Duluth has a colorful and natural parallel universe usually found below street level and near water.
Like Dorothy being thrown into the Land of Oz, anyone who wants to do a little exploring down a trail or up a side street can stumbled into something seemingly remote and wonderfully beautiful.
Sometimes this parallel universe leads to Lake Superior, which because of its enormous size, is easy to find. But crash through another wall and discover a world of waterfalls, cascades, secluded streams and roaring creeks.
Tischer Creek, in a well-to-do neighborhood called Congdon Park, is a place Dorothy would love.
An easy one minute hike off the Superior Street bridge, takes visitors into a deep rock canyon. The narrow, rust-colored walls pinch together white water cascades, small waterfalls, stone steps and a series of footbridges. Evergreens soar high above and fallen trees criss-cross the creek making natural footbridges for squirrels and chipmunk.
And the sound! The rock walls amplify all that rushing water to noise levels that would blow out even the best home stereo speakers.
The hike continues for another 30 -40 minutes up the hill with all kinds of mini-waterfalls and quiet wading pools and surprising secluded views.
Here’s a picture I snapped deep inside the canyon not more than 10 minutes from the busy traffic on Superior Street.