Lake Superior South Shore, 2016, Part 21 Duluth, MN Duluth Ship Channel

Duluth’s Canal Park leads out to the Lift Bridge over the Duluth Ship Channel. Over the Lift Bridge and you are on Park Point, a long sand bar that is between Lake Superior and the Duluth-Superior Harbor.  The Harbor is really the mouth of the St Louis River that flows down to the lake. In the 1800’s Park Point was connected to Duluth and ran out along the side of the harbor for about five miles. The only way into the harbor was at the Superior end so the Duluth folks banded together to dig through Park Point and make a new channel into the harbor.  Of course that meant they needed a bridge as well.


The first bridge had a suspended trolley contraption that went across the channel. The trolley bit was removed and more structure was built around the old structure to make the lift bridge.

img_6174If you look closely you can see the old vertical parts inside the newer ones.  The entire center section is lifted with the help of counterweights to allow the big lake boats to come into the harbor.


Or just a sailboat to get out.  The Presque Isle was on its way in so we walked down to see it come in.


These boats are very large and move surprisingly fast, faster than a brisk walk. The Presque Isle is a unique lake boat.  It is over 1,000 ft long but unlike any other lake boat it is made up of two parts.  The cargo part is more like a giant barge with a notch in the back-end for the power part, sort of like a tow boat to push in and get secured.

img_5991Hardly any wake.

img_5983And with the lift bridge all the way up, just enough room.   I found this picture of the power end of the pair.


It is a boat all on its own, kind of oddly shaped but very powerful.

Rudy and Carolyn are from Houston and see ships all the time but these are much bigger. Carolyn  was showing us the size of the one she saw.


The Blue Heron is a University of Minnesota research boat that does lake studies of all sorts.


And the U.S. Coast Guard was well represented as well.  This is a buoy tender.

Just across the bridge is a Corps of Engineers Maritime Museum. It has a lot of interesting displays inside like a Fresnel Lens


and outside a harbor tug boat.


It was a beautiful afternoon, the sun was out, boats going by.  A nice day by the Canal.



But some days are a bit more challenging.

More later,

Roger and Susan






One thought on “Lake Superior South Shore, 2016, Part 21 Duluth, MN Duluth Ship Channel”

  1. WOW!! That last picture is really something! Was this a picture you took while you were there?!?

    From Roger. Not from this trip. It is really amazing when the light house and channel marker are covered in ice.


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