Update: The Duluth Traverse Trail now runs through Piedmont! That means there is now an easy, flowing through-trail for those who do not enjoy the rocks.
Piedmont is the Twin Ports first real purpose-built mountain bike trail system. While others came before it – Piedmont was the first time that Duluth/Superior riders actually ventured into the woods to build new and exciting trails specifically with bikes in mind.
The trails at Piedmont are by far the most rock-strewn in the city. This is pretty tough riding. Choose the wrong line and you may find yourself in the middle of a bloody junk show! Riders with more honed skills can fly through Piedmont! Rock drops, steep slick rock drops and twisty, rocky, fast descents – the fun never seems to end! Newer or less skilled riders will garner invaluable experience while riding here. Nothing ventured – nothing gained – right?
Link in with the new Brewer Park system across Haines Road to the west and you will enjoy some of the most varied trail styles anywhere. A veritable smorgasbord of trail!!
“All the different terrains that you can find in Duluth,” COGGS President Adam Sundberg told an interviewer for WDSE-TV’s Venture North segment about the trail, “are kind of in this little microcosm that is the Piedmont Trail. It [was] an exciting trail to build, and it’s a really fun trail to ride.”
“This trail has great views of town,” says Ryan Nelson. “The bridges, the bay, Lots of neat vistas. It’s a beautiful perspective of and from a massive piece of green space in town.”
Sherie Nelson says, “It’s fun riding all the exposed rock—climbing and descending it, and managing the transitions between rock and hard soil.”
Some portions of the trail snake through relatively thick urban forest, on the sort of dirt single track most folks might think of when they envision northern-Minnesota mountain-biking. Like Sherie says, there are also challenging, interesting, very fun portions that cross the rock that’s seldom far beneath Duluth’s surface. The trail dips in and out of tree cover, occasionally popping into Lake Superior views whose expanse and drama are difficult to explain.
John Morrison says, “The layout is awesome. The terrain is awesome. It didn’t take the trail long to get ridden in. It’s already pretty smooth. All the rock is really neat. There are a lot of one-to-four-foot rock ledges to play on if you want to [and they’re quite easy to avoid if you’d rather do that], lots of rock to climb, a bunch of little rocks to huck off, and you can really get rolling on the single track. There are some nice climbs, tight turns. It’s totally do-able for people of various skills and experiences.
“The scenery is great. All the trails here have great scenery, but it’s different here. At Lester, it feels like North-Shore stream country [which it is]. Piedmont feels like a typical aspen forest, then you have all that rock and the views of the harbor and the St. Louis River. You could take Piedmont and compare it to trails anywhere else in the country.”