so I wound up not giving Lester the full attention it deserved. I'll be back.

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  • scnnet
    *****

    First, let's distinguish between the singletrack trail which loops Amity Creek and the brand-new singletrack trail which follows the Lester River. I believe the Amity Creek Trail is the first singletrack trail built by COGGS, is an awesome flow trail, and is the trail that is referred to in the prior reviews under the name of Lester Park. The new (2014) Lester Park Trail is also built by COGGS and is in an out and back (two way) trail about 4 miles in length. It is also an awesome flow trail which is more user-friendly for us older dogs than Amity Creek.The wider trail and wider bridges allow for a greater sense of security but also introduces an element of speed which has to be checked because of the number of bikers and hikers. It is not a good place to be setting a Strava PR on a weekend.

    The trailhead for this trail is right at the Lester River city park near the golf course. The trailhead is on the west side of the river, not to be confused with a hiking trail on the east side of the river. At the north end of the Lester Rivertrail you can cross a bridge and connect with the Amity Creektrail on the west side of Amity Creek. Adding this loop to the out and back Lester park trail should provide 11 to 12 miles of continuous singletrack trail riding, some of the best in Duluth.

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  • JAlex225
    ****

    Very nice trail but expect some climbs!

    I did Lester for the first time this past weekend and the trail I ended up finding was well constructed and flowed nicely. There a lot of short bridges to get over creeks but nothing to worry about. I'm not in the best shape of my life but I thought I was getting my conditioning back before this trail. When I thought it wouldn't climb any higher, it went up more. Nothing unmanageable but definitely an eye opener for me.

    Wasn't sure if I was going the right way until traffic passed me both ways. Could use some signage to help the newbie like myself.

    Overall a fun trail. Worth the drive.

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  • singlesteve
    ****

    Really fun, flowing trail. Coggs has recently done a ton of work very recently. Some of the new areas need more riding to break in the new soil, get out and ride here. Possibly easier than Hartley, but much faster.

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  • dgw2jr
    ****

    Pretty smooth for the most part with roots and rocks here and there. Very nice scenery!

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