Duluth Is for All: Accessibility and Sensory-Friendly Information to Plan Your Visit

Family and child in a wheelchair explores the zoo

When planning a trip with or as a person living with a disability, limited mobility, or sensory sensitivities, we know there might be some extra considerations to ensure a safe and smooth experience. For your next trip to Duluth, to help take the guesswork out of your research and preparation, business listings on VisitDuluth.com have an accessibility rating system, so you know before you go. In addition, many of Duluth’s attractions provide resources about their accessibility and sensory-friendly offerings. Here, we share details to help make your visit as enjoyable as possible, because all are welcome in Duluth.

Duluth Playhouse

The Duluth Playhouse is committed to creating accessible theatre experiences for all people. The following services are available:

  • ASL-interpreted performances (please contact belong@duluthplayhouse to request this at least two weeks prior to performance)
  • Assistive listening devices
  • Audio description
  • Courtesy wheelchairs
  • Large print materials
  • Service animals are welcome
  • Wheelchair and accessible seating

In addition, relaxed performances are available on select dates. Small modifications are made for these shows, which may include reducing the volume of loud noises, eliminating strobe lights, keeping the house lights on and having a relaxed attitude toward sound and movement in the audience. In addition, the lobbies and public spaces will include quiet areas, sensory-friendly activities and increased staff to create a safe, welcoming environment.

Great Lakes Aquarium

Two children look at fish while wearing masks

The Great Lakes Aquarium has a variety of resources and offerings to help plan and enjoy your visit, including:

Lake Superior Zoo

The Lake Superior Zoo was the first certified sensory inclusive zoo in Minnesota, and provides resources and offerings to help plan and enjoy your visit, including:

The Lake Superior Zoo is a member of Museums for All and works to limit financial barriers to visiting the zoo. Through this program, guests can visit for $3/person, up to four people, with the presentation of a SNAP Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. The zoo has also worked with the Duluth Public Library system to make 15 passes available for check out from the library, each granting admission to the zoo for four people.

North Shore Scenic Railroad

Thomas the tank engine on the railroad

The North Shore Scenic Railroad annually hosts Sensory Friendly Day Out with Thomas. This special, sensory-friendly day is sure to be one you remember. For this outing, there is no music, limited attendance and a minimal use of train whistles. Plus, there is a quiet room and additional time built in for boarding.

Outdoor Recreation

Duluth is an outdoor wonderland. Here are some details to help plan your visit and enjoy the natural beauty and adventure the city has to offer.

Duluth’s City Parks have 30 miles of paved accessible trail and 16 miles of gravel accessible trail. This interactive map includes details for each trail in the city, including the trail length, what the trail surface is and if it is handicap accessible. Here we share the list of Duluth city trails which meet ABA (Architectural Barriers Act) standards of accessibility:

  • Paved:
    • Campus Connector Trail (between College of St. Scholastica and University of Minnesota-Duluth
    • Cross-City Trail
    • Duluth Lakewalk
    • Munger Trail
    • Rice Lake Road Trail
  • Gravel:
    • Amity Creek Trail
    • Boy Scout Landing Trail
    • Brighton Beach Trail
    • Chambers Grove Interpretive Trail
    • Duluth Winnipeg Pacigic (DWP) Trail
    • Old Hartley Road
    • Park Point Beach House
    • Quarry Park
    • Waabizheshikana (the Marten Trail)

The Cyclists of Gitchee Gumee Shores (COGGS) is also working to make Duluth’s trails inclusive for everyone. Watch this video, “Trails for All,” to learn more about their efforts.

City of Duluth Public Parks and Restrooms

Information about the City of Duluth properties and accessibility report can be found at this link.


If you have question about accessibility or sensory-friendly offerings as you plan your trip, please reach out, and we’d be happy to assist.

Posted on September 29, 2022