Canal Park in Duluth is a very enjoyable place to spend some time if you love the outdoors, the water, and drinking and dining. The main attraction is really the aerial lift bridge, but there is a ton to see and do. We visited for three days and had a great time.
Pictured above are the two lighthouses at the tip of each pier at the entrance from Lake Superior to the Duluth-Superior Harbor. The ships travel the channel in between the two piers, under the aerial lift bridge.
This is the aerial lift bridge. It is an amazing sight. It started out as an aerial transporter — or gondola — bridge. It was one of only two transporter bridges ever constructed in the United States. Originally, a gondola hung from the superstructure, and vehicles would be loaded onto the gondola, and then transported across the harbor — like a ferry suspended from the bridge. In 1930, the gondola was replaced with the lift bridge road surface — a roadway that raises and lowers every half hour to allow ships to pass underneath.
This lighthouse resides on the north pier and is a popular tourist destination. It’s is a stone’s throw from the Comfort Suites, right on the Lakewalk.
In the photo above, you can see the lift bridge going up on the right to allow our boat to pass underneath. The traffic in canal park gets pretty hairy every time this bridge goes up.
This small bridge is actually a draw bridge which breaks open in the center and raises in two pieces. It marks the entrance between the harbor and the marina.
We took a Lake Superior and Harbor cruise on this boat, the Vista Star. The Vista Fleet is a very affordable and fun way to spend an afternoon in Canal Park, Duluth.
When we woke up on the second day of our trip, a fog had rolled in off Lake Superior.
Below is a bird’s eye view of Canal Park. You can see the lift bridge left of center. On the left is Lake Superior, and on the right is the Duluth Harbor.
Photos by Troy, copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC