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LENGTH 20 miles
DIFFICULTY easy, mostly paved, some dirt
DATE HIKED August 27, 2016
MAIN FEATURES Wirth Beach, Chain of Lakes, Ice Cream!
Last week was the 26.5 mile hike on the Superior Hiking Trail to raise money for Children’s cancer research. So….of course, I signed up to take the Scouts on a 20 mile urban hike to finish up our summer of working on the Hiking Merit Badge a week later. Honestly, I thought this was going to be a tough hike, but it really was pretty great. We got an early start, and were on the trail by 7am. We started at Bassett Creek Park, tromped through some muddy road construction on Duluth Street (urban alright!), headed down to the Luce Line Trailhead, through Theodore Wirth Park, Lake of the Isles and were eating a double scoop of Ice Cream at the Uptown Sebastian Joe’s by 10am!
After our 10 mile Ice Cream celebration we changed socks and dried off at Sebastian Joe’s. The good folks at the shop were super nice to our soggy crew and couldn’t believe we’d walked all the way from Basset Creek Park. Thanks guys! Great Ice Cream, no blisters!
The Luce Line trail is mostly used by bikes and runners, but is a cool old trail that remembers the former rail road line. The trail stretches 63 miles from the western metro suburb of Plymouth to the small town of Cosmos in west-central Minnesota. We crossed it a few times this summer and is a good connector through Theodore Wirth , Medicine Lake and Baker Park. I have dreams of biking it all the way to Hutchinson and back. Maybe next summer!
We did another version of this hike in November Urban Hike 2.0 Theodore Wirth + Chain of Lakes that skipped the Ice Cream, added Lake Harriet and added a few more miles on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway starting a little farther north. I preferred that route just because it was a little more scenic.
Overall, this was a great trail for our 20 mile Hiking Merit Badge and would be a good training hike less focused on hills, but on higher mile endurance.