The Traverse recreational trail is a sustainable, multi-use trail system linking neighborhoods and people to parks and other green spaces in the Duluth area. The 100-mile-long natural-surface path, designed for mountain bikers but open to other users, is the longest trail in the U.S. entirely within an urban environment. The trail connects one end of the city Duluth to the other, as well as almost all the mountain-bike trail systems in between.
Before constructing the trail, the city hired Barr to assess the environmental impacts. We completed an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (a Minnesota-required document) for the trail, which involved developing construction SWPPPs; conducting historical and threatened-and-endangered-species reviews; preparing federal, state, and local permit applications; coordinating regulatory consultations and approvals; and preparing state and federal environmental review documents.
The assessment showed that environmental impacts from trail construction and use would be minimal, due largely to the fact that the project adhered to the International Mountain Bike Association’s sustainable-trail guidelines, which minimize maintenance and potential erosion problems. The IMBA designated the Duluth Traverse network of trails as a gold-level “ride center,” one of only six in the nation.