Duluth is the gateway to the north shore of Lake Superior and an awesome town for a weekend getaway in Minnesota. The Brewer Park Loop Trail is one of the best hikes near Duluth, offering awesome views of the city skyline and Lake Superior from above.
This 3 mile hiking trail follows a portion of the 300+ mile Superior Hiking Trail. It winds through aspen and maple forests, with a mix of steep and flat sections.
Add this to your list of must-see hiking trails in Duluth Minnesota!
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Where is the Brewer Park Loop Trail?
Brewer Park Loop Trail is just southwest of Duluth between Duluth and the town of Proctor. The trailhead is located near the free parking lot at the Brewer Park Mountain Bike Trailhead on Haines Road.
Brewer Park Loop Trail Basics
- Distance: 3.3 miles
- Elevation Gain: 472 feet
- Elevation Loss: Approximately the same as gain
- Maximum Elevation: 1299 feet
- Trailhead Start: Brewer Park Mountain Bike Trailhead on Haines Road
- Trailhead End: same as start
- Difficulty: Moderate (steep uphill and downhill, uneven footpath, sun exposure)
- Recommended Start Time: Anytime!
- Time on the Trail: 1.5 hours
- Facilities: No bathroom along the trail or at trailhead parking lots
- Gear Needed: Day hiking essentials
Getting To/From the Brewer Park Loop Trailhead
From the parking lot at the Brewer Park Mountain Bike Trailhead on Haines Road, the trailhead is a short walk. If you face the street, follow the sidewalk to the right. After a short walk along the road, there is a gravel path to the right. Follow the gravel path downhill towards the tunnel labeled Superior Hiking Trail.
After walking through the tunnel, the trail splits. Follow the signs to the left for the Brewer Park Loop Trail.
Pro Tip: The Brewer Park Loop follows the main Superior Hiking Trail (marked by blue blazes) and the remainder is on a Superior Hiking Trail spur trail (marked by white blazes). This trail criss-crosses with mountain biking trails. The trail crossings are well marked but watch for the blue and white blazes along the trail to be sure you are on the hiking trail!
Brewer Park Loop Trail Highlights
Once you’ve passed the tunnel and walked across the small bridge over Merritt Creek, the trail starts out with a relatively steep incline. At the top of the incline is where the ‘loop’ begins. So, you can choose to either go left or right as you’ll come back to this same spot at the end.
To the left are great views of Duluth and Lake Superior and to the right are beautiful stretches of forest and some prairie. I couldn’t wait to see the views of Duluth so I went to the left!
After a short section through the forest, you reach the first viewpoint. There are several lookout points with awesome views, so be sure to take your time and enjoy them! Watch for views of the St Louis River, Lake Superior and even the lift bridge in Duluth’s Canal Park.
This section has little shade, so be sure to have sun protection on and plenty of water.
As the trail turns away back away from Duluth and back into the forest, you’ll begin a long, steady incline. Along this incline, at about 1.8 miles into the hike, is an intersection where the main Superior Hiking Trail continues and the spur trail is off to the right. This is where you join the spur trail, marked by white blazes instead of blue blazes.
Follow along on the trail using the AllTrails app or watch for this sign where the trail splits.
The trail weaves through forest of aspen and maple before bringing you back to where you started the loop. This section is well shaded.
Descend back down to the entrance of the tunnel, walk through it and back to the parking lot.
Brewer Park Loop Trail Tips
This trail is on uneven terrain, including large tree roots and rocks. Almost the entire Superior Hiking Trail is similar. Watch your step and consider using hiking poles if you are concerned about being unstable.
Be prepared for some decent elevation change, with a few notable steep sections mixed in with longer, flat sections.
The easternmost section of the trail has great views of Duluth and the St Louis River, but has little shade.
Brewer Park has both mountain biking and hiking trails, which occasionally intersect. The intersections are well-marked with signs as shown below. On the left is the mountain biking trail post with the name of the MTB route. On the right is a blue sign that reads ‘FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY’ followed by the blue or white blaze (depending on what section of the trail you are on).
Brewer Park Loop Trail Safety
Even on shorter hikes, it’s a good idea to bring these day hiking essentials with you!
Specific risks on this trail include sun exposure, uneven hiking terrain, and dehydration. Black bears are unlikely but have been seen in the area. Make noise while you hike, especially around blind corners. Here’s more on bear safety tips for hikers!
Because Brewer Park is mixed use for hiking and mountain biking, be aware of your surroundings and pay close attention to signs. The intersections are well-marked. Avoid wearing earphones so you can hear if there are bikers (or bears) nearby!
Brewer Park Loop Trail is one of the best hikes in Duluth!
This 3.3 mile loop offers a taste of the Superior Hiking Trail with awesome views of Duluth and Lake Superior. The Brewer Park Loop Trail is one of the must-visit hiking trails in Duluth!
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