We discovered the DWP train tunnel under Ely’s Peak by accident on our Munger Trail Mishap.
The Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific (DWP) Railway ran in the early 1900s from Virginia, MN to Duluth. The 500+ foot long and 18-foot wide tunnel took the rail under Ely’s Peak, a large rock formation in Gary-New Duluth. The tunnel was abandoned in the 1980s but remains today for explorers young and old.
The tunnel curves and is long enough that it is quite dark in the center. We each tripped over a rock once or twice.
Finley described it as “spooky” and was sure we’d see a baby dragon. Daley kept his eyes peeled for a secret door (we’ve been reading The Boxcar Children Mysteries series).
I kept envisioning rocks falling from the ceiling. We did notice rock climbing anchors hanging from the ceiling at one entrance and thought it would be fun to watch climbers scale the tunnel walls.
To get there, we took Grand Ave. (Hwy. 23) to Beck’s Road in Gary-New Duluth. The regular parking lot off of 123rd Ave. W. is temporarily closed but you can follow signs to an alternative access point just a bit north (it’s the Superior Hiking Trail parking lot on this map). Once there, take the wooden pathway, ascend a staircase, and take the path to your right. It’s an easy walk to the tunnel as the DWP dirt trail is relatively wide and flat. You can also reach the parking lot from I-35, taking the Midway/Beck’s Road exit (Exit 246). You’ll take Midway Road/Beck’s Road south about 2 miles and the parking lot will be on your left. If you come to a bridge over train tracks, you just passed the lot.
Updated directions here: How to Get to Ely’s Peak and the DWP Tunnel
For a good laugh, read about our Munger Trail Mishap, which allowed us to discover the tunnel.
Have you visited the DWP train tunnel? Share your experiences in the comment box below. Thanks!